Category Archives: baseball owners

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT….(CHAPTER THREE)

Once again, a-siegel-deadline
in tribute to the late newspaper journalist and reporter Jimmy Cannon, this piece attempts to capture the flavor of what he might be writing about today………

…..The Chosen One in this year’s free agency field images (9)appears to be Ben Zobrist, (right) who is flexible regarding defensive positions and has just enough offensive power to make him a valued addition for several teams. Reasonably priced, watch the scramble for his services carry well into the winter.

…..When are the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays just gonna images (10)wave a white flag and move the team to a real (potentially) big league city? San Antonio, Texas comes to mind……cynically the answer might be pretty simple….despite the underwhelming support of their fan base, the owners are still making $$$$.

…..Even more than his outstanding abilities with a ball imagesor bat in his hand, Zach Greinke is a student of the game. So much so that he was a welcome resource in the Dodgers war room on Draft Day last year. If he wants, his next career will be as a General Manager of a (lucky) major league team. Continue reading

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT….. (Chapter 2)

Thisa-siegel-deadline is the second in a series dedicated to Jimmy Cannon, the late but not forgotten journalist who wrote a weekly column read by his many followers.

****If I were Chase Utley’s agent, I would advise him to drop his appeal. He didn’t play last night and it is unlikely that Mattingly would thrust him into the fray tonight. That makes two games “served”. MLB would probably buy that. Meanwhile, he can conjure up a statement that says something like, “Maybe, I was a little too aggressive on that play” – and we move on til the Winter when the Baseball Gods meet to refine the rules.

****David Price coming into a game in the fifth inning with a five run lead tells me that either the Blue Jays have no confidence in their bullpen or maybe they were just desperate to get Price a playoff win, cheap as it was.

****There is no reason why games need to be scheduled one at a time. Fans should be able to pick the game of their choosing, much like we see with the NFL. Oops, I forgot – what’s wrong with me? That would negate the $$$ grab by MLB and their sponsors. 

****Joe Madden is a perfect fit for the city of Chicago and the Cubs.

****Okay, how many of you will be watching the Democratic Debate on CNN tonight? Raise your hands please, I can’t see them.

****I tend to like watching playoff baseball, especially because the crowds are frenzied and very loud – and this trends to drown out the voices of the announcers.

****But on the other hand, I would buy my own satellite if I could listen to Vin Scully’s call of a ballgame every night.

****Either the strike zone graphics we see now are off or these umpires are doing a pretty darn good job of calling balls and strikes these days.

****Could the resume of Joe Torre as both a successful player and manager support the position he has now with MLB any better? Sometimes, they do get things right.

****Is there any doubt now (despite what Terry Collins said that he was “saving him” for the crucial third game last night) that Jacob DeGrom is the Ace of the Met’s staff – and not Matt The Brat.
Continue reading

GIRARDI’S EPITAPH MISSES THE MARK

New York Yankees manager Joe Girard’s press conference yesterday included a look forward to 2016 as well as a glance backward at ” what happened”. Most telling were his largely defensive comments explaining how he tried to give his aging lineup enough rest so they could limp to the finish line. Left unsaid, probably because he’s a true professional, is the question he must have been asking himself all season……..”Why do I even have to deal with this?”

The New York Yankees are old. Even Brett Gardner (left) who is considered “young” by team standards will be 33 next August. Along with Jacob Ellsbury, (below) he appeared to lose his legs down the stretch and both weighed heavily in the Yankee’s decline and inability to catch the Blue Jays. More telling, Ellsbury was sat by Girardi against Houston in favor of Chris Young. He may regret that decision now but it is indicative of the decisions Girardi had to cope with all year.

Even more baffling was Girardi’s insistence that the Yankees are good to go for next year. Again, he is not the type to put any of his players in harm’s way. But he could have deferred the question to Brian Cashman who will be weighing in soon and it is likely that he will have a entirely different take on next year’s roster. More importantly, ownership is likely to take notice of the continuing decline of TV ratings on YES. Even fans like myself found my way to SNY and the youthful and energetic Mets more often than not.  We’ve seen this cast before and watching Alex Rodriguez go 1-4 with three strikeouts and a home run is getting downright boring. And I sense that a good portion of the fan base agrees.

Some tough decisions need to be made quickly. CC Sabathia is one of them. As difficult as it would be (in light of his personal problems now), he needs to be cut loose and his salary eaten. Same with Teixeria who is a injury waiting to happen all year, every year. The kids the Yankees have need to be in the forefront of the lineup and in full view of the fans and media. Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Michael (above) Pineda (if he can stay healthy and grow up – pine tar?) and Rob Refsnyder are budding stars. Don’t let them wait for a spot to clear in the lineup when a aging “regular” goes down with injury. And for God sakes, do not sign David Price or any other veteran over the age of 26. 

In truth, the Yankees are no longer fun to watch. That needs to change………and while I’m thinking about it…….maybe a change at the helm needs to be made too.images-8 $$$ is always the big factor though and a year of Girardi’s contract would need to be eaten. We know what George would have done regardless of the cost. His son Hal moves to center stage now………it’s been six long years since the Yankees posted a Championship in 2009. The Boss would never have stood for that…..no way….no how.

 

EXPAND TO 40 – BUT ONLY 28 ARE ELIGIBLE EACH GAME

Tomorrow, each Major League team will have as many as 40 players eligible to play in games until the end of the regular season – and then they go back to the normal 25 for the duration of the playoffs.

Presumably, this rule was designed to reward a team’s best minor league players a cup of coffee in “The Show” and to allow management a chance to look forward to next year to see which players have progressed the most. This rule is outdated and needs to be changed at the Owners Meeting this winter…..and here’s why.

Nearly all of the players who will be called up have already had their cup of coffee and a steak too. This is due to the myriad of injuries at the Major League level. Minor Leaguers get called up to replace a banged up regular or for a spot start or bullpen help…….and then are optioned out only to be recalled later for the same purpose. The “Transactions” section of the sports page often takes up a full column.

Beyond that, the iimportation of these fresh faces skews the Division Races and confuses the fans. It’s NOT the same team that has battled through five months and 130 games. A hot shot comes up and tears up the league for three weeks…….and that’s fair? Baseball is reduced to a crap shoot of which team catches lightning in a bottle for a few days……….no……..that’s not fair and it needs to be challenged and corrected.

Suit up forty……give them all a taste and some energy moving forward……but when the manager brings out the lineup card…..only 28 are eligible to play in that game. That’s still three extra. Use ’em any way you want (maybe to give a veteran a couple of days rest down the stretch…….or maybe you skip a starting pitcher)…..but you still only get an extra three.

The Commissioner and owners talk about parity all the time and they’ve done a good job by and large bringing it about with things like the Rule 5 Draft and a bottom first regular draft……but this would help bring about parity DURING the regular season when it should count the most.