MLBRT 7/23… Cano, The Boss, Red Sox and more…

 

mlbrt-4- use this 1

The Boss… George Steinbrenner has been gone form this world for a bit now… the MLBRT crew looks at his legacy…

Did Cano make the right decision to go to Seattle?

And, can the Red Sox come back from last place in the AL East or is it too late, baby… it’s too late?

Expansion… and pitch clocks…

It’s all happening at MLBRT right here and now…

 

1) Recently MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, “Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I’m bullish on this game. I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And, over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I’m open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible.”

What is your opinion on the possibility of MLB expansion, aka adding teams?

Archie1Archie: My initial thoughts are that I am receptive because it would open up many more spots for those career minor leaguers that are just on the verge of breaking thru to the Majors. But, contrast to that, I feel the talent within the league is already a little “watered down” to the point that there are so many “just good enough to fill a spot” players already drawing big checks.

Dan: There’s no way the MLB should expand.

Rob Manfred
Rob Manfred

In my opinion, the MLB is at the max amount of teams that they should have to keep the league competitive. You’ll dilute the league. There’s already like 6-7 minor league teams per MLB team. That’s just more and more teams you have to add. It’s overkill. They’re good where they’re at.

Just like every other major sports league – NFL, NBA, NHL – they all have around 30 teams. No need for expansion, it’s unnecessary.

E.J. 12Earl: I’m not against the idea of expansion but I am not for it either. Looking at the map, where do you even put a new franchise? Charlotte? Las Vegas? Portland?

I mean, there are notable cities that could use a major league franchise but I’m not sure it’s worth diluting the talent pool even further by adding an expansion team or two.

meJoe: Hell… don’t even think about expanding MLB and watering down the talent pool, and therefore the game, even further than it presently is…

In fact, Manfred should be considering contraction of the sport… aka eliminating a few teams… instead.

Manfred‘s musings about expansion is one of the dumbest things he has said so far in his short tenure as the commissioner of the greatest sport in the world… baseball.

 

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: If, the city makes sense, then, sure, why not. But, I seriously do not think this is going to happen any time in the future.

Mexico in MLB's future?
Mexico in MLB’s future?

I have heard cities like Montreal have interest in bringing back a baseball team. Last time I remember, that Montreal had a team, they drew around 10,000 fans a game on average. Not going to happen.

There is talk that they may even consider Mexico City as a destination, that would be kinda cool, as you can draw some new fans and maybe some more talent.

I have heard Portland, San Antonio, even New Orleans, as a potential site. I could see this happening somewhere down the road, but, I feel like it won’t be in expansion. Instead, I think that teams like Tampa could be on their way out, and, it would be more like a relocation instead of expansion.

I think that 30 teams is plenty of teams to have in MLB, any thing more would just be too much. The season is long enough and I think too many teams may take something away from division games and so forth.  

2) Over the weekend, Robison Cano came into a Saturday game vs the Yankees hitting just .249 with six homers and 30 RBIs. He then proceeded to provide all of Seattle’s offense in a 4-3 wins by launching two 2-run HRs.

In 2013 Cano was offered a 7 year, $175 million contract to return to the Yankees, (which the Yanks were willing to extend to $180 mil but only at the 7-year-term) but turned it down for a deal with Seattle at $240 million over 10 years. When he took that $240 mil he left behind hitter friendly Yankee stadium and to play in Safeco field which is not a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Playing devil’s advocate/arm-chair-QB…

Part 1… was Cano’s decision to leave the NY Yankees the smartest move he could have made? And, part 2… are the Yankees secretly happy he made that decision?

Archie1Archie: Hindsight is always 20/20. So, NO and NO.

I think the Yankees would love to still have him in pinstripes, but, at the prestated price tag.

I DON”T think he made the best decision to leave the Yankees.robinson cano

Dan: No, Cano should’ve taken the deal with the Yankees. They were offering, if they would’ve bumped up to $180 million over 7 years, roughly $26 million per year while the Mariners are only paying him $24 million per year and he has 3 more years added on the contract. He wanted to take the years, but, I would’ve took the money. I understand why he did what he did, but, I would’ve taken the money. Plus, the Yankees will pay you and it’s a hitter-friendly park in which you can pad some hits on your career logs.

