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About jharaldson

  • Birthday 10/04/1978

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  1. So I looked at the top 10 catchers ranked by WAR and put the actual number of games caught by their name: Name Games Caught Johnny Bench 1742 Gary Carter 2056 Ivan Rodriguez 2427 Carlton Fisk 2226 Mike Piazza 1630 Yogi Berra 1699 Bill Dickey 1708 Gabby Hartnett 1793 Joe Mauer 921 Ted Simmons 1771 What you can see is that Joe caught significantly fewer games than any of the other top 10 catchers and actually played almost as many games (915) at 1B/DH/OF. Looking at his baseball reference page he actually accumulated 10.5 WAR after his 2013 concussion when he was only a 1B/DH. I feel you almost need to evaluate him half as a C and half as a 1B. In my mind his comps at 1B are Will Clark and John Olerud. Both are LH, low-powered guys with WARs better than Mauer's. And both are not in the Hall of Fame. When you look at Mauer as a true "tweener" instead of a classic catcher I don't think he makes it.
  2. In the 5 years since his last full season of 2017 he has averaged 55 games a year in CF: 2018 - 27 2019 - 78 2020 - Short season so can't compare 2021 - 60 2022 - 54 He may be a 4 fWAR player based on the 54 games in CF last year plus his DH time but his lack of health contributed to the extended amount of playing time for Cave and Celestino in CF which in my mind had negative value for the team. For 2023 to be a success for Buxton he needs to find a way to be healthy enough to play 100 games in CF and be available for the playoffs should the Twins make them.
  3. I disagree with some of your analysis and level of blame: Kirilloff - The Twins went into last offseason and this spring training knowing they did nothing to fundamentally address Kirilloff's wrist injury which was a significant issue in 2021 already. The fact that this lingered and has resulted in a more definitive surgery in 2022 is a failure of the Front Office and something that was an easily foreseeable outcome of their decisions. Paddack - The Twins acquired Paddack knowing he had a partially torn UCL. Best case outcome was they get by for a season or 2 like they did with Maeda. Worst case was a complete tear and loss for the season. It looks like the Twins used their luck up in situations like these with Maeda and they got the worst outcome. Losing Paddack in 2022 was an easily foreseeable outcome and another Front Office failure. Mahle - He literally just came off the IL from a shoulder injury and we now know he was receiving special shoulder therapy because of issues from that. Perhaps there is a reason he was cheaper than the other frontline starters available at the deadline. This is another item the Twins Front Office needs to own as their failure. Buxton - The Twins Front Office knew that Buxton was a significant injury risk and that is why he was relatively cheap. The Front Office knew what they were getting into and if Cave and Celestino have not filled in as well as one might have hoped, that is the choice Front Office made. Ober/Winder - Both guys came into the season with injury issues. As Gleeman frequently states, if you want to count on young pitching then make sure you have 2/3 times as many young pitchers as you need. Joe Ryan was the 1 success and Ober and Winder are the 2 failures. This is a foreseeable outcome for the Twins Front Office. Maeda - The Twins acquired Maeda knowing he had elbow issues that would require surgery back to his signing with the Dodgers in 2016. Getting a season and a half out of him was good luck. The Front Office knew he was out for 2022 and should have planned accordingly. In short, when the Front Office is asked to value skill, cost to acquire, cost to own, and injury risk, they seem to always come down on the side of injury risk being the thing they care least about. I have no sympathy and a lot of blame to place on Falvey and Lavine when those injuries happen.
  4. Dan Hayes states at 4:00 PM yesterday that it is $380K and definitely not $750K. 2 hours later he reports that "industry" sources say it is "potentially" $750K. Not "Twins" sources, not "LSU" sources, and not "Wes Johnson" sources, but unrelated 3rd parties. Industry experts Kyle Boddy and Kendall Rogers from Driveline and D1Baseball have publicly disagreed on the number as well with Kyle supporting the $750-800K number (Double) and Kendall saying it is closer to $500K. The short of it is we have beat writers disagreeing with themselves and reporting numbers from experts who are disagreeing with other experts and both experts aren't in the actual negotiations. Kyle even responded to be pushed back and said "Whatever it is, it is a lot.....on the books that is." implying he had no idea what the number was beyond "a lot".
