The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Some mornings, I wake up and I'm just angry there is no baseball. 

I know the world has bigger problems, but still.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
May 11

But those 73 IP in 1990 did go a long way, a very long way.

For reference while I was drafting last Monday, I added a column called $Qual.

$Qual = $ERA+$WHIP

Here were the top ten (to two decimals -- every cent counts):

1. Roger Clemens $28.23

2. Dave Stewart $21.76

3. Dennis Eckersley $21.76

4. Doug Drabek $21.43

5. Danny Darwin $20.85

6. Frank Viola $19.88

7.Dennis Martinez $19.36

8. Ed Whitsom $19.29

9. Zane Smith $19.29

10. Ramon Martinez $18.54

Hard to believe, but Eck in 1990 helped a team, any team, as much with his 73 innings as Dave Stewart with his 267.

I used 3.79 as the average ERA and 1.34 as the average WHIP. That's what the combined stats of the 338 pitchers we had to choose from calculated as.

If I had calculated the ERA and WHIP of the top 108 pitchers, both numbers would be substantially lower, of course.

But it doesn't matter. Whatever benchmark you use, the pitchers line up in exactly the same order. Any way you cut it, Eck was better than all but two starting pitchers in the qualitatives in 1990. He loses out to Stewart in the third-decimal tiebreaker (21.764 to 21.756). 


Alex Patton Alex
May 10

The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful NFL franchises.  They have no owner, nor an ownership group.  It's community owned with no single person allowed to own more than 4% of stock.  There's no big ego tied to control of the team.  Nobody who thinks they know more than the people who actually know football.  No sports league would ever allow such a thing to exist now, especially because they release their financials.  But, given that sports teams make arguments that they are a public good requiring public financing of stadia, perhaps public ownership is a better model.  If the residents of a municipality own the team, why not have public funds pay for the ballpark?  It means the team can never extort the city for a better park or they will leave.  Can't leave.  It also could help the local fanbase to be allowed to invest in the team.  

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
May 10

"How the hell did these guys get so rich?"

In almost every case, not by running a baseball team.  Some have gotten paper-rich through appreciation in the value of the franchise.  But most made money in Area A, and their expertise in Area A doesn't have jack-diddly in Areas B, C, D, and E.

I'm not a rich guy, but I work for a rich guy, and I know lots of rich guys, and this law is almost universally true.  There are some exceptions, but most rich guys are completely blinded by their success in Area A, and are convinced it makes them geniuses at ANYTHING.

Mike Dean TMU2009
May 10
Miguel Andujar New York Yankees

Miguel Andujar (DH) NY-A - May. 09

Andujar has been working out at the Yankees' complex in Florida five days a week and has had no trouble with his surgically repaired right shoulder, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: "I feel great. I am working out five days a week building strength, working with the trainers, exercising and doing my best to stay sharp,'' Andujar indicated in an email. "I feel 100 percent. I am very happy where I am at physically." Andujar also explained that he had been working out with a trainer away from the Yankees' training complex during part of the MLB hiatus but has since returned to Steinbrenner Field. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 10
Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers

Max Muncy (2B) LA - May. 09

Muncy stated that he has been hitting in a cage "a couple times a week" but is "trying not to overdo it" in an interview with John Hartung of Spectrum SportsNet LA.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: "Once things start's going to be a lot of games in a short period of time," Muncy theorized in explaining his rationale for wanting to stay fresh during MLB's hiatus. The 29-year-old is slated to take on a near-everyday role as the Dodgers' starting first baseman in 2020, with occasional time at second base. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 10
Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays

Bo Bichette (SS) TOR - May. 09

Bichette has been able to stay in shape in part by doing drills and working out with his father, four-time All-Star outfielder Dante Bichette, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: "Most of the time he's throwing me (batting practice), but every once in a while he actually pitches to me, so we'll get the Little League field distance and he'll throw it as hard as he can to try and get me out. That's when it gets a little bit intense and a little bit competitive," Bichette said about the workouts with his pop. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 10

I imagine they are counting on entrepreneurs to step into the breach with independent leagues forming out of parks abandoned by the minor leagues.  The owners likely figure that from there they can supplement the player pool with the diamonds in the rough and late developers that don't make the reduced minor leagues.  I know a couple of guys who are part of an ownership group of an Atlantic League team, and will be interested to see what they think.  I think you can also attribute this to youth baseball becoming a sport for the well off.  At least some of the same parents who paid for travel teams and specialized instruction can be counted on to supplement Jr.'s meager minor or independent league salary to keep his, and theirs, dream alive for another year or two.

