Ken Davidoff has what is hopefully the last we’ll hear of Hank Steinbrenner’s little tantrum yesterday. Guess what: when Hank Steinbrenner said that guys were “too busy building mansions” he didn’t mean anyone specifically. He meant it as a figure of speech. You know, like people have been saying since olden times.
I know that sounds crazy, but I can almost picture Liam Neeson saying — in a period drama — “Aye, he’s too busy buildin’ mansions to know bettur,” and having it make perfect sense.
More interesting to me is this bit:
Meanwhile, Bud Selig already has reached out to Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine to remind them – to remind Hank – that there are to be no management comments about revenue sharing. There’s an MLB-wide gag order as we approach negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
That’s the part of Hank’s rant that stuck in my craw the most yesterday. And stuck in my craw previously when Yankees President Randy Levine slammed revenue sharing to take a swipe at the Rangers. I predicted at the time that Selig was going to say something to the Yankees about it, and I’m glad he did.
Like it or not, revenue sharing is a part of the game’s structure at present. If a player were spouting off to the media about how the arbitration system is unfair or about how a team controlling them for six years or more was akin to indentured servitude, you can bet your bottom dollar that the league would freak. Levine and Steinbrenner calling revenue sharing communism is no different and they need to put a sock in it. Don’t like it? Negotiate a better deal next time.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: