Author: Craig Calcaterra

World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three

Joe Torre is now MLB’s “Chief Baseball Officer”


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.

Derek Jeter: future part-owner of the Marlins?

Jeter hat tip

This is all kinds of fun.

Just a tour, right? Dude lives in Florida and wanted to check the place out. Buster, however, speculates more:

Jeter, whose home is in Florida, has never made a secret of his desire to buy into a team someday, and perhaps he’s looking into the possibility of owning a share. Additionally, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has always been enamored of the Yankees.

Could you imagine Derek Jeter aligning his baseball interests with Jeff Loria? His business interests, perhaps. His art interests, maybe. But if Derek Jeter knows anything he knows about image and branding and the idea that a huge, huge part of his legacy is owed to the association with the Yankees, which is in turn associated with class and winning and all of that.

Which isn’t to say that Jeter would never become involved with another team. To the contrary, there are a lot of teams which have winning legacies and class and and all of that. But I have a really, really hard time seeing him associate himself with a Jeff Loria-owned Marlins team. Because that’s about as anti-Jeter as it comes.

Buster Olney is abstaining from Hall of Fame voting


It’s no secret that the Hall of Fame voting process is broken. Let us count the ways:

  • The ballot has an arbitrary and purposeless limit on the number of players for whom voters can vote;
  • A backlog of overqualified players has resulted from voters casting their ballots on morality grounds rather than baseball merit in ways that never took place until a couple of years ago;
  • Players’ time on the ballot has been reduced, prejudicing players who are being squeezed due to the candidate backlog;
  • Worse than anything, the BBWAA grants voters lifetime voting privileges, regardless of whether or not the voter covers baseball now or has for decades, resulting in an electorate filled with scores and maybe hundreds of people who know virtually nothing about the candidates they are considering.

And now that set of circumstances has led one of the most knowledgable and qualified voters out there — Buster Olney of ESPN — to abstain from voting for the Hall of Fame. His reason? The 10-player ballot limit in combination with the backlog of PED users (for whom he normally votes) means that, rather then just voting on, say, Mike Mussina’s Hall of Fame merits, he is forced to choose between Mussina and, say, Randy Johnson, and thus Mussina is unfairly harmed. His view is that, if he does not submit a ballot, that’s one fewer without Mussina (in his case because Mussina is squeezed) which may, in effect, give Mussina a boost:

Maybe I should’ve figured it out last year, but this puzzle cannot be solved. There’s no way to judge each candidate strictly on his merits given the current ballot limitations, no fair way to vote.

I can’t stand the protest ballots we’ve seen in the past, when someone signs a blank ballot that counts as a vote against all candidates. That’s unfair. I’ve hated to hear the stories of voters who haven’t voted for a player because they didn’t like them personally. The voting shouldn’t be about the writer; it should be only about the players and whether or not they’re worthy of induction.

And I can’t stand the idea of casting a ballot that works against players that I think should be inducted, such as Mussina, Schilling or others. So as much as it has been an honor in the past to participate in the voting, I’ll abstain, and hope that in the future the rules change.

I’m not sure that I would abstain in his situation. I think any benefit the lack of an Olney ballot may bring is outweighed by the fact that there will be one less ballot with many worthy names on it, as his ballot always has. Does this help Mike Mussina a bit? Sure. But it hurts other candidates Olney routinely supports.

Still, I get his frustration. And I agree with him completely that the Hall of Fame voting process is broken and needs to be fixed.


Could the Giants reunite with Melky Cabrera?

melky getty

Seems farfetched. After all, he was suspended for PEDs during the stretch run in 2012 and, even after his suspension was up, his teammates preferred that he not return for the playoffs and he did not. But Ken Rosenthal reports that that could be water under the bridge:

Stranger things have happened, I suppose. And the Giants do want a corner outfielder. Melky would probably be a good addition. The only real stumbling block here, it seems, would be Cabrera’s preference to play back east or in the midwest, though you have to figure he’d make an exception if the money was right.