Image (1) tigers%20logo%20old.gif for post 4853

The Tigers rescheduled a game to accommodate the NFL


Now: watch the football people act all dumb about it.

You’ll recall last year that the NFL and its water carriers in the media got all huffy when the Baltimore Orioles would not reschedule a game that conflicted with the Baltimore Ravens’ desired Thursday night home opener.

This angered them because the Super Bowl champion opening at home on Thursday night has a long rich tradition lasting at least, like, a couple of years. And because baseball is dying and the NFL rules and why don’t you pencil neck baseball people just do the right thing and get the hell out of the NFL’s way even though your game was scheduled months before ours?

Really, go back and read that Michael Silver post at Yahoo. It was one of the more obnoxious and, ultimately, more wrong things written by a professional sports talking person in several years.

Anyway, we have a baseball-football conflict again. Or at least we had one. The Detroit Tigers had an evening game scheduled against the Royals for Monday, September 8. The Lions were granted the Monday Night Football Game that night, however, and since the Tigers and Lions stadiums are literally right next to each other it would’ve been a mess for both to play that night. The Tigers rescheduled their game to a 4PM start, though, solving the problem before anyone could get mad about it.

While that conflict lasted approximately five seconds before being resolved, there was already room for some snark from our NFL friends and commenters at PFT, saying things like “see, that wasn’t so hard, take note Baltimore” and the like. What our NFL friends and commenters are missing, however, is that the Tigers and Orioles were in very different situations with respect to the conflict, making the resolution of their respective scheduling problems totally different things.

The Tigers game is smack dab in the middle of a six-game homestand and the game against the Royals is the first of a three-game set. It’s the simplest of all things for the Tigers to unilaterally move the game up and, because the Lions and Tigers play well together for the most part, they did so willingly. A totally easy call and a totally right call.

Last year, however, both the Orioles and their opponent, the Chicago White Sox, were are coming in to Baltimore off the road following night games and thus weren’t even getting into town until the wee hours of that Thursday morning, making a day game a pretty unreasonable proposition. Likewise, rescheduling that game as a doubleheader would’ve required union, league and Chicago White Sox signoff, and there was resistance to that. While, in an ideal world the Orioles make way for the Ravens, if doing so is not a simple proposition it’s not reasonable to expect them to do it.

So, different situations resolved differently and, in both cases, quite reasonably. Especially considering that baseball set its schedule months before the NFL did. If that inspires you to throw shade at the Orioles over what happened next year, well, I suppose you have the right to. You’re just misapprehending the facts of the matter. And, in all likelihood, operating from an assumption that the entire world lives to serve the NFL’s interests.

That’s not the case. Not yet anyway.

The Red Sox get their ace! Boston signs David Price to a 7-year, $217 million deal


Multiple reports circulated in the past week that the Red Sox would need to unload the money truck in order to sign David Price. Well, the truck just got unloaded: Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have signed David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract.

This is, by far, the largest free agent contract the Red Sox have ever given a pitcher. It beats Max Scherzer‘s seven-year, $210 million deal signed last offseason as the largest ever free agent pitcher contract. Clayton Kershaw‘s contract extension with the Dodgers was for $215 million.

Price went 82-47 with a 3.18 ERA pitching in the AL East while with the Tampa Bay Rays. After being traded to the Tigers just before the 2014 trade deadline he went 13-8 with a 2.90 ERA in 32 starts. He returned to the AL East with the Blue Jays this year, going 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts. He also pitched in the playoffs for the Jays starting three times in four overall appearances.

The Red Sox were in dire need of pitching and they were said to be gunning for Price to fill that need. Target: acquired.

Major League Baseball’s annual drug testing report has been released

Leave a comment

MLB and the MLBPA just released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. It’s the annual report, mandated by the JDA, which says how many positive drug tests there were, what the drugs were, etc.

