We dealt with this last month, but Jeff Miller of the OC Register goes there anyway. After lamenting that the Angels and Dodgers were victimized by the A’s and Giants due to the latters’ employment of Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, Miller thinks that something more needs to be done:
The NCAA certainly wouldn’t permit this sort of thing. Officials already would have limited contact with free agents, stripped TV money and given the A’s and Giants the sort of probation usually reserved for the truly offensive, like Lindsay Lohan. Seriously, shouldn’t the A’s and Giants, for at least the rest of the regular season, be forced to wear ankle weights or something? Shouldn’t they be handicapped in some way?
They directly benefitted from performance-enhancing drugs, reached their lofty perches in part through fraud, and the only price they’ve paid is the loss of the offending player? Hardly seems right.
So Miller goes to FanGraphs, reads Melky and Colon’s WAR for the year and suggests that MLB dock the Giants and A’s 4.5 and 2.3 wins a piece. Because (a) the NCAA is obviously a great example to follow when it comes to sensible justice; and (b) it’s totally workable to simply deduct wins from a major league baseball team’s totals.
But that’s not my favorite point he makes. No, my favorite point is the one in which, after suggesting extreme measures be taken to level and uneven playing field, he says this:
Doesn’t seem fair, does it? The A’s and Giants received a boost in the standings. The Angels and Dodgers continue to receive a kick in the teeth.
I’m not for salary caps or the selective legalization of PED use, but two Southern California teams that can and do so thoroughly outspend their rivals in the Bay Area are probably not the first ones anyone wants to hear complain about things not being fair.
On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.
We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.
Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:
Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.
Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.
Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.
I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.
“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.
Four. More. Years.