  5. 1 & 2 relate back to the long term "cheap Pohlads" narrative. I have seen reports from beat writers that he is going to earn $750K and that the Twins do not have confirmation they would match. I have also seen reports that he will earn $380K plus some school incentives and wanted to go back south for his family. Depending on which is true we either have an entirely relatable story about a father wanting spend more time with his family or we have a team that was too cheap to keep their pitching coach mid-season for an extra $350K. 3 & 4 relate to the ongoing likelihood of this happening again. If our coaching contracts are written so poorly that any coach can leave for an equal position in a similar league then I am going to express anger and frustration at our front office. If our front office instead saw that Johnson was earnest in his desire to move home and released him from a binding contract as an act of kindness then I am more likely to look upon the front office in a positive manner. 5 & 6 relate to how skillfully the front office worked in setting precedent here. One option is they didn't talk to MLB or care they are setting precedent for coaches being poached from the MLB from an inferior league mid-season and that the MLB is upset that the sport took a black eye with someone valuing recruiting at a lower level as more important that a first place team. I could very easily see the MLB eating the remainder of Johnson's contract for 2022 and sidelining him until the offseason as a way to show other coaches that MLB will not accept this type of mid-season contract breaking. Another option is that the Twins consulted with MLB and they both saw this as a unique case of a person wanting to go home and allowed this as a 1-time action that they don't believe sets precedent. To go to your core question of "What would change if had these answers?", the answer is my opinion of the front office. I like my opinions to be based in facts and right now I don't know if I should be mad at the Cheap Pohlad's not matching a $350K raise after their stupid front office signed crap contracts with their coaches that allow them to leave for lateral positions at any time or if my opinion is we have a compassionate front office that let a guy go out of an iron-clad contract because they respected he wanted to spend more time with family and that it wasn't a money grab. We are 5 pages into this discussion and there are still people sharing one tweet saying $750K and other folks disputing and sharing another tweet with a contract image that says $380K and we can't even agree as to how much he is leaving for. We need the beat writers to provide the basic factual information and I think they have not delivered.
  6. I have personally been extremely underwhelmed by the reporting we have seen on this with basic questions being unanswered: Did the Twins offer to meet or beat his salary offer from LSU? Reporting I have seen has kept this vague and the answer was "we asked him what we needed to do to get him to stay." Be explicit and give us a yes/no on the money. If the Twins are evasive then tell us that they refuse to give a yes/no answer. What was the actual value of his contract with LSU? $750K was reported yesterday but today the actual contract comes out with $380K. Aaron Gleeman's reporting on this comes to the quote "There are a lot of ways to get college coaches paid.". Let's not speculate and actually report real numbers or don't report them at all. How long of a contract is Wes Johnson leaving? Does it expire at the end of this year? Is he on a 2 year deal? Was Wes Johnson legally able to exit this contract for similar work in a similar field or did it require the voluntary release of the Twins? How many other major league coaches have left for an equal level job in college mid-season. Is he the only one? Did the Twins consult with the commissioner on this situation? I can't imagine that the MLB likes the precedent that any other external, inferior league can come in mid-season and poach under-contract coaches at will for equal level jobs and potentially equal pay. Just like the MLBPA didn't allow A-Rod to choose to take a pay cut to get a trade to the Red Sox because of the precedent it would set I would think the MLB isn't too keen on this precedent. I am more annoyed by these series of seemingly straight-forward questions that we don't have answers to than if the situation is just that he wants to go back south and had someone offering similar money.
  7. As this lockout stretches on I have been thinking back to the last time this happened. The year was 1994 and Friends had just premiered on NBC, OJ Simpson captured all of our interest while slowly evading police in his white Bronco, and the MLB and MLBPA buzzkilled my fall by killing baseball and the World Series. I thought it might be fun to take the issues that were being discussed during that work stoppage and see in hindsight who had it right. Drug Testing In 1994 the owners submitted a drug testing program as part of their proposal for a labor agreement. Selig commented on this in testimony to Congress later: While MLB gave up way too quickly on this, it was the MLBPA that pushed back. David Cone, a rep for the players at the time, had some negative memories of his experience: In retrospect, with all of the issues impacting the Hall of Fame and the steroid class that followed I would say that the players truly screwed up this part of the negotiations. Arbitration As part of their proposal to the players the MLB was willing to reduce the years of team control from 6 years to 4 years: The players maintained a hardline opposition to a hard cap, which the owners had tied this proposal to, and ultimately rejected it. In 2022 they have given up on their request to remove 1 year of team control and are now shooting for more Super 2 status. In addition, the good, young players of this generation are feeling some pressure to sign early extensions that are team friendly because of the team control and I bet they would appreciate being 2 years closer to free agency now. Another loss in hindsight for the players. Cap In 1994 the owners submitted a proposal where they would split revenues with the players 50/50 in exchange for a hard cap across all team. The players rejected this equal distribution of revenue and instead compromised on a luxury tax that is not based on revenue and has effectively been used as a cap since. In 2021, the payroll for all teams was roughly $4B while the revenue for all teams was roughly $12B. My math has that at a 33% distribution which means the revered Donald Fehr and the MLB Players negotiated themselves a deal where they earn 17% less revenue. In 2021 that means the players could have earned $2B more under the owners 1994 proposal. I don't think that all would have gone to the best players either because even with all that new obligation I would think that the Angels would not increase the money they pay Trout from $37M a year to $56M a year and it would likely mean a lot bigger floor of minimum salaries to meet the %50 revenue obligation. I would call this a 3rd strike for players. Conclusion In short, we wouldn't have had the steroid era as badly, players could be free agents 2 years quicker, players would be making 50% more, and we would have had a 1994 World Series if the players hadn't declared a strike and accepted the owners offer. If only Mr. Peabody's Wayback machine was real?