In a decent economy that was not necessarily a bad bet for MLB, but it is now.  I can't see capital being eager to rush into a business plan where almost all your revenues depend on people sitting close together these days.  

John Thomas Roll2
May 10

Phil, you should print this, put it in a FedEx envelope and mail to Rob Manfred.

Also Tony Clark.

Alex Patton Alex
May 10
Dennis Eckersley Boston Red Sox

Following up on the post under Dave Stewart, rounding out the top five in the 1990 Cy Young voting in the AL...

4. Bobby Thigpen: 20 pts

5. Dennis Eckersley: 2 pts (tie with Dave Stieb)

Alex Patton Alex
May 10
Dave Stewart Oakland Athletics

He was also a very high pick in the XFL retro draft. Ahead of Welch, because of the Ks. ERA and WHIP.

To show what a different world it was 30 years ago, here's how the Cy Young vote went.

Bob Welch: 107 pts

Roger Clemens (the first pick in the XFL): 77

Dave Stewart: 43 

Alex Patton Alex
May 10
Bob Welch Oakland Athletics

Welch was still available in the third round of the XFL 1990 retro draft. I couldn't resist.

Wins aren't lucky in a retro draft.

With an opening hand of Ramon Martinez, Nolan Ryan and Welch, it was fun to go round after round with a commanding lead in wins and Ks. In the last rounds, a few desperate teams who gave up on ERA and WHIP (Tim, for instance) passed me in Wins and Ks.

Alex Patton Alex
May 10

I'm wondering if the owners are shooting themselves in the foot by reducing the size of the minor leagues.

First - the Pop Warner kid whose coach takes his team to see a minor league game can get hooked on the atmosphere of going to a game that watching the big leagues on TV can just never match.  The minors aren't just developmental for players - they're developmental for the fan base.

Second - as we're increasingly seeing in the new world of algorithm driven front offices, one of MLB's biggest tools for controlling the amount of money they spend is the replaceability of players of a certain level of skill.  And the more players you can keep under control, in developmental situations, the easier it is to find the right replacement player rather than fighting to retain that 1 WAR guy on your lineup come winter time.

Third, and perhaps most importantly - the money that owners spend on minor leagues doesn't come out of their pockets.  It comes out of the pockets of the superstars.  The $324 million the Yankees committed to spending on Cole this winter wasn't based on any analysis of intrinsic dollar value in revenues that Garrett Cole would add to their bottom line - it was based on wanting Garrett Cole, and how much money other teams were willing to spend on him.

If every other teams fixed costs of running the minor league system decline - then everyone else has more money to spend on Garrett Cole - and thus the Yankees have to spend more to procure Cole's services for the forseeable future.

In fact, the smart move by MLB would be to buy goodwill by committing to a higher salary for minor league players, thus taking that money off the table for teams to spend on free agency.  Publicly announcing that MLB will spend $50 million next year to raise minor league salaries would be a HUGE public relations boom ... the Yankees spending $324 million instead of $274 million on Garrett Cole did not make one single person more likely to want to attend a baseball game next year.

How the hell did these guys get so rich?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
May 10

Yes, players who were going to be drafted eventually are out of luck.

If I'm reading this right, all minor leaguers are out of luck.

Joel Sherman this afternoon:

"The plan, which was detailed by three sources, still must be approved by MLB owners. But if so, what would be recommended is a spring training 2.0 that starts in June, a regular season beginning in July, expanded playoffs, no minor-league-feeder system for this year and, thus, enlarged rosters. The Athletic first reported many of these details."