The notable numbers, which cover the period starting when the 2014 World Series ended until the 2015 World Series ended:

  • Total number of tests administered: 8,158. 6,536 of them were urine tests, 1,622 of them were blood tests for HGH;
  • 10 tests resulted in positives which led to discipline: 7 for PEDs, 2 for stimulants, one for DHEA;
  • The previous year there were 7,929 total tests with 12 which resulted in discipline;
  • There were the same number of Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted this year as last: 113. All but two were for attention deficit disorder. One was for gynecomastia, which is the swelling of the breast tissue in men due to a hormone imbalance, one was for a stress fracture in someone’s elbow.

A use exemption line item which had appeared on the list for the previous several years — hypogonadism — was not there, so congratulations to the anonymous player who was either cured or who retired.

As we always note, the number of players who got exemptions for ADD drugs is a bit higher than the occurrence of ADD in the population at large and, once you eliminate kids from ADHD occurrences, it’s likely considerably higher. But that’s none of my business.

Kendrys Morales wins the Edgar Martinez DH of the Year Award

Kansas City Royals' Kendrys Morales watches his solo home run during the fourth inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
1 Comment

Only seven hitters in the American League got enough plate appearances while primarily serving time as DH to qualify for the batting title in 2015. And of those some of them — most notably Edwin Encarnacion — played a fair bit of defense, meaning that there weren’t too many guys who could really be called true DHs in the game. Still they give out an award for being the best DH, you only need 100 plate appearances as a DH to be eligible and Kendrys Morales just won it:

Morales received 50 of the 88 first-place votes cast to garner the honor for the first time in his nine-year career . . . Boston’s David Ortiz, a seven-time winner of the ODH Award, finished second with 34 second-place votes after batting .267 (132-for-495) with 35 doubles, 32 homers and 99 RBI in 134 games as DH for the Red Sox this past season . . . Kendrys batted .295 (156-for-529) with 39 doubles, 21 home runs, 104 RBI and 78 runs scored in 141 games as DH for the Royals.

Defense — which for this award has to be thought of as a demerit, right? — couldn’t have separated these two as they both slummed it at first base for nine games. Overall I’d rather have had Ortiz, who walked more, hit for greater power and, batting average notwithstanding, got on base at almost exactly the same clip as Morales did. Similar arguments could be made for A-Rod and Prince Fielder, but no one asks me about such things. They do ask club beat writers, broadcasters and AL public relations departments, however, who vote on the award.

It’s an award that has been around a while — this was the 42nd year for it — but it’s just been known as the Edgar Martinez Award since 2004. It would’ve been really weird if it had been called that in 1978. Martinez was just 15 then.

Twins sign Korean slugger Byung-ho Park to four-year contract

Byung-ho Park
Leave a comment

With a week remaining in their exclusive negotiating window to sign Byung-ho Park the Twins have agreed to a deal with the Korean slugger. Ken Rosenthal of reports that it’s a four-year, $12 million contract, on top of which the Twins will pay Park’s old team a $12.85 million posting fee for those negotiating rights.

Four years and a total commitment of $24.85 million is certainly a sizable investment, but it’s significantly less than most projections had the Twins spending to get Park under contract.

Last offseason the Pirates bid $5 million to negotiate with Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang and then signed him to a four-year, $11 million deal. His success in MLB raised the level of interest in Park, who posted similarly spectacular numbers in Korean, but in the end the price tag wasn’t significantly higher. Based on reports from Korea, it sounds like the Twins low-balled him in negotiations and Park basically just accepted it because he wants to play in MLB.

Three weeks ago I wrote a lengthy breakdown of how Park could fit into the Twins’ plans when they secured the high bid, but the short version is that he’ll slot into the lineup as the starting designated hitter and look to prove that his exceptional production in Korean can carry over to MLB. Park hit .343 with 53 homers, 146 RBIs, and a 1.150 OPS in 140 games for Nexen this past season and has topped a 1.000 OPS in each of the past three years.