  8. One of the things I think gets forgotten in these negotiations is that the owners are likely still remembering back to the end of 2020 where, according to Forbes, they lost $1 Billion due to empty stadiums but full paychecks to players. They look at the NBA where their players worked with ownership and agreed to a %25 paycut to reflect empty stadiums and to the NHL where the players agreed to a %20 paycut and a %10 deferral. The owners must remember when they put an 82 season on the table with some paycuts to try and put a dent in those losses and the players rejecting it. In the proposal the owners put forward a minimum salaried guy like Luis Arraez would have made $256K in 82 games but guys like Donaldson would have taken a good sized cut. The players preferred a system where Arraez made $208K in 60 games so Donaldson could get his full pay. I don't see any good will the players have built with the owners that would incentivize them to negotiate a favorable deal to the players. They probably think they gave enough in 2020.
  9. Let's look at the regular season then. The Twins have gone 32-109 against the Yankees since 2002. That .227 Winning% is worse than the New York Mets baseline of 40-120 that is commonly used as replacement level. Seeing the Twins getting dominated by the Yankees year after year and seeing the Twins and AL Central have so many issues in the postseason make me think that we need to weight your "mediocre" scale. In FIP they often have a ballpark rating to adjust expected ERA up or down depending on ease of hitting HR and such. I am going to apply a factor to teams in the AL Central. An 81-81 team in the AL East is better than an 81-81 team in the Central so while you used +-10 games to get to 76-86 and 86-76 I am going to use 80 as my starting point and go 80-82 and 90-72 which means requiring 4 additional wins per season to get out of "mediocre" for an AL Central team. This adjusts your table to the following: 2002: 94-67 - Good 2003: 90-72 - Mediocre 2004: 92-70 - Good 2005: 83-79 - Mediocre 2006: 96-66 - Good 2007: 79-83 - Bad 2008: 88-75 - Mediocre 2009: 87-76 - Mediocre 2010: 94-68 - Good 2011: 63-99 - Bad 2012: 66-96 - Bad 2013: 66-96 - Bad 2014: 70-92 - Bad 2015: 83-79 - Mediocre 2016: 59-103 - Bad 2017: 85-77 - Mediocre 2018: 78-84 - Bad 2019: 101-61 - Good 2020: Too short to compare 2021: 73-89 - Bad I personally view 14 of the past 20 season as either mediocre or bad.
  10. From what I can see in the link below it is actually less than 1.5 seconds. Washington Post Baseball Swing Study I'm not saying that this is easy, it is incredibly hard. But being able to identify a pitch is part of what distinguishes a professional from a minor leaguer and is a defined and recognized skill in major league baseball. In regards to Chapman, from what I can read his injury was caused as a result of the ball being excessively darkened by spit, dirt, and other substances plus the fact the game had extended into the late afternoon with no artificial lights. Not being able to react because you can't see the ball vs. not reacting well to a ball that is fully visible and is well-lit are two entirely different things.
  11. I will disagree with the fact that this injury is not Buxton's fault. Below I have 2 screenshots from the pitch that hit him. The first shows him with his hands protected behind his triceps and the second is from a fraction of a second later when he had brought his hands in to start a swinging motion. He obviously massively misjudged this ball and instead of protecting his hands during a non-swing he had to instead try to protect them mid-swing which is why they were out there in plain sight. Better pitch identification and him reacting by turning his left shoulder in instead of bringing his hands into the zone would have prevented this injury.
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