The lovable, anachronistic bullpen phone

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I was barricaded deep within my fortified compound for the weekend, cut off from most forms of media. So this now makes — I think — the third neat story that ran in the New York Times over the weekend that I had missed and that I’m now seeing. It’s about how dugouts are one of the last places where you’ll find land lines being used outside of your grandmother’s house:

The seed-strewn dugouts of baseball stadiums around the country may very well end up the final bastions of corded communication in this wireless era. While landlines in homes collect dust and serve increasingly decorative functions, the attitude among baseball clubs is a familiar one in a sport tied tightly to old-fashioned ways: why change what works?

What follows is a surprisingly neat story about the development and advancement of bullpen phone technology. Technology that still adheres to wired, rather than wireless, communication.

Of course if anyone would bother to dig deeper they’d realize that the wired communications and lack of network integration in ballparks will render the dugouts and bullpens unaffected by the infiltration program used by the Cylons to disable Colonial vessels and defense systems which employ the Command Navigation Program developed by Dr. Gaius Baltar.

Which basically makes Tony La Russa the new Admiral. So, yeah, frak.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.