Terry Collins is gonna have to find someone else to get mad at this spring

12 Comments

For the past two years, Terry Collins has made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training late.  Wait, that’s wrong: he’s made a big angry fuss about players showing up to spring training on time.

In 2011 it was Luis Castillo. Last year it was Ruben Tejada. Each time Collins made it clear that he wanted players there early and that, to him anyway, on time was late. Never mind what those pansy rules say about reporting dates. If you’re not early you just don’t want it bad enough.

Sadly, this year Ruben Tejada is going to make Collins find someone else to yell at for only giving 100 instead of 110%:

After irritating manager Terry Collins last year by waiting until the deadline for position players to report before arriving in camp, the Mets shortstop yesterday said he will be in Port St. Lucie on Saturday — a full week before his presence is required.

So who will it be this year? Lucas Duda? Ike Davis? Maybe Mike Baxter.  Gotta be someone who fulfills his contractual requirements and not Collins’ requirements, right?

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?