From the Department of Does Anyone Besides Marketing People Think This is a Good Idea:
Major League Baseball will continue talks next month on a plan that would pit the World Series winner against Japan’s champion.
The linked article talks about nothing besides the weather in the respective championship cities. But I’m not terribly concerned about that. Mostly because it would almost certainly be the case that a neutral site was picked. There are a lot of domes in Japan. I’m sure U.S. games would be played so late in the year that they’d have to move to Milwaukee or Seattle or Los Angeles or something anyway.
No, what I’m worried about is when the ace pitcher of the World Series champ blows his arm out while pitching his 300th inning of the year, all in the interests of defeating the Chiba Lotte Marines. Not to slight the Marines — fine ballclub, I’m sure — but that’s not what the Giants are playing Tim Lincecum to do. And it’s certainly not what Giants fans want to see. I’m guessing the same goes for Marines fans and their ace too.
This idea is about nothing but marketing.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.