The deal was obviously done, but today the MLBPA announced that the union membership has ratified the new collective bargaining agreement.
Some of our previous thoughts on the CBA can be read here, here and here. The upshot: great for peace and notable issues like HGH testing and tobacco and stuff, worrisome for what it does to hamstring teams who want to build through the draft and amateur signings. It’s a surprisingly small number of people who seem to care about that even though it will have a pretty tremendous impact on the game going forward.
But hey, no strikes, right?
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.