I think, the Yankees are happy he made the deal he made in the sense that they don’t have to pay him $26 million over 7 years but with how he hit 2 2-run HRs in the Mariners 4-3 win, and, how he hits well and was a very good hitter at Yankee Stadium, they miss his production. So, I think it’s a happy/sad emotion that they’re having. Happy regarding money, miss the production he has. But, I think they’ll be better off without him over these next 7 years

E.J. 12Earl: Not the smartest move, and, yes, the Yankees should be happy.

Look, Cano followed the money and if I remember correctly I was all in favor of Cano going to Seattle. However, he hasn’t really had the impact on and off the field that he was hoping for. That happens sometimes in sports, but, if I am the Yankees then I have to think I dodged a bullet in not having Cano accept that contract.

meJoe: As far as part one of the questions… Cano was lead down the old thorny path by his agency that, I believe, was not in his best interests. In fact, if, you do the math the Yankees’ offer was a better offer, money-wise, per year than the Mariners offer. If, he took the Mariners offer… 10 years @ $240 mil… he would obviously average $24 mil a year. If he took the Yankees’ offer.. either one, in fact… he would have made more money per year… the 7 year @ $170 mil averages out to $24.29 mil a year while the 7 year @ $180 mil averages out to $25.7 mil a year.

Ummm… duh….

Plus, he left a hitters ball park, where HRs seem to fly out into the seats, to go to a non-hitters park… go figure.

So, whether he came to the contract conclusion all of his own volition or he was bamboozled by his agency…. A fledging sports agency led by a neophyte in the game, Mr. JayZ, who was arguably trying to make their mark in the sports contract negotiation game with a big splash, in my opinion he took the wrong deal.MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners

As far as part two of the question… without a doubt the Yankees secretly wiped the sweat off their collective brows and secretly probably said here’s your coat; here’s your hat don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on your way out.  

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: For the money that Cano got from Seattle? Financially, he made a damn good decision to sign with the Mariners. Now, as for his production? It is a down year for him that is for sure, but, it happens to the best players. Even the great Albert Pujols has had a down year the past couple years only to come back to his prime. Cano will be fine. He may be having a down year, but I think that he will be just fine next year, and, he should rebound to be back around .300 with 20 plus HR. 

As for the Yankees? I don’t think they secretly were happy that Cano left. I mean judging by his performance this year it is easy to say that. However, I think that the Yankees really wanted to keep Cano in pinstripes for the long haul. So no, I don’t think they are counting their blessings so to say. 

Editors Note: An article in the Sports section of Bussines Insider online is reporting… “… over the last month, Cano has steadily improved, and in his seven games since the All-Star break has suddenly caught fire and begun to look like the player the Mariners thought they were getting. In July, Cano is batting .352 with a .399 OBP, a .655 slugging percentage — almost double his season average from April to June. ” and “Cano had been struggling since last September, and said part of it was due to a stomach parasite that he contracted. Though he got treatment for the parasite, he was left with acid reflux disease, which he said made him feel bloated and nauseous at times, affecting his physical performance.”

3) Recently there was a column on 7Poundbag about George Steinbrenner the III… it essentially said that most sports fans kinda, sorta hate the man, but, if the truth be told, would love to have him as an owner of the team they root for because money was always no object in doing what he needed to do to make the Yankees a perennial contender for the World Series…

Now, that George has since gone to the great beyond and is causing havoc in heaven, or hell, (poor St. Michael or Beelzebub as the case may be), and, we all have had time to digest what George was and what he meant to the game of baseball….

How do you see George and his place in the history of the game?

Archie1Archie: I really do not miss his “interference”, but, Yankee fans may come to miss his financial prowess.Yankees Under George Steinbrenner

I am one of those that would have loved for him to be the Braves owner. Look how they began to flourish as a team under Ted Turner, but, now, not so much under a conglomerate.

Dan: Steinbrenner is a legend in my eyes. He taught teams how to spend money without a care. If you got it, spend it and get the best players you can acquire no matter the cost and that’s just what he did. He did spend stupid at times, but, the Yankees had money like that to spend so it really didn’t hurt them.

But, He really exploded contracts in free agency and I’ll always remember him as creating great Yankee teams by spending tons of money. I believe, if my memory serves me correct, he was the first to spend over $200 million on a payroll.