Alex Patton Alex
May 9
Dave Stewart Oakland Athletics

Some food for thought. Stewart and Welch both start  WS games for the A's vs the Dodgers in 1988. Stewart and Welch both pitched for the Dodgers vs the Yankees in the 81 WS.  Stewart and Welch both made their MLB debut for the Dodgers. Stewart and Welch both made their MLB debut in 1978. Both pitched 2 Innings in their debut. 

In spite of totally different career paths during that span. 

van wilhoite LVW
May 9

After getting screwed out of their proms and graduations, 5 rounds in the draft means lots of guys get screwed out of definite situations. Or lots of kids now have a chance to play for teams of their choice. 

One thing is for sure. The kids who were going to go 6th through 10th round are going to lose money. Or maybe they end up being last minute signees to college.

Bottom line, mlb is getting what they want. Cutting the bottom of the barrel.

On a side note, mlb trade rumors doing a re-imagining of the 2010 draft. Six of the top 15 in War would fall outside of this years number of draft picks: DeGrom, Calhoun, Meredith, Eaton, and Keirmeier.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
May 9

The Eck drawback is that as great as he was he's a 3-cat player, and 73 IP only go so far as a decimals edge. I too would have taken Sandberg #2, slight edge over Bonds who had a slight edge over Rickey imo. That said, I was surprised that Eck went as late as he did. Picking later in the first round and anytime in the second, it's rare that anything unique is available, and I would have taken Eck. But to do that you pretty much have to dump a cat right then. Otherwise there are too many balls to juggle, which was my problem. You live you learn.

Gene McCaffrey GeneM
May 9
George Springer Houston Astros

Per Houston Chronicle, Astros are  still laying the groundwork to re-sign Springer... Nice to see no bad blood from the Arbitration case this year...

"Whether a game is played in 2020 or not, George Springer is slated to become a free agent for the first time this coming winter. The Astros, however, hope to broker a long-term deal with their star outfielder, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. While he was overseeing the baseball ops department in between the firing of Jeff Luhnow and hiring of new GM James Click, owner Jim Crane “made it clear” to Springer’s representatives at Excel Sports Management that his club was interested in a long-term deal, Rome writes. Such talks aren’t permitted during the league’s transaction freeze, though the two sides can come back to the table once that freeze is lifted.

Crane made that desire clear not only in his words but also through his actions. As we noted at the time the two sides avoided arbitration, it’s uncommon these days for a team and player to agree on a one-year arrangement after arbitration numbers are filed. But Crane not only bucked the “file-and-trial” trend that permeates the game with regard to Springer — he inked the slugger at a $21MM rate that checked in north of the $20MM midpoint between Springer’s $22.5MM submission and the club’s $17.5MM figure.

Paired with Rome’s report on the situation, that seems like a clear show of good faith that the club hopes to keep Springer around for the long haul — keeping him in Houston alongside already-extended stars Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Bregman’s five-year, $100MM extension and Altuve’s $151MM extension both run through the 2024 campaign."

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
May 9
Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright (P) STL - May. 08

Wainwright continues to work his arm out in some form at least six days per week, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The veteran right-hander has not only continued his five-day-per-week throwing sessions with rotation mate Kwang-Hyun Kim, but the duo has actually upped its long-toss distance to almost 300 feet. Wainwright also reveals he's throwing to the team's bullpen catcher, Jamie Pogue, on one of the two days he's not playing catch, with the latter wearing a mask and a rubber glove on his throwing hand in order to keep the process safe. Wainwright reveals the extended layoff from baseball has helped him appreciate the game more and has also seemingly rejuvenated his arm, with the aforementioned distance achieved by him and Kim qualifying as one Wainwright hadn't managed in more than five years.

Alex Patton Alex
May 9
Dylan Cease Chicago White Sox

Whatever adjustments he's making in the offseason, he clearly gave himself a cease and desist order each time out in 2019 after giving up a gopher (two posts down).

Hey, it's a long offseason.

Alex Patton Alex
May 9

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