It’s hard to disagree with Michael Baumann’s rundown of the 25 worst contracts in baseball over at The Ringer. All of the stinkers are on it: Jose Altuve‘s terrible deal. Mike Trout‘s albatross of a contract. Sal Perez’s highway robbery of a pact. Adam Eaton‘s deal which, frankly, is hamstringing.
Wait, you say those are good deals? Well, silly, that’s because you’re seeing them from the team’s perspective, and not the players’:
In the grand scheme of injustices, athletes making less than they’re worth is a small one, but the rhetoric surrounding labor couldn’t be more important, because it shows up in our everyday lives. It’s not “bad” that a worker, particularly one who’s put in his time, negotiates a favorable contract with his employer. It’s not “good” that young workers sell off their future earnings cheaply in order to ensure some measure of long-term security, all so that billionaires can keep labor costs down.
A deal has two parties and a deal can be good or bad from either party’s perspective. Yet, as Baumann points out, fans almost uniformly talk about contracts that benefit the team more than the player as “good” and contracts which benefit the player more than the team as “bad.”
The billionaires who own baseball teams are quite happy that you do that, by the way. It’s in their best interests for you to think of them as benevolent protectors of some public trust rather than businessmen. It makes it easier for them to get you to pay for their new stadiums and stuff. It’s also in their best interests for you to think of their workers as greedy and overpaid because, well, business owners have always liked that in literally every industry ever.
You don’t have to think that way, though. You can, and maybe should, examine why, exactly, you do.
The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.
d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.
Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.