Boras shoots down idea of Royals locking up Hosmer

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Those who follow the Kansas City Royals expected Eric Hosmer to be a star.

But they probably didn’t expect him to hit home runs on consecutive days in the Bronx and lead back-to-back victories over the New York Yankees. They also probably didn’t expect they would have to consider the 21-year-old’s departure from Kansas City so soon, either.

There is already talk in Kansas City that the Royals should try to lock up Hosmer – who has played all of six games in the majors – to a long-term contract. It worked for the Tampa Bay Rays with Evan Longoria, so why wouldn’t it work for the Royals? Well there is one huge reason why the stragegy might not work: Scott Boras.

From Jeff Passan of Yahoo!:

Agent Scott Boras on Thursday shot down any hopes the Kansas City Royals had of signing burgeoning star Eric Hosmer to a long-term extension, telling Yahoo! Sports he expects massive increases in television revenue to change the landscape of salaries in baseball.

“Athletes have to know that you have to look at the market you’re in,” Boras said. “You can’t look at the markets of the past. For players like Hosmer, as you go back and look, as [Mark] Teixeira had his own market and [Prince] Fielder had his own market, Hosmer will have his own. And something tells me it’s going to be a rather eventful one.”

Well so much for that idea.

Boras said he expects the market to be vastly different by the time Hosmer becomes a free agent, and that increased revenues will trickle down to lower-revenue teams like the Royals. Whether or not that means Kansas City will have the resources to retain Hosmer remains to be seen. And frankly, it’s far too early to tell.

Hosmer is not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2017 season, and a lot can happen in the meantime. Boras’ market predictions could prove to be way off. The economy could undergo another down period. Hosmer could end up being merely a decent player. There is also the possibility that Hosmer could overrule Boras and opt for the security of an extended deal, like Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies did last winter.

So don’t panic just yet, Royals fans. Just enjoy the moment.

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The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp were staked to a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they had only played five innings of baseball. UPDATE: they played a full game today, the BayStars won, so now it’s 2-1 Hiroshima.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?