Not that you didn’t know that already (remember how Oliver Perez was the next Sandy Koufax?). But now MLB brass is coming right out and saying it:
Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred responded strongly to revenue sharing figures thrown out by Scott Boras at last week’s general managers’ meetings indicating that Boras’s numbers “have no basis in reality” and that Boras is living in “fantasy land.”
Here Manfred is referring to Boras’ comments last week that there are Major League teams who receive $80 million from a baseball central fund and just pocket it rather than put it into payroll to make the teams better.
Given his penchant for exaggeration, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Boras’ actual numbers are off. But the thing is, he’s not wrong about the dynamic. Teams do take revenue sharing money and stash it or use it to pay down debt from their initial purchase of the team. There really is a strategy among some owners to maximize franchise value — which is where their money comes from — as opposed to maximizing wins and season-to-season revenue. Running a losing team with low gate is still a great deal as long as the team is low on debt, there’s a nice, owner-friendly stadium deal in place, and as long as MLB central will never let a franchise truly crater.
So maybe Boras’ $80 million figure is “fantasy land.” But even if were, say, $40 million, it doesn’t make him wrong.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.