"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Nuts to You

Or: “Wake Us Up Before You Go-Go”

It’s a hearty time to be a Yankee fan. The team is young and one of the better teams in the game. But holy cow, has this ever been a depressing off-season for the sport. Baseball and the people that run it will never cease to get in their own way—can you imagine marquee stars like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving languishing like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have this winter? Hell, in the NBA teams are getting slapped with fines for tampering guys six months before they hit the open market.

Man, it just makes you shake your head.

Spoke to a guy who runs one of the big sports media companies recently and asked him what the most popular American sports are now in terms of their coverage and he said, “NFL, NBA, college football, soccer, baseball.” Said soccer and baseball are pretty close—and not American soccer but worldwide soccer. I’ve been working with Esquire for the past 3 years and I can tell you from a general magazine like that baseball is squaresville these days. I couldn’t imagine one ballplayer who they would profile.

And that’s fine, I suppose, I’ll still watch the games this year, I’m still excited about this Yankee team, but there is a gloom hanging over the sport that just won’t go away.

Picture by Bags


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1 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 12, 2019 4:35 pm

I kinda like lots of the proposed rule changes to speed up the game, except for the 3-batter rule. I'd let them start with a guy on 2nd in the 12th. I'd also like to see the roster go up to 26, the NL to get the DH, and limit the number of pitchers - maybe 9 or 10.

And sign Machado!

2 Greg G   ~  Feb 12, 2019 5:40 pm

Perhaps the Yanks read the tea leaves for potentially huge contracts this year and went with Stanton, because they didn't have to outbid anyone?

Maybe huge contracts will become a thing of the past.

Not having the usual big money teams bidding up the price of Machado and Harper has really put the brakes on this offseason.

Boras's slow or deliberate (if you will) timeline, may be hurting his other clients that he represents, since everyone is waiting to see where the big 2 land, before filling out their teams. That might make these guys looking for a dance partner, so late in the year, go with a lesser contract.

To your point, with so few actual suitors and such a long delay for the top guys to sign, there is no positive news. The owners are sitting on a boatload of $, but perhaps contracts of $300 and $400 mil are no longer practical? That made for juicy headlines and then there was coverage of the teams that were bridesmaids picking up the next level guys. The Yanks struck quickly and may be done. Red Sox already have a ring and not many needs. Cubs and Dodgers already have huge payrolls. The White Sox and Phillies want to spend, but not sure anyone really wants to go there.

On a side note, it is nice to see Georgie PoPo back working with Jetes in Florida. That hardass might be giving the young guys a good swift kick in the ass. Now they need to sign El Duque so Jorge and he can come to blows in the dugout.

Let's go Yang-keys.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 14, 2019 9:52 am

[0] I can't get over that photo, Alex. Who sells coconuts in NYC? What year is that? Weird.

Suddenly, I'm hankering for a Gray's Papaya hot dog. Lots of kraut and mustard.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 14, 2019 10:41 pm

Maybe MLB should ask Adam Silver to be commissioner, tee hee...

5 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 15, 2019 12:06 pm

+RAB reporting that Sevi's been signed to a 4 year extension, with a 5th year option. Good work, Cash!

6 Hank Waddles   ~  Feb 15, 2019 4:16 pm

[5] Yes, I like that signing of Severino. Now that the pitch-tipping has been discovered, and will likely be monitored throughout the season, I'm sure he'll back to the dominance we saw from him in the first half.
[0] To Alex's point about the NBA, that's a great comparison. Not only is tampering a huge concern in that league, the marquee free agents almost always sign with days of the opening of free agency. The NBA just does everything right, probably because everyone involves realizes the players are the kings of the game. It's the only sport without an off-season, because things are just as interesting in July and August as they are right now. Baseball will always be my greatest love, but the NBA just does a better job with pretty much everything related to publicity.

7 rbj   ~  Feb 15, 2019 6:20 pm

Good news on Sevy.
I am expecting a work stoppage of some kind when the CBA expires. Can’t imagine no one has space for Harper or Machado.

And baseball this weekend, starting tonight on MLBN at 7. Yeah, it’s college, but actual games.

8 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 16, 2019 9:28 am

[6] Except for the Knicks >;) and this year's edition of the Pelicans. The Lakers seemed to have traded one marquee issue for another, though if I'm them I'd much rather have a LeBron problem than a LaVar Ball problem. The only thing the NBA has to worry about in the long run is competitive balance and the Knicks not becoming like the DS-owned Clippers.

9 rbj   ~  Feb 19, 2019 1:05 pm

And Miggy Jr. breathes a sigh of relief.

Money is there, but the Padres?

