Jay Bruce to miss 6-8 weeks with fractured wrist

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Jay Bruce received
some good news and some bad news on his fractured right wrist this
afternoon. The good news is that he won’t need season-ending surgery
after an MRI exam revealed no damage to tendons or ligaments. The bad
news is that he’s still expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks and
could miss the remainder of the season without going under the knife.

Bruce was hitting just .207/.283/.441 in 83 games before the injury,
which is production that Chris Dickerson and Jonny Gomes should be able
to at least match if platooned. However, the ugly .207 batting average
masked the fact that Bruce was showing more power and plate discipline
than he did as a rookie and missing two months with a wrist injury puts
a major damper on the 22-year-old’s development.

Among the 112 outfielders in baseball history with at least 750
plate appearances through the age of 22, Bruce ranks 14th in Isolated
Power with Miguel Cabrera, Andruw Jones, and Barry Bonds directly in
front of him and Hank Aaron, Jose Canseco, and Justin Upton right
behind him. He’s already got the power-hitting part down and has also
improved his patience significantly as a sophomore, upping his walk
rate by 23 percent.

He’s posted a modest .749 OPS through his first 191 games in the
majors, but 39 homers, 71 total extra-base hits, and 63 walks in 785
plate appearances show that Bruce definitely has superstar potential if
his batting average rises. He’s whiffed in 22 percent of his trips to
the plate, which helps explain the lowly .235 career mark, but Bruce
hit .308 in the minors and should cut his strikeouts with more

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.