You’ve heard of “suicide by cop?” Yesterday Indians closer Chris Perez tried to commit suicide by media.
Perez took shots at the Indians front office, chalking up the difference in the success of small market teams like Oakland to that of Cleveland to “different owners … [The Tigers] are spending money. [Mike Ilitch] wants to win. Even when the economy was down, he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”
He also criticized the Indians for not signing Josh Willingham:
“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to [pay] for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”
True, but closers aren’t paid to speak such truths to the media in the middle of a disastrous season for the team. Seems to me that Perez is angling for a way out of town. And he may just get it.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.