After all the positive feedback on a weekly mailbag, it looks like I’m going to go ahead with one, soon. We’re still trying to settle on an interesting name, though, so keep the suggestions rolling in. To get you in the right frame of mind, why don’t we check in on what’s going on throughout the league …
- The Brewers are essentially in year 1 of their rebuild, which can often be the most tumultuous time – especially for star players. In a recent piece at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Tom Haudricourt grabs some quotes from former MVP-calibre catcher Jonathon Lucroy, who “doesn’t see us [the Brewers] winning in the foreseeable future.” Ouch. That might hurt to hear as a fan, but it’s the harsh reality of a rebuilding team behind, basically, three clubs that are in full go-for-it mode. But I remember the Cubs and their players saying similar things (and you’ll see lots of familiar quotes in the piece), and, in retrospect, it was well worth the wait. So … hang in there?
- Lucroy, by the way, is coming off an injury-filled, disappointing year, and is rumored to be on the trade block. As you can read in the article, it seems like he feels a trade would be best for everyone involved.
- Pete Rose has yet to be accepted back into the baseball community – though there was a brief moment in 2015 where it looked like it was going to happen before Commissioner Manfred shut the door for now – but he might have just made a move in the right direction. The Cincinnati Reds will induct Pete Rose into the Reds Hall of Fame, the weekend of June 24-26. His number will be formally retired and a statue will be built in his honor. That’s the full-service treatment, right there, and it serves to reinforce that he is very much an accepted part of the Reds’ history.
- In just under ten days, MLBPipeline will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospect list. Ahead of the release, however, they created a top ten ranking of right-handed pitchers in the minor leagues. No Cubs make the list, but it is topped by prospects from the Nationals (Lucas Giolito), Pirates (Tyler Glasnow) and Cardinals (Alex Reyes), which, uh … is great for them! Still, there’s plenty of useful information within, so you should check it out.
- An interesting New York Times piece on baseball in Australia and how they working towards expanding it’s impact and reach.
- Apropos of the recent Designated Hitter debate, Grant Brisbee has an excellent, unique perspective of an eventual rule change in baseball. Comparing it to Interleague Play, the Wild Card, the Second Wild Card and the Astros move to the American League, Brisbee believes that whatever the ultimate ruling (DH in both leagues or neither), we’ll get used to it, our kids will get used to it and it will become as much of part of baseball as anything else. Hear, hear (I had to Google the right way to do that). [Brett: Huh, how about that. I might’ve guessed “hear here!”]
- At Baseball Prospectus, Russell A. Carleton takes a deep dive into evaluating and monetarily valuing what a front office does. With the Cardinals hacking scandal in the foreground, Carleton lands just short of assigning an actual dollar figure to the collective baseball knowledge of an organization. Still, the journey and the conclusion are well worth the read.
- Current minor leaguers are filing suit against Major Leauge Baseball, claiming that MLB is violating both federal and state minimum-wage and overtime laws by paying minor leaguers as little as $3,300 a year, in some cases. At FanGraphs, Jesse Burkhart took a stab at examining the case, but uncovers a particularly challenging wrinkle: Unlike a class action lawsuit, this has been ruled as a collective action lawsuit. The difference, it turns out, is quite important. In a collective action lawsuit, each individual must opt-in to the lawsuit in order to reap any benefits from the decision. That means that minor leaguers will have to openly speak out against their MLB affiliate, in order to get what may legally be theirs. Check out Burkhart’s piece for much, much more on the decision (which is due February 11) and the impacts and implications of a ruling in either direction.
- And I hate to end on a sad note, but let’s send our collective condolences:
We are saddened by the loss of Sun Sentinel Marlins beat writer Juan C Rodriguez. Our deepest condolences go out to Juan's family & friends.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) January 18, 2016