 

E.J. 12Earl: I am a New Yorker. I am not a Yankee fan but as a New Yorker I have all due respect for The Boss, George Steinbrenner. He got in his own way at times, but, he was a large figure that for a time was synonymous with the Yankees.George-Steinbrenner

As far as history goes, I don’t think history is going to be all that kind to him due to his various histrionics that he displayed during his time of owning the Yankees. Yeah, some like myself, will look back at it and chuckle but I’m sure the smarter figures in the game will just roll their eyes dismissively at what was The Boss.

meJoe: I left some very long comments on that 7Poundbag article that went back and forth with another regular contributor to the 7Poundbag site trying to explain my position on George… I won’t repeat what I said in its entirety here because it would just be much too long but I will say this… George could be an enfant terrible at times… he could also do things that were behind the scenes, as well as in the public eye, that were wonderful;, kind, and full of mercy… His good acts do not necessarily make up for some of the stupid drek did. But, he was called the Boss for a reason. And, the simple fact was that the he relished in the name. He thrived with the power that he could administer, and, I believe, he was probably a victim of some form of an obsessive-compulsive affliction wherein he needed to always be in control and had a drive to be right no matter what or how wrong he could be.

George & Billy
George & Billy

George, in many ways, was as tragic figure as was one of his favorite hirings ever was… Mr. Billy Martin. Each contributed to the game in ways that were damn good, yet, each diminished the good that they contributed by sometimes playing the ass because of their demons that raged within their psyches.

 

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: I may take a little criticism about what I am about to say.

I am not a fan of George Steinbrenner, or, the Steinbrenner family to be honest with you. I never like owners of clubs to buy high priced talent in order to win championships. What is funny about it, is the guys that really contributed the most for the Yankees in the years past, have been home grown talent… Jeter, who is probably in the conversation for top 5 Yankee of all time… Rivera who is easily the best closer in the game.

Those two names are significant to the Yankees, not like guys like A-Rod whom they grossly overpaid for, and, look where that got them. You talk about regrets on a player?

Then guys like Teixiera, who is having a great year, but is not going to go down as a top Yankee overall. STEINBRENNER1

I admire owners who can take a baseball team, develop them, and win championships. Not throw their money around like their shit don’t stink. Despite my personal thoughts on George Steinbrenner, his name will go down as someone you will always remember in baseball, and his outragious personality is probably second to none in all of Baseball. He is by far the most well known owner in all of sports, and, that will continue for years to come. 

4) Seems lately the Boston Red Sox obituary is being written by quite a few of the writers that post, or write, for some online sports site… many are also saying that if Red Sox they don’t pull the trigger on a deal for at least one decent pitcher then stick a fork in them because they are done…

What’s your opinion on the state of the Boston American League Baseball Company… aka the Red Sox… and their chances to make the playoffs in 2015?

Archie1Archie: I have given up tracking MLB for the next month, or so, due to work and other things so I’m not as up to date on baseball as I would be normally.

However, I really do not see them making the playoffs given their current state of affairs, and, for the first time in quite awhile they MAY be sellers here in a couple of weeks.

David Ortiz
David Ortiz

Dan: Right now, the Red Sox need some help. They’re faltering and it’s not looking good. They’re 9 games back in the AL East at 42-51, are 4-6 in their last 10 games and have just lost 5 straight. They need to turn it around to have a chance but I give them a 20% chance at making the playoffs. It’s not looking good for them. They need to get really hot in August and September to get a chance at the playoffs. If they don’t heat up soon, they won’t make it.

 

E.J. 12Earl: It’s disappointing but no one is running away with the AL East. Yes, the Red Sox are in last place but they are only 8 games out. It’s not something that is insurmountable at this point.

A trade or two for some ace pitching would help, no doubt, but, I’m not prepared to call off this season for the Red Sox.

meJoe:  As I write this there are about 75 more games to go in the 2105 season…somehow the Red Sox are only about 7 games out of first place in the AL East.red sox lineup 2015

As for their future fortunes… I think we have not heard the last from the Red Sox this year no matter how much how much they appear to be behind the eight ball as of this moment. Do I think they will make the playoffs this year? Nope. Do I think there could be surprises before the year is over that allows them to slip into the playoffs through the back door? Yep.

My short answer is it ain’t over until it’s over and I wouldn’t count the Red Sox down and out and write any obits until they are mathematically out of it.

Ramirez & Sandavol
Ramirez & Sandavol

 

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: I’ll make this short and simple. Boston needs to unload guys like Sandoval, and, maybe even Ramirez and try to get a few prospects to help them next year and beyond.

