Finally, confirmation that Phil Hughes is in The Best Shape of His Life

13 Comments

We’ve had several stories about Phil Hughes’ conditioning this winter. Word that the Yankees didn’t like that he was out of shape last year. Word that he was re-dedicating himself to conditioning this offseason.

Because of the uncertainty, Kopy, our resident keeper of the BSOHL roster, has had Hughes listed in the “awaiting confirmation” category, with all of us waiting to see which New York writer was the first to get to Tampa and write “Phil Hughes looks good.”  The winner of that derby is Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

 

I think the “buffed up” seals it.  I defer to Kopy on this one because he’s the keeper of the roster, but this has to take Hughes out of “awaiting confirmation” and into … the BSOHL.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
Mark Brown/Getty Images
9 Comments

Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?