Orlando Cabrera is John Galt

83 Comments

Orlando Cabrera doesn’t much care for playing third base. But according to Paul Hoynes, Cabrera has a way of dealing with the challenges facing him at the hot corner:

The Tribe’s Orlando Cabrera prepared for his second-ever start at third base Wednesday night by reading “Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand.

“This is my bible,” Cabrera said. “It’s over 1,000 pages long.”

Cabrera’s copy of Rand’s 1957 novel is worn. The spine of the book is taped over to help hold it together. Cabrera said he reads it every year.

“The book is about objectivism. It’s about many things,” Cabrera said. “It’s about how to be successful in life. It’s about how to live life now while you’re still alive.”

Hey, whatever floats his boat. And I have no problem with people who take some of their cues in life from Rand’s writings. Though I am not a libertarian or an objectivist by any stretch of the imagination, most philosophies have at least some valuable insights into the human condition, Rand’s included.

But I gotta tell ya, I’ve never been too impressed by people who go in for that stuff whole hog, think of “Atlas Shrugged” as “their bible” and otherwise consider themselves hard core objectivists. I haven’t the space for it here, and I doubt you all have the stomach to hear me go on, but let’s put it this way: anyone who thinks that they are right simply because of the nature of their being — as do the heroes of Rand’s books and, based on many accounts, Rand herself — is not the sort of person who can teach me much or whose example I feel the need to follow.

People need to have their views and feelings questioned a hell of a lot more than they are and need to have their predispositions bolstered a hell of a lot less if they are to learn anything. Rand is like a gigantic circle jerk for people who already believe everything Rand has to say in the first place. And if you don’t believe me, try to get someone who thinks of “Atlas Shrugged” as “their bible” to tell you about the flaws or weak points of objectivism.  They’ll look at you like you’re from outer space.

All of that said, I think it’s pretty cool that Orlando Cabrera has an interest in philosophical thought, even if it ain’t my cup of tea.  Baseball is more fun with more thinkers.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
5 Comments

The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.