I haven’t seen the press release yet, but Gordon Edes reports that Bud Selig has announced the formation of a committee that will study the origins of the game of baseball. On the committee: Baseball historian John Thorn, noted plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin, and sepia tycoon Ken Burns.
I don’t want to make rash predictions, but my guess is that with this crowd running things it will be determined that baseball was invented by Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams some time in the mid-1960s. And the text of the report will be lifted in its entirety from A Time to Remember by Rose Kennedy.
Ah well, probably doesn’t matter anyway. This is a Bud Selig-created committee. The same Bud Selig who last year was either so ignorant or so unwilling to ruffle feathers that he said that he believed Abner Doubleday invented the game, and everyone knows that’s a bunch of malarkey. And given his track record with committees, we won’t have any results out of this thing until sometime in the spring of 2025.
Personally speaking I’m opposed to the search for the origins of baseball. I believe in baseball Creationism. The game is too orderly to have simply evolved. A man can throw a ball that curves? You can’t explain that!
UPDATE: Oh, one more thing: before Bud Selig unleashes his committee, perhaps he’d be well-served to watch the movie — that was produced by MLB.com itself — about the origins of baseball. I watched at the SABR convention back in 2008. It was pretty good! Sort of defeats the purpose of the committee too!
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.
Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.
Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.
Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.