Steve Bisciotti owns the Baltimore Ravens. He also either doesn’t know jack about baseball or is so blinded by salary cap politics that he feels he has to pretend that he doesn’t. Here he is today talking about the Yankees’ payroll advantages:
“It certainly doesn’t show up in the standings. If
I’m a Yankees fan, I’m upset we’re not winning 130 games with the
roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it’s a
disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings
with three times the money. I’d fire that GM. You don’t need a GM. All
you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year.”
But of course they don’t because, contrary to what salary cap fans will tell you, putting a winning team on the field in any sport requires more than the simple expenditure of dumb dollars.
In other news, I wonder if the other NFL owners are mad at Bisciotti. I mean, by highlighting that even the Yankees, with their extreme financial advantages can’t simply buy championships, he is unwittingly making a very good argument against salary caps.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.