This week the MLBRT crew discusses… The Red Sox chances in 2016… as well as David Ortiz’… Big Papi… farewell year in MLB…
Plus… What in the world is going on in Jenrry Mejia’s mind?
And a lottery system for the sport’s draft?
… and the WBC.
1) Mets’ pitcher Jenrry Mejia made baseball history when he became the first player to be permanently suspended by Major League Baseball after testing positive a third time… all within a year’s time and while under a suspension already… for a performance-enhancing substance.
In your opinion is there any logical possible reason he would continue using a PED during that time? And considering the fact that he can apply for reinstatement after a year, will he ever throw another MLB pitch?
Archie: No reason for him to continue the use. In fact, other than trying to make a MLB roster from the Dominican Republic there probably never was other than that seems to be the trend with many of the Latin American players trying to break through into MLB baseball. But, certainly after getting popped and suspended the first time one has to wonder “what the hell was he thinking” to get popped again while already suspended.
He is still young enough to take a year off and still make it back, the issue here is, however, will MLB let him come back after only a year suspension under the “banned for life” banner. IF, their plan was to allow him to return after a season then they would have only suspended him for a year. I don’t think we will see Mejia in a MLB uniform for at least three years. Then the issue becomes, how ready will he be after 3 years.
I don’t think he will pitch another pitch in the MLB. Who knows when he’ll pass a drug test.
Earl: How dumb can one person be? I’m interested in hearing why he kept using an illegally banned substance, but, I hope he doesn’t get reinstated in a year’s time. He doesn’t deserve to be reinstated.
And, no, he does not deserve to throw another pitch in MLB. He’s a young enough man that he can still make a career pitching in the Dominican, Mexico, or probably in Japan, but, he should be done in Major League Baseball for being an idiot.
Joe: In my mind, there can only be two possible explantions for his continued trangressions against MLB’s PED rules… (1) He is using contaminated supplements, and/or, (2) he is an idiot.
No matter which scenario applies… or… if it’s both… the dictum is: You are resposible for what goes into your body. He… or his agent… should be taking whatever he using to his team’s trainers/medical personnel and having them test whatever substances he is using. Obviously, he isn’t, or, if he did, he is ignoring any warnings/advice given to him. Bottom line… he screwed up royally and now needs to pay the price.
He can appeal to the comissonner all he wants, but, I really don’t see him having his suspesnion lifted any time soon… and by that I mean, I think he will be under suspension for a minimum of two years if not longer. I really don’t see him making it back to the Majors after what is probably going to be a very long suspenion.
Steve: There has to be something seriously mentally wrong with Mejia to be caught three times for PED’s, knowing that they are banned substances. If there is not something mentally wrong with him, he is a flat out idiot.
To answer the next question, No, he will never throw another pitch in MLB. No team is first going to take a chance on a cheater, and a habitual drug user who obviously cant take a hint. As far as reinstatement goes? Pete Rose was also eligible for reinstatement, and look how that has gone for him?
2) After dipping into their wallets and acquiring Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez for some big money the Red Sox failed to make the post season. Now, the Sox have once more dipped back into their cash reserves and got David Price as a free agent in a ginormous money deal and then traded for Craig Kimbrel.
Archie: To me Price and Kimbrel solidify a lot of what was wrong with the Sox last year. I can see where Price can help the young lefties and bring them along on the journey. They already have one of the best hitting infields in the AL with Pedroia, Sandoval and Ramirez. At age 39 Big Papi was still very effective last season with a 139 OPS+. So, I guess it comes down to what can the OF do to help and will it be enough?
If, you look and compare to last season then I would say no; at least on the offensive side of things. So, I can see where they will still finish no better than third in the East. UNLESS, their pitching and defense is solid enough to carry them to the break in contention then ownership MAY take a look to see who is available to bolster their outfield. Since, they have opened their wallets they might still look to trade prior to start of spring training.
Boston has a lot of top quality players but Hanley Ramirez isn’t exactly the same as he was in Miami. I think the Blue Jays are just a better overall team.
Earl: I think the American League East is up for the taking. Every team have some big question marks. The Yankees improved their bullpen with Chapman, but they have some question marks in their starting rotation and lineup. The Blue Jays have to prove that they can go out and repeat the successes of last season and do that without David Price, and, the Orioles and Rays have their own issues. So, why not the Red Sox? Hanley Ramirez is going to be adjusting to first base but with an improved rotation in Price, and a closer in Kimbrel the Sox will be in the hunt.
My prediction? They’ll land the 2nd wildcard spot.
That is to say… at least not without complete turnarounds from Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. I think Sandoval is no longer the player he once was… at one point I was on-board with predicting that Sandoval would win at least one MVP. And Ramirez, I’m not sure what the hell happened to him but the Sox moving him to left field where he had no business being didn’t help his transitioning into being a force on the team. Now, they expect him to move to first and while that may prove to be beneficial in some aspects, once again, he’s got to be preoccupied with adjusting defensively to a new position which can’t help his overall game and what he can contribute to the team offensively.
