We don’t normally comment on minor league rebranding around here. But then again, we usually don’t see rebranding like this. The Daytona Cubs — formerly the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, but now a Reds affiliate — needed to change their name. And the did. To the Daytona Tortugas. Which is Spanish for turtles:
Original! But I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that I am not the only one whose first though upon seeing this name is the character played by Danny Trejo in “Breaking Bad.”
If you don’t know what I’m talking about with that, YouTube is probably your friend. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I just saw a remarkable Twitter exchange between San Francisco Chronicle reporter Hank Schulman and a Giants fan. The backdrop: discussion on whether or not the Giants bringing back Melky Cabrera would be a good idea.
The original tweet, from the fan, was a little rated-R for HardballTalk, but the upshot was the tweeter’s opinion that Melky Cabrera, despite his PED suspension, did not “mistreat” fans nor was he an “ass” to them. Shulman responded (along with paraphrased tweet from the fan):
I call this remarkable because it’s a reporter literally telling a fan that he is wrong about how he feels. “No, he did mistreat you!” Shulman is saying. With the implication that the fan doesn’t even realize how mistreated he was.
I find this rather hilarious. Mostly because, for decades, reporters have told us that they are different and that they can do their job the way they do specifically because they are not fans and do not approach things from a fan’s perspective. I trust Hank Shulman to give me Giants news and tell me what’s going on with the club and the players. I even trust his speculation about what may or may not happen and his view as to whether something is a good idea or not. He’s there, on the scene, and he knows more than we do. But the one thing a reporter is in no position to do is to tell a fan what he or she should feel about something.
I’m sure some fans hate Melky Cabrera and feel betrayed by his use of PEDs. That’s their right. A lot of fans, however, aren’t nearly as invested in that sort of thing. Maybe they just watch the games and don’t decide to become emotionally entangled. Maybe they don’t approve of Melky’s cheating, but they don’t feel like players “owe” fans things in those terms. Maybe they do approve of it. Hell, this is San Francisco, after all, and Barry Bonds is still cheered there. Maybe fans are pragmatic and they realize that Melky’s suspension led to the Hunter Pence trade and if it wasn’t for Pence the Giants may not have won the 2012 and 2014 World Series. Hell, maybe they want to shake Melky’s hand and buy him a beer for that!
But this isn’t about Cabrera. This about fans. Fans who are fully capable of forming their own opinions about baseball players and their transgressions. And who don’t need reporters to tell them what they should think or feel.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Chase Headley has a four-year offer on the table worth around $65 million. The Giants, Yankees, Indians and Marlins have been linked to Headley at various times in recent days.
If we really want to get to the bottom of this, we should inspect the table closets of each team. Per MLB bylaws, each team gets two tables for free agent offers. One is the actual table, the other a backup. Any team that can’t produce both tables is the one who has that money out on the table for Headley. It’s just simple science.
Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports tells us the story — at least as much of the story as can be known at the moment — about Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada’s defection and the interim period he has spent in Guatemala in order to establish himself as a free agent. It involves an agent who isn’t really an agent, a baby registry, possible violations of the U.S. embargo, Scott Boras spies and armed guards patrolling the third base line. It’s must-read stuff.
It’s also the fact that a good portion of all of the weirdness involved here would be unnecessary if it weren’t for Major League Baseball’s rules which prevent Cuban players from establishing themselves as free agents from the safety of the United States as opposed to having them cool their heels in a way station like Guatemala.
Major League Baseball just announced an executive reorganization. A big part of it is the elevation of Bob Bowman of MLBAM who, as we noted yesterday, is taking over all business operations of MLB and has the new title “MLB’s President, Business & Media.”
Others, already in lace, get snappier, more media-friendly titles:
- Pat Courtney, MLB’s Senior Vice President for Public Relations becomes Chief Communications Officer;
- Dan Halem, Executive Vice President for Labor Relations, becomes Chief Legal Officer;
- Jonathan Mariner, currently Executive Vice President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer, becomes Chief Investment Officer;
- Tony Petitti, President & CEO of MLB Network, is now Chief Operations Officer;
- A new hire — Bob Starkey — becomes Chief Financial Officer & Senior Advisor. He has long advised MLB from his private consultancy, however; and
- Joe Torre, Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations becomes its Chief Baseball Officer.
Viva streamlining. And calling Joe Torre “CBO” whenever he is in the news for some disciplinary action or some inexplicable and farkakte interpretation of a rule.