Boston has very little chance to jump over three teams in the American League, and, I think the way they all are playing right now, the Red Sox are destined for yet another last place finish. They need to unload, and rebuild, not necessarily a complete remodel, but they need to clean house and build a winning franchise again. 

5) The talk about a pitch clock is roiling about from time to time on the news wires… MLB ( aka owners et al) are leaning toward it, while, MLBPA (aka the players) are saying “Hell, no!”

Yet, in the official MLB rule book are these rules….

Rule number 8.04, “When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher is to deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds.”

That is from the time the pitcher is in possession of the baseball with the batter in the batter’s box ready to go to when the ball is thrown.

The penalty for violating this rule is a “ball” added onto the count.

Rule 8.05, which is the balk rule, under part ‘h’ of that rule, states that if the “pitcher unnecessarily delays the game”, that the umpire can call a balk when runner(s) are on base.

Conversely…

Rule 6.02(c)… “If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out.”

Now, it’s true that umpires are hesitant to do that without giving a extensive fair warning , but. if the batter does not enter the box and unnecessrily delays the game, an umpire can continue the procedure until the batter has struck out.

This is not just theoretical… in 2013 the minor-league player Vinnie Catricala took the first pitch for a strike, stepped out of the box to argue the call, and, wound up striking out without getting another pitch. What Vinnie did in that game besides strike out without actually being in the batter’s box is truly amazing… see… http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2013/8/2/4582814/the-anatomy-of-a-one-pitch-strikeout)

Ok… now that we have digested all that… does using a pitch clock make sense or is necessary in MLB?

Archie1Archie: We answered this once before and My answer remains the same, Hell No.

I am with the players on this one. IF YOU WANT a faster paced game………………… watch something else. Strategy comes and goes as the pitcher and catcher versus the batter play their cat and mouse game and I DON’T CARE.

Dan: No, a pitch clock isn’t necessary.Pitch clock

People constantly talk about the length of the game, baseball is boring…. but, what’s a pitch clock going to do besides to just rush the pitcher and create more passed balls and miscommunication between pitcher and catcher. Really, there’s no need for a pitch clock.

To me, there really isn’t a need for it besides for a select few pitchers who are notorious for slow games – like Jeff Suppan was for example.

E.J. 12Earl: I will give a very short answer to a long question: No pitch clock.

Leave the game alone.

 

meJoe: Read the rules… the power to speed up the game is all there and in the hands of the umps. Start enforcing the rules and there will never be a need for any clock in Baseball.

Simple enough?

Good.

 

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: I am not too big a fan of the pitch clock, because there are too many factors that will go into this. AFLCLock

How many times is the pitcher allowed to step off the mound, throw over to first base, call time out to talk to his catcher? I feel that if the pitcher feels like he is being rushed, he may attempt something like that. Does the rule apply to runners on base? A pitcher can essentially throw over to first to regroup.

I don’t think that it needs to be done in MLB, especially since the game has started to speed up as of late. So, no, this does not make sense, it doesn’t need to be done. I would be more for limiting a batter the amount of times he can step out of the box. 

Extra Innings…

Today on July 23rd in baseball history…

  • 1890  Harry Stovey of Boston’s Players League club becomes the first Major League player to reach 100 career home runs.
  • 1956  Joe Cronin and Hank Greenberg are officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York.
  • 1964 – Kansas City A’s rookie Bert Campaneris sends Minnesota to defeat 4-3 with two home runs in his Major League debut. The first comes on the first pitch thrown to him by Jim Kaat. The 21-year-old Cuban and Bob Nieman are the only players since 1900 with two home runs in their first Major League game.
  • 1965  Dick Stuart homers in a Major League record twenty-third different park when he connects at Shea Stadium in Philadelphia’s 5-1 win.
  • 1974 – The National League triumphs 7-2 in the All-Star Game at Pittsburgh. Write-in choice first baseman Steve Garvey of the Dodgers is the game’s MVP.
  • 1978 – The Yankees win their fifth straight, 3-1, over the White Sox. At the Chicago airport, Billy Martin, reacting to reporters’ questions about Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner, replies, “The two deserve each other. One’s a born liar; the other’s convicted.” The remarks will cost Billy his job.
  • 1991  Rob Dibble, just back from a three-game suspension, is ejected for throwing at – and hitting – Cubs baserunner Doug Dascenzo in an 8-5 Reds loss.

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