Craig Calcaterra

Scott Boras AP

Scott Boras wants panels of experts to determine what rookies are ready to be called up

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Scott Boras is a smart guy. But even smart guys have dumb ideas sometimes. This, my friends, is a dumb idea. From Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, who was at the Cubs-Pirates game yesterday when baseball’s most famous agent offered this suggestion about how to avoid Kris Bryant-style callup controversies:

“For example, I would say that the union or somebody may come in and say that they’ve made a claim that this player is major-league ready,” Boras said. “And that to place him in the minor leagues would not be appropriate from a skills standpoint. And then all of a sudden, it’s subject to review by a panel of former managers or baseball experts . . .  It’s objective in the sense that they’re neutral,” Boras said. “The only way subjective turns objective is that you’ve got the best-known experts who are going to make an evaluation of what they do.”

Because, obviously, panels of experts such as former players and managers always make sound, objective decisions.

Really, though, I don’t think this goes far enough. I think a panel of experts should — objectively, mind you — decided which players should start and how often. Which ones should be called in for save situations and the like. In the name of objectivity, you see, since managers, scouts and general managers can’t be trusted to make the wise decisions about their baseball players, as Boras says.

But we could go further! We could take the subjectivity out of player contracts too! Instead of having an agent cause teams to bid against one another for free agents — a process that can get emotional! — let’s have a panel of experts decide what the player should make.

Such a system would be eminently fair. And it might make Scott Boras’ life a lot easier, no?

Hunter Pence is unlikely to make it back by May 1

hunter pence getty
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The prevailing wisdom was that Hunter Pence was likely to miss all of April due to his fractured forearm, but that he’d be back by around the first of May.

Well, nope: Bruce Bochy talked about his return schedule yesterday, and that schedule makes it appear unlikely that he’ll be back by then. He still has yet to hit off a tee and take soft-toss batting practice and stuff, and he must do that before seeing live pitching. That’s not the sort of thing you can do in a week or so.

The wisdom of Fredi Gonzalez

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
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No, that’s not a snarky headline. I am legit impressed with Fredi Gonzalez’s response to Andy Martino of the Daily News when asked about the Bryan Price nonsense.

He talked a lot about how, sure, you don’t want the other team knowing that you don’t have a guy available. He also talked about how one can find out if the other team doesn’t have a guy available (hint: make friends with the clubhouse attendants). But he said that, even if you’re best-served to be careful about letting people know everything about your club, there’s no sense getting worked up over it being reported:

You know why I don’t get mad? Because I don’t read it. I’ll read the other team’s stuff, because you want to know if a guy is hurt.

There’s so much stuff in this game that can piss you off, why look at the paper? Something will piss you off every day….There’s plenty of time to get upset without reading these guys.

There was a time when baseball managers could be yelling and screaming maniacs, but red-ass managers tend not to last too long these days. Mostly because there is so much to set you off if you let it that you’ll probably just explode if you do.

Fredi isn’t my favorite tactician in the world, but I never worry about him becoming unhinged. He seems to have a pretty healthy approach to a pretty stressful job.

Jose Bautista and the Orioles exchanged some words last night

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A lot of people have thrown at Jose Bautista lately and the Orioles and Jays have some recent chippy history. Last night was no different.

O’s pitcher Jason Garcia threw a pitch behind Bautista and the benches were warned. Bautista, to his credit, didn’t charge the mound or anything. He just glared a bit, gathered himself and got back in the box. Then he jacked one the heck out of the park. And yes, he stared at it, flipped his bat and didn’t exactly motor around the bases. He’s Jose Bautista, not some kid. He can do stuff like that once in a damn while.

Watch that exchanges, and the jawing back and forth between Bautista and some Orioles as he rounded the bases:

In between innings Orioles outfielder Adam Jones took issue and the two of them engaged in a shouting match from across the field. Watch for the shouting, stay for Buck Martinez purporting to translate Bautista as if every other word wasn’t a curse word of some sort:

 

The kicker here was, after the game, Jones actually said that Bautista needed to “respect the game.” Which is a phrase that was already sort of meaningless, but now is, somehow, even more so.

Oh, one more video that sort of explains the general state of the O’s-Jays rivalry at the moment:

Video: Ike Davis pitched last night. And he looked pretty darn good!

Ike Davis
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The A’s got their butts handed to them in a carry-out carton last night. But the silver lining of any decisive butt-handing-back is that it often means we get to see a position player pitch. Last night that position player was Ike Davis.

And my word, he looked OK! Kept the ball low in the zone. Had a bit of zip on it. Induced ground balls. Retired the side 1-2-3. Watch:

Keith Law tweeted a bit ago that he saw Davis pitch a game in the Cape Cod League several years ago and that he had low-to-mid 90s velocity and a good slider. If this hitting thing doesn’t work out for him, he should reinvent himself.