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Colby Rasmus’ family members are hanging out in the HBT comments, arguing about stuff

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You never know who you might run into in the HardballTalk comments section. Last week Curt Flood’s son stopped by to respond to an article about his dad and now it sure seems like a member of Colby Rasmus’ family is hanging out and arguing about stuff.

Someone using the screen name “trasmus3” has made a series of comments dating back to last week and continuing until just minutes ago. For whatever reason I initially assumed it was Rasmus’ brother, but then I remembered that Rasmus’ dad, Tony Rasmus, made headlines in the past for posting stuff on Cardinals-related blogs and message boards.

Here’s the exchange “trasmus3” has been having with a commenter named “spudchukar” in my post from last week naming Rasmus as one of my “breakout picks” for 2011:

spudchukar: Since he is a Georgia boy, and there have been rumors of him being interested in playing for the Braves, what would you think of a Rasmus/Heyward deal?

trasmus3: He is not a Georgia boy. He is from Alabama. Always has been. Always will be. His brother plays on the Braves farm team.

trasmus3: But his brother is from Alabama too. lol

spudchukar: According to Wikipedia, UPI, MLB, Baseball-Reference, Bing, and ESPN, Colby Rasmus was born in Columbus, GA

trasmus3: Well, according to his mom, his dad, his grandad, his grandmom, his high school (In Alabama), his 1998 little league world series record, his 3 brothers he is an Alabama boy/man. Maybe that is a bit of the problem in the US. People have a tendancy to believe the media and anybody else that makes a post that is inaccurate. Being born across the river in Columbus does not make u a Georgia boy. Where you live probably has more depth to the statement and definately if his momma says he is an Alabama boy that ends the discussion. lol

LOL, indeed. In addition to arguing about where Rasmus is from, our hero “trasmus3” also had a couple other exchanges. For instance, here’s his response to someone comparing Rasmus to “overpaid J.D. Drew”:

It sure would be nice if he would get overpayed. At the moment he definately is not.

And here’s his response to someone saying “I’d like to see him mature and realize his potential”:

Every year every male matures a bit. Then before you know it, we catch up to the females.

As someone who had to block the IP address on his mother’s computer to keep her from commenting on his blog constantly, I find this whole thing incredibly amusing. I love it all, from the place of birth arguments and wisdom about women to the misspellings and frequent use of “LOL.” Please don’t leave, “trasmus3”!

Are the current Collective Bargaining Agreement talks too friendly?

Scott Boras
Associated Press
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Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1. There have been comments from both commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA director Tony Clark suggesting that progress was being made and there has been no suggestion thus far that there are sticking points which could lead to a work stoppage. Heck, even a few acrimonious rounds of negotiation before it’s all said and done seem unlikely.

That’s good news for fans, but it’s not making certain agents happy. Smooth labor sailing likely means a new CBA that is pretty close in most terms to the current CBA. Agents — especially agents who represent veterans — don’t like that because they believe that the current rules regarding free agency, draft pick compensation, luxury taxes and qualifying offers penalize the players they represent. Today Ken Rosenthal has a story about that anger, talking to both anonymous agents and super agent Scott Boras about how baseball’s middle class is disappearing and baseball’s median salary goes lower and lower.

Major League Baseball counters that while the median salary is going down, the average salary is going up. And baseball is right about that. But it’s also the case that the average is propped up by a handful of superstar contracts while the somewhat less lucrative but still nice mid-level contracts for mid-level veterans are disappearing. The financial landscape of the game is morphing into one with a small upper class with nine-figure contracts and a large lower class of pre-arbitration players and veterans on shorter, smaller deals, squeezing the old veteran middle class out of existence.

Sound familiar?

Baseball, of course, is not the American economy. There are some good reasons why those mid-level contracts have gone away. Specifically, because they tended not to be very good deals for the teams who signed them. At the same time, baseball is far better able to tweak its rules to spread the wealth than the U.S. government can, and those rules — like the qualifying offer and luxury tax — have had a harsh impact on a lot of players.

There’s not a clear answer on what the best system is for free agents, draft pick compensation, draft bonus pools and the like actually is. I tend to favor the fewest restrictions on a player’s right to negotiate freely with teams, but I’ll also acknowledge that there is a less than perfect market at play in baseball given revenue disparities between teams and the need to maximize, within reason, competitive balance. It’s not an easy trick even before you get into the B.S. team owners tend to spew about pocketbook matters.

But it’s also the case that an all-too-friendly relationship between the union and the league — one in which a given set of rules is rubberstamped from CBA to CBA — is not an ideal situation. No one wants acrimony, but the fact is that the players and the union are slicing up a pie. If the person you’re slicing up a pie with is all-too-happy to keep slicing it the same way, it probably means that they’re getting a bigger piece than you. Maybe, if it’s your job to grab a bigger piece?

The agents Rosenthal talked to, who represent a good chunk of MLBPA membership, certainly think the union should be doing some more grabbing. I wonder if their clients do too.

Four baseballs autographed by Jose Fernandez wash ashore

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 03: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 3, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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This is just . . . ugh.

WSVN-TV in Miami reports that a black bag containing Jose Fernandez’s checkbook and four baseballs signed by him washed ashore on Miami Beach. Probably a bag to keep stuff dry while out on the water.

The bag was given to a lifeguard. Hopefully the bag finds its way back to Fernandez’s family quickly.