Great Moments in Selective Endpoints

34 Comments

Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi has been at the vanguard of the Miguel Cabrera MVP argument. The Michigan resident and former Tigers beat writer is very pro-Cabrera this year.

Which is fine, because as I’ve said before, it will not be an atrocity if Miguel Cabrera wins the MVP award. I think, personally, it’s the wrong choice, but it wouldn’t even be in the top 10 of worst award votes in the past decade. Cabrera is having a fine season, and let no amount of pro-Mike Trout arguing make you think otherwise.

But what does get me is when folks base their argument on questionable assertions like this:

Why August 24?  Do games before that not matter?  Or is it because on August 23 Mike Trout had a big game, going 3 for 6 and driving in a couple of runs and after that had an 0 for 5 while Miguel Cabrera ended an 0 for 10 stretch on August 24 and hit a homer? It has to have some other significance, does it not? Because it cannot be the case that Morosi felt it necessary to cut off things on that date simply because it bolsters his preconceived notions of the matter.

But heck, if we’re going to put so much weight on the last month, why isn’t Adrian Beltre the MVP? He’s hit just as well as Cabrera down the stretch but he isn’t killing the Rangers on defense at third base like Cabrera is the Tigers.  If the response is that the Tigers are in a closer race, well why does Cabrera get extra points simply because his team sucks more?  And if the response is, well, Cabrera has had the better overall season, why in he hell don’t you let Mike Trout back into the argument? And where do we note that, right as the Tigers are making the push past the White Sox this week, Cabrera has gone 0 for his last 12 against the Royals?

Know what? If you just like Miguel Cabrera better and think he’s more deserving for non-quantifiable reasons, just say so. Just go all-in with your subjective feelings about his game and the magical sense his season gives you or whatever.  But don’t try to have it both ways. Don’t try to say that the stats which favor Mike Trout don’t matter but the stats which favor your guys does.  Have some sort of logical consistency to your position.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Dodgers owner Mark Walter is involved in a scandal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Dodgers last owner, Frank McCourt, was a mainstay of the gossip pages. The new administration has been pretty drama free since taking over five years ago. That is, until now.

Multiple outlets, ranging from the New York Post to the Wall Street Journal, have been reporting on a scandal brewing at Guggenheim Partners, the multi-billion investment firm led by Mark Walter, its CEO. Walter is also the head of Guggenheim Baseball Management, the offshoot of the firm which owns the Dodgers. Walter is the Dodgers’ named owner — the “control person” — as far as Major League Baseball is concerned.

The scandal does not directly relate to the baseball team. Rather, it involves allegations that Walter bought a $13 million Pacific Palisades home for a younger female executive named Alexandra Court:

In the past 24 hours, the company has pushed back on multiple reports that CEO Mark Walter will step down; its chief investment officer has claimed on CNBC that there’s “no tumult” at the company; and Guggenheim has denied reports on a real-estate blog and in the New York Post that Walter bought a California mansion for a younger female executive at the company.

The denial regarding who bought the mansion is a bit too cute, though, as the company only denies that Walter bought it or owns it. In fact, the mansion is owned by a holding company that also bought Walter’s personal residence in Malibu. Billionaires don’t go to closings at title company offices, of course. They buy houses through companies and LLCs and trusts and stuff. As such, the claim that Walter didn’t buy the house may be technically and legally true but entirely misleading all the same. For what it’s worth, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Walter and Court have a “personal relationship.” Walter, who is married, and the company deny this. Court is on an extended leave of absence.

Walter and Guggenheim are denying that Walter is going to step down as CEO. That remains to be seen. The question for our purposes is whether, if he steps down from Guggenheim Partners, he would necessarily have to step down from Guggenheim Baseball Management and thus relinquish control of the Dodgers. I suspect not — they’re distinct legal entities, and his departure from Partners would be unrelated to stuff having to do with the baseball team — but you never know. It’s not like he put up $2 billion of his personal dollars for the team. There are likely a lot of strings attached and contingencies involved to the arrangement.

Something to watch.