“If the Boss was still alive!” watch

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BSOHL is our favorite beat-like-a-dead-horse meme around these parts. Our third favorite one is the stuff about how Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson would’ve decapitated someone for, well, whatever somebody did in yesterday’s ballgame that an old sportswriter didn’t like.

But our second favorite one is “If the Boss was still alive!” columns. You know how those work: when a New York columnist lacks an angle and decides to channel the glory days of George Steinbrenner. And, of course, it’s almost always writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with those of George Steinbrenner.

Bill Madden of the Daily News is good for a couple of these a year. Here he is this morning, noting that George Steinbrenner often got upset when, as the 2015 Yankees just did, his Yankees dropped spring training games to the Mets. He sets up with an old (but good!) Steinbrenner anecdote, notes that people don’t take spring training games seriously like he did anymore and how, as such, no one with the 2015 Yankees had an outburst about the losses to the Mets like Big Stein would’ve. Then closes with, of course, a question to Joe Girardi about how The Boss would’ve reacted if he were still alive.

Which, hey, it’s New York and they’re gonna do this until every single person with a living memory of Steinbrenner has died or retired. I’d only wish that when they do do this they’d note for the record that, when it came to stuff like this, Steinbrenner was a certified crazy person who completely lacked perspective about certain things. And that, as such, wondering what he might do in the current situation is akin to asking what David Berkowitz might do if the next door neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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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.