Craig Calcaterra

Justin Upton

Justin Upton’s bats are on a quest to find him

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Justin Upton plays for the Padres now. He used to play for the Diamondbacks. But his bats — and the bats of other former Braves — are still being shipped to the Braves:

There are probably some Dale Murphy Colorado Rockies bats in there someplace too.

The practical implications of tinkering with baseball’s rules

pitch clock
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A great article from Russell Carleton over at Fox today. He takes the various rule-change proposals such as limiting pitching changes, the pitch clock and the universal DH and tries to figure out the practical implications of them. Which is useful because most of the people arguing in favor of various changes talk big about what problem they think the change will solve but very rarely examine the actual consequences, both good and bad, of the change.

A lot of fun stuff to chew on with this article. Everything from the nuts and bolts of the rules to discussion of alpha males and the establishment of dominance which, yeah, actually figures in to some of this.

Good stuff.

 

Baseball executives don’t like Max Scherzer’s deferred money deal

Max Scherzer Getty
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Buster tweets:

The contract is for seven-years and $210 million. But as Buster notes, a huge amount of deferred money in involved. It stretches over the next 14 years and includes a $50 million signing bonus. For luxury tax purposes the contract is considered to be a $191.4 million deal based on present value, with an annual salary for such purposes determined to be $28.69 million.

Why this bugs other teams is a mystery. In response to other folks on Twitter, Olney cites executives displeasure with the $210 million figure now being the standard for an elite pitcher. I presume they also now worry that the expectation from agents will be that future deals for other pitchers include all of that deferred dough.

Which seems kind of unimportant. A $191 million deal or a $210 deal? Eh. With those kinds of numbers we’re starting to approach rounding error, even if the rounding involves eight figures.

Mostly, I think, this is a case of baseball executives not liking that someone got a huge free agent salary. Which they have always hated. At least in every case where it’s not their own team handing out the money.

The fourth greatest general manager of all time built The Big Red Machine

Big Red Machine Reds
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Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.

Bob Howsam built the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati As I said back in December before the Veterans Committee ridiculously failed to vote him into the Hall of Fame, if you built that team today they’re erecting statues of you all over the place. I was shocked to learn back then that he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame already.

Interesting fact about Howsam beyond the Reds stuff: in the late 50s he was one of the men behind the effort to build a third major league — the Continental League — which was aimed at exploiting untapped demand for baseball west of the Mississippi and which, eventually, led to the first round of expansion of the early 1960s.

Go check out Mark and Dan’s assessment of Howsam here. And, if you’re able, tune into MLB Network’s “High Heat” show this afternoon at 1PM Eastern time to see Mark talk to Chris Russo about this project and his and Dan’s upcoming book.

Wade Boggs gives an icy cold answer when asked if Roger Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame

Wade Boggs Horse
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Wade Boggs was on The Triple Threat show on Sports Radio 610 from Houston yesterday. He was asked if former teammate Roger Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. His answer was colder than a 12 pack 24 pack 36 pack keg of Busch Light.

It starts with some talk about how much chicken Boggs eats these days — still a lot, not as much — his approach to hitting and then, at the 3:30 point the conversation turns to Clemens. Go to the 4:35 point for the money quote:

No one ask him what he feels about the retired number situation in Boston. The whole place might freeze.