Interesting stuff from Richard Sandomir at the New York Times. The papers and letters of Marvin Miller, the late honcho of the MLBPA.
In it, letters from Ted Turner in 1980, so impressed with Miller’s work that he wishes he could be a player rather than an owner. Which, well, yeah, Turner probably would have wished that anyway. Plus some very early and delicious byplay between Miller and his arch-enemy Bowie Kuhn.
What has always struck me more than anything about Miller is that he took his mission extremely seriously. His work could have been on behalf of auto workers, coal miners, Teamsters or baseball players, and he would have approached it the same way. His opponents, however, didn’t think of the business of baseball as a real business. It was for them, of course, but the players were kids not to be taken seriously. As such, the owners never met Miller on the field of labor battle like any other responsible captains of industry would. This allowed Miller to take the battle to them, always putting them on the defensive.
Some of that, at least from Miller’s perspective, is revealed here. Good stuff. Would love to go look at all of it.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.