Even when the Cubs are terrible, it’s easy to get hyperfocused on only the Cubs, and forget that there’s an entire league out there …
- A pretty serious brawl broke out in San Diego last night after Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin, who took exception to it and charged the mound. Quentin is a whole lot bigger than Greinke, and the result was a fractured collar bone for the Dodgers’ big money starter. It’s unclear how much time he’s going to miss at this point, and the break was on his non-pitching side. The Dodgers just dumped Aaron Harang, but they’ve still got a good deal of pitching depth (Chris Capuano isn’t even in the rotation at this point, and Ted Lilly will come back from the DL at some point). None will replace Greinke’s expected production, but I don’t think this, alone, is a crippling blow.
- Quentin said he charged the mound because of the history between the two and because of something Greinke said, but … it was a one-run game and a 3-2 pitch. It’s quite clear that Greinke wasn’t intentionally trying to hit Quentin, and it’s also quite clear that part of Quentin’s game is getting hit by pitches (he leads the universe, and he dives toward the plate). On a first glance, and without more information, this seems like a pretty bush league move by Quentin. (Credit to Greinke, who gives up about 60 pounds to Quentin, for standing in there and doing his best to absorb and re-deliver a body blow to the charging Quentin. He did the absorb part pretty well … )
- Ben Badler continues his impressive reporting on the prospect of an international draft over at Baseball America. In his latest piece, he reports that MLB has issued what effectively amount to slot value recommendations (remember those in the old draft system? They were the amount MLB said you should spend on a given pick, although they had no force whatsoever) for international signings in the coming 2013-14 signing period. If that sounds weird, it is a little weird. Each team was assigned four slot values: “For example, the Cubs, who finished with the second-worst record in 2012, have the slot values for No. 2 ($2,873,000), No. 32 ($462,300), No. 62 ($312,200) and No. 92 ($209,700). Each team takes the sum of their four slot values, then adds another $700,000 to get its total bonus pool, which for the Cubs would be $4,557,200.”
- For now, though, the slot values have no force, and are just recommendations. In the future, though, Badler speculates that this is a precursor to the probably-coming international draft, which would have four rounds (with free agency thereafter), and this gives us a sense of what the bonus pool slot values would look like in such a draft. Badler says nothing has been decided in this regard, though, including whether the draft could be longer or shorter than four rounds, or whether the slot values would act as they do in the current state-side draft, or if they would be mere recommendations, as in pre-new-CBA draft.
- That all said, even these weird, non-forceful slot values for the 2013-14 international signing period have a meaning: the CBA allows teams to “trade” for international signing money, and those trades have to come in the form of a slot value (i.e., you can trade for a specific slot value, not just “$1 million”). Yes, this all sounds very complicated. Read Ben’s piece for more details.
- You may remember that MLB recently sued individuals connected to the Miami-based BioGenesis clinic reportedly tied to performance-enhancing drugs, and stars like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. MLB did so, according to most theories, so that they could get access to the allegedly incriminating documents for their own investigation. Now, according to the New York Times, we’re learning they’ve tried another approach to getting the documents: buying them. Seriously, MLB really wants to take these guys down.
- The reviews for the now-released Jackie Robinson biopic ’42’ are consistently good, though not necessarily over-the-top good. Sounds like a movie baseball fans would like, though, and it’s obviously a crucially important story.