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Tony La Russa: “The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too.”


Red Sox special assistant Tony La Russa chimed in on the labor issue of our time which currently finds over 100 free agents teamless with spring training under way. La Russa lays the blame at the feet of the players and their agents. Via Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston:

It’s strange, unique, makes you scratch your head. The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too. You can’t shoot for the stars. ‘Cause the teams, they want to win and they try to do the best they can. I just think that in the end, the best situations are when you have a real good agent and the player participates in his future. I mean the dam’s gotta break, and it’s going to break and it’s going to be a tsunami.

It’s not surprising that La Russa comes down on this side of the issue, considering his position. He’s wrong, of course — player salaries haven’t climbed commensurate with MLB revenues, as Nathaniel Grow illustrated at FanGraphs in 2015. If anything, the players — even the Jake Arrietas and J.D. Martinez‘s of the world — are underpaid. Furthermore, the players are underpaid during their first six years of service time in the majors, so it’s only fair if they’re overpaid afterwards anyway. That’s the whole point.

La Russa also briefly addressed the suggestion that team owners have been colluding to drive free agent prices down. He said, “I don’t like the collusion stuff. In fact, lately, I think the media’s starting to catch on [to the player-agent dynamic].”

Not all of us, Tony. Not all of us.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.