10 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 19, 2019 1:12 pm

Padres were the only ones to step up. It happened with Hosmer last year after Boras promised he’d get $200 mil. If they snatch Harper from under Philly’s nose, the NL in general will be an interesting watch. Not the San Diego will be a great team, but the drama will be intense.

There might have been a case that owners were particularly shunning Boras’ clients, but they bought themselves a short reprieve from such talk.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 19, 2019 6:32 pm

The only thing I'm not looking forward to is the incessant whining about not getting Machado whenever Miggy has a ball hit to him. It won't matter whether he makes the play or not, it will be "Machado couldda done that!" I see posts on various sites already shaping up that way.

12 Greg G   ~  Feb 19, 2019 7:21 pm

The Padres aren't going anywhere, and need someone to put fans in the seats and now they have that with Machado. I predict in 2 or 3 years time that Manny starts chirping about being sick of losing and demanding a trade to a contender. The Pads will eat a lot of his contract and he will be on his way.

The Yanks don't need another excessive contract. They have all the offense they need, and will need big dollars to hold this team together as the years pass. They will also need a few big dollar starting pitchers, or to finally develop some from the farm system.

Nice to see the Yanks locking up Severino for a few years.

13 Ara Just Fair   ~  Feb 20, 2019 10:22 am

My dad predicted San Diego on Friday. I said, why the hell woukd anyine go to to San Diego. The weather is nice but no one gives a shit about baseball. He response was, I'd play in Batavia for 300 million. Yup. See you I, the highlights,Manny.

14 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 20, 2019 12:37 pm

Wonder when the other shoe (Harper) will drop. Interesting the Judge said that the Yanks have a team right now ready to win it all (in response to the Manny news). Still have a feeling (for no reason I can articulate) that the Yanks may swoop in on Harper, since Philly doesn't seem to be offering him the contract he wants.

15 Hank Waddles   ~  Feb 20, 2019 3:58 pm

It's tempting to compare Machado's signing to A-Rod's with the Rangers in 2001, but the Padres actually have some young talent, so it'll be interesting to see how things develop down there over the next few seasons. Also, it'll be interesting to see what happens when the Padres show up in the Bronx in the end of May. For Andujar's sake, I hope he's above .250 at that point. If not, it'll be a difficult stretch of games as he deals with the inevitable comparisons.

16 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 20, 2019 8:40 pm

[15] One thing that was mentioned that may/may not be interesting in comparison of those two contracts was that although A-Rod's contract numbers are lower than Machado's, the present-day overall and average annual value are higher (A-Rod's contract would be valeud at $373 million in current value).

I suspect Boras, for bragging rights and pacifying his client alone, will seek to surpass that number or the AAV at least for one season. However, I don't see anyone else getting even close to Stanton/Kershaw money for the rest of the term of the current CBA. Depending on how the union decides to negotiate (and the recent track record suggest it won't be an even fight), you may never see them again until the labor side catches up with the current dynamics and starts countering management's info (flip side of the coin tactic).

17 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 21, 2019 9:02 am

[13] Actually, San Diego is easily one of the most beautiful, pleasant and liveable cities in America. Actually, there is quite a lot to do there, and the cuisine is a lot better than the rest of SoCal, especially in terms of variety. And if that isn't enough, Mexico is a hop, skip and a jump away.

Not saying I would want to live there as a young man, but still. It's got Phillie and Chicago beat hands down in terms of quality of life.

But yeah, it's the money, stupid. Or it's the stupid money.

18 rbj   ~  Feb 22, 2019 3:25 pm

Woo hoo, game tomorrow. OK, spring training, 1 AB for a couple of regulars, but it beats staring out the window waiting for spring.

19 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 22, 2019 11:26 pm

[18] Or working outdoors waiting for spring.

20 rbj   ~  Feb 23, 2019 1:12 pm

Gleyber with an early knock.

21 rbj   ~  Feb 23, 2019 1:34 pm

And back to back to back doubles.

22 rbj   ~  Feb 24, 2019 1:28 pm

I thought yesterday's NESN team of Carlos Pena & Dave O'Brien were bad. the Rays' is worse.

Michael Kay to the rescue, please.

23 rbj   ~  Feb 24, 2019 2:12 pm

Voit volt!

24 Ara Just Fair   ~  Feb 24, 2019 2:14 pm

[23]Hey there, rbj. I was tuned in for that one. Off the Hooters roof! What a blast.

25 rbj   ~  Feb 24, 2019 3:02 pm

Hi,Ara. That was a humdinger. Looks like the Rays are in midseason suckatude form.

26 rbj   ~  Feb 25, 2019 10:24 am

Huh, 7 years, $70 million for Hicks. I guess this does mean no Harper. Or Trout next year.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver