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  1. That's certainly one way to avoid anyone claiming him on waivers.
  2. I completely agree with the idea that it's nearly impossible to know who the top AAA teams might be - or where they will end up - from the beginning of a season to the end. That being said, if you're thinking specifically of the AAA-East Midwest Division (St. Paul Saints), I was impressed last year with how much young talent that Omaha (Kansas City) and Toledo (Detroit) fielded from start to finish last year. I'd expect that trend to continue, but it hasn't paid huge dividends for KC / Detroit as of yet. I watched a lot of Iowa Cubs games last year. Any talent that was _close_ to the majors was called up after the trade deadline when the Cubs did some liquidation sales. There was a lot of terrible baseball going in the last half of the year.
  3. Man, Kelly's Pub. I haven't been there in a loooong time. The funny thing: my first job out of college I worked in downtown Minneapolis as a consultant and spent a bit of time around some of the various technology user group / networking types of things. At some point working around the area I met (and chatted with briefly) John Bonnes. It wasn't until years later I listened to my first episodes of Gleeman and the Geek and thought "why do I know that laugh...?."
  4. The Bonnes quote feels a bit like undetected sarcasm.
  5. Law's statement is certainly accurate - and he dropped his opinion of Lewis simply because we haven't seen him play ball since 2019. This year going into the season will certainly be a down year in terms of prospects because the top draftees from 2016-2018 mostly saw enough MLB time to have graduated (Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker) or haven't played (Lewis). There's a lot of guys in the pitching pipeline that need to show some rapid progress over the course of the season.
  6. That seems to be generally true. We've seen the social media posts from players in the offseason; they're usually going back to wherever home is and not staying in the Twin Cities. The one exception (maybe?) might be Buxton - when he signed he mentioned wanting to stay in Minnesota while kids were in school, go fishing and all of that. I presume that means he was considering making his permanent residence in the Twin Cities somewhere.
  7. IMO, that's the right attitude to have. The Hall of Fame is a tourist attraction first, something fun to talk about and debate about second. There's no fixed criteria for "this and that guy should be in against this and that other guy" - it's all going to be who the writers admire or abhor or who the players (through the veterans committee) respect or do not. The problem with Bonds and Clemens is that many writers who are still personally involved in the careers of these two men just can't put a positive vote in place for either of them. Some writers can put a vote in place and justify it based on strict baseball production, another sizable group can't look away from the off-field disasters that they both carry around. (PEDs, abuse, underage girls.) I can argue either way with the various groups of writers, but I also can't say that any of them are wrong in their vote justification. (Just like there aren't enough that are going to write glowing things about Curt Schilling in 2022.) Maybe in decades to come the veterans committee will look at things differently - but they also might not.
  8. FWIW, another comment about video games: in my limited sample size, MLB: The Show is quite frankly the best sports video game on the market. My youngest is absolutely enthralled by the way they mix arcade like quality with simulation style play.
  9. I certainly think that MLB could use more voices in a national booth that are both engaging and educational about the nuances of the modern game. Thinking of the football parallel, John Madden also came at a time when football broadcasts themselves were changing. Football television has always been more 'national' than baseball has - it's on once a week and a national broadcast team decides (well, especially at that point) what goes on the air and what doesn't. Madden and Summerall were certainly two broadcasters that signified a must-watch football game. In that sense, viewers tuning in to watch the game were just as interested in the play and analysis of the play as they were the players. (The Vikings fan tuning in to an Oakland Raiders game probably wasn't as familiar with the players, but could still appreciate / be entertained by a particular blocking strategy - BOOM.) Baseball broadcasts are different. We tend to watch our teams (there are usually a lot of games running every day at the same time through the season), get to know the players and be just as interested in their stories as much as we are in the intricacies of the slower speed of a baseball game. When those things are gone, the broadcasts seem much, much different. (e.g. how frustrated people get watching an ESPN televised game vs. Dick Bremer on BSN.) I think having a national broadcast try to follow more of a "football" model would be fantastic - a broadcast where the 'analyst' is there to break down the particular hows-and-whys of technique and why certain things happen on the field the way that they do. (e.g. why does a team shift like crazy against Max Kepler?) It seems most analytics in baseball focus on the fun graphics like an exit velocity, launch angle and those flight path diagrams without explaining how a manager / scout would care about those particular stats rather than just looking at the admittedly cool pictures.
  10. I guess I view the use of 'analytics' and 'baseball saavy' in a different way. Analytics (statistics) is the definitive method for describing things as they are. A baseball player will have a particular game history, or a particular set of data that can be used to describe how they play baseball in the past and right now. I think of good baseball saavy as a way of determining what a player can be given the player's past and present. Maybe a certain player has a lower wOBA than another, but a good scout should be able to look at the two players and evaluate what a potential upside of a particular player might be. (Would a change in technique change things entirely for the player? Does the player have a personality and ability to adapt?) To put this another way, I view analytics for player evaluation and player development as related - but that latter skill requires a bit more intuition ("saavy") on how well a player can adapt and/or be coached into using analytics to improve their game.
  11. I certainly don't think OF depth is the biggest issue the roster faces in the offseason. Just off the top of my head, people the org has that have been at least playing some outfield at AA/AAA/MLB: Larnach (hope the offseason has him working on breaking balls) Kirilloff (seems to be a good fit at 1B, too - but will probably be platooning there with Sano) Rooker (not at great defensive OF, needs some hitting work) Celestino (called up from AA unexpectedly, gained a lot of useful experience and grew in AAA) Miranda (IIRC, the Saints had him trying some OF - might be a slot there given where corner infield depth is as well) Martin (been playing some CF in AA this year since being acquired.) Cave (ahem) Those are at least the guys I can name off the top of my head that should be immediately available if needed - and there is not (as of yet) a starting LF penciled in to the MLB lineup if Buxton / Kepler are locks for CF/RF.
  12. Every labor dispute will involve marketing a particular case to the public - Manfred's letter here isn't much different. Where I don't see the players being able to make any traction (I'm struggling to see how this actually does improve competitive balance) is in changes to the revenue sharing system. Those rules weren't just players-vs-owners, there was a lot of owners-vs-owners in getting to any kind of agreement on splitting the MLB pie in the first place.
  13. Agreed, and that's the tricky thing about these negotiations. There's going to be an obvious difference in financial desire between the 'superstar' type of players that want earlier FA to demand higher value contracts, then the low-to-mid-tier players that simply want a way to earn more during their currently artificially limited playing careers. (i.e. Max Scherzer might want a faster path to big contracts, Tyler Duffey might want a path to be somewhat better paid and have his career not artificially ended by arbitration.)
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