I questioned why the Red Sox would go out and get two third basemen last year… seemed like a positional redundancy. UNLESS, they intended to DH one of the players, but, that wasn’t going to happen with David Ortiz on the team.
Bottom line, the Sox need their young players to start producing, Dustin Pedroia needs to be the hitter he used to be and Sandoval, Ramirez and Ortiz need to do a little bopping of some three run HRs for the Sox to be contenders in 2016. And, they need their starters to stay injury free.
Sorry BoSox fans… out of the playoffs again is my prediction.
I like their chances to advance all the way to the World Series this season, given that it is Ortiz’ last season. They have some pitching depth, and I see Sandoval having a breakout season as well. Price adds a solid arm to the rotation, and he will once again be a star and a Cy Young contender.
If, they stay healthy, the Sox have a great chance to hold the trophy in October once again.
3) Recently, the idea of a draft lottery, similar to the systems used by the NBA and NHL, has been floated as a topic of discussion. Union chief Tony Clark has even said it would be “beneficial” to explore a draft lottery in the next collective bargaining agreement discussions.
In your opinion, should Baseball seriously consider a draft lottery?
Archie: Baseball and the draft is so unlike the other pro sports in the sense that hardly EVER does a player get drafted to make an immediate impact at the Major League level. Even the best of the best does time in the Minors prior to moving up; sometimes for development and sometimes for money matters. Mike Trout drafted in ’09 debuted ’11. Bryce Harper ’10 debuted ’12, Kris Bryant ’13 debuted ’15. And, these three are thought to have been fast tracked to the majors. Chipper Jones was drafted in the 1990 draft and never had his first full season until 1995. This is one of the first differences that would dictate changing the style of the draft.
Next you have the fact of the pool depth. MLB has 40 rounds of selections. The NHL has 7 rounds and the NBA is down to two rounds. So, the lottery makes more sense for the NHL and the NBA since there are such a limited number of selections to be made.
In baseball there are literally “diamonds in the rough” to be had in many rounds below the top two. John Smoltz is a classic case of this: 22nd Round of the ’85 draft. So, the fact that NONE of the MLB teams are going to throw their 1st round pick out in the field their first and many times second year; the lottery does not make much sense.
Dan: No, they shouldn’t. What a draft lottery does is even the chances of a high pick. A team can have a great season, get the #1 overall pick and improve even more with a young player they’ll have for many years. In baseball, there’s not really a way of tanking. There is, but I don’t see a point in destroying the player’s value and degrading their team even more. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense. For a team to grow, it needs top picks in the draft. It’s no fair that Kansas City wins the World Series, then turns around and gets the number one pick. That’s just not fair.
Keep the system how it is. It isn’t broken, so why change it?
If, you have the worst record, you might as well get the #1 pick. You still have to go out and sign the player, and, as we have seen in baseball that is not a guarantee anyway. So, they might as well leave well and well enough alone
Let the MLB draft remain as it is.
Let teams rebuild their franchise if they would like and work the draft to build their team. I like that a lot better than teams just going out and buying their teams to try and win a championship.
4) In news you might have missed… Australia recently clinched a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament.
Do you care about this tournament or is it fast becoming a “who cares” tournament and in all likelihood a major annoyance for MLB?
Why not have this thing in the winter somewhere warm and let those that wish to participate do so at the permission of their current teams. They should NEVER go play at a time of the year they should be dedicating to their fellow teammates and fans.
To me, it was just some more baseball. I haven’t heard any major shows or local radio discussing anything about it, even in their sports’ updates reports. It means people aren’t concerned with it. They only watch it because it’s more baseball, and, it’s something to watch at night, etc.
Earl: Could care less about the World Baseball Classic but props to Australia for making it. That’s big for the future of the game in their country, but, I don’t keep tabs on the tournament and I’m sure most fans in the United States could care less.
That alone should make it a huge annoyance for MLB.
Plus, the timing of the event does more harm than any good to some MLB teams as they have players not with the team contributing to achieving the team’s real and more important objective… trying to get to the playoffs, and ultimately the World Series, so they have a chance to win a world championship.
Frankly, there are really more than enough baseball events throughout the world and the WBC is just not necessary any more.
I thought when it first started, it was a good way to promote MLB to other countries and give some international stars a chance to shine on the big stage. While that occurred, I think more and more International players are finding their way to the big leagues without the WBC.
5) What’s your prediction for David Ortiz in this his farewell year, otherwise known as the 2016 season?
Barring any injuries I don’t see why he can’t come close to matching his numbers from last season; which by the way were still pretty darn good: 37 HRs, 108 RBIs, 95k’s while having a .913 OPS. Pretty darn good.
It’ll be a good way to end his career and begin preparing for the Hall of Fame induction he deserves.
I’m not going to put a number on it, but as I kind of stated earlier, I can see the farewell season of Big Papi and the additions the Sox have made, push them towards the playoffs.
I expect he should put up similar numbers in 2016, too. Maybe a tad less than in 2015 but decent all the same… 25 HRs and maye 85 to 90 RBIs is probably a good guess.
I think he will lead the Red Sox to the top of the AL East again this year and end the season playing in one more World Series.
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