It’s a busy day around these parts, so let’s jump right in to some of the news from around baseball …
- I’m legitimately afraid to share this first piece with you from USA Today. Let’s just say, the title of the article is MLB Won’t Fear Going Extreme to Attract New Generation, and includes quotes from the Commissioner and Cal Ripken Jr. (Special Advisor to the Commissioner on Youth Programs and Outreach). I am usually the most vocal proponent or advocate of change, but even I don’t come close to having any interest in the things being loosely proposed (1. Start every inning with a runner on first base, 2. Start each inning with a different count, 3. Instead of three outs, having five batters (what does that even mean?), 4. Players are required to steal). The idea, at first, would be to try out new rules at non-professional levels of competition to try and engage more kids in the sport.
- But, I wouldn’t worry at all about crazy changes coming to the big leagues any time soon. If you’ve even loosely followed the NL DH discussion, you’ll know that baseball is relatively resistant to change even on topics that do have some widespread support in and out of the league. Either way … yikes.
- At FanGraphs, Matthew Kory takes an extremely fun look at what would happen if you, yes YOU, were forced to play six straight games in the Majors. Figuring out where you would field and hit, Kory tries to determine how good – or let’s be honest, terrible – you would be. As a hitter, you might be surprised to learn, you might have a chance to be as good as Jon Lester. All in all, you’d probably cost your team, on average, a surprising number of games in your short stint.
- The New York Yankees have a new ticket policy that aims to knock Stubhub out of the conversation, keeping the secondary ticket market for the team. That’s certainly their prerogative, but yesterday, the Yankees’ Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost made some … questionable comments about the purpose behind the new policy (“And quite frankly, the fan [who buys a cheap ticket on the secondary market for a premium seat] may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base”). That’s not a good color, my friend.
- Speaking of questionable Yankees items, over at Baseball Is Fun, Brett is torn between making fun of or condoning the Yankees’ strictly serious, motivated individuals only policy. All in all, Brett sees the value in hard work, though I prefer Zoo animals and disco parties. (Why not both?)
- Ben Badler offers an incredible read on the Gurriel Brothers’ defection from Cuba, the impact its had on other Cuban players in the Dominican Republic, and how tense things remain in the world of getting Cuban players to the United States and MLB.
- The Marlins Spring Training Park – Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL – has closed off an area historically used by the players for autographs and fan interactions. Fans are, obviously, upset about the change – explained as a security measure – and I don’t blame them. Spring Training has become a bit of a different animal lately, but I still agree that it should ideally have the personal, low-key vibe we have all grown accustom to.
- Over at the LA Times, Bill Shaikin delivers an excellent Q&A with Dodgers President Andrew Friedman. The goal of the Q&A is to have the “grand plan explained” and Shaikin does an excellent job driving to that point. Well worth your time.
- Over at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris tries to quantify “pitcher deception” – an area that otherwise seems impossible to quantify. There’s some serious math involved, but Sarris does reach a conclusion and a top 20 All-Time Leaders in Deception ranking.
- Lastly, Brandon McCarthy is doing funny stuff on baseball Twitter:
Brandon McCarthy. You funny. pic.twitter.com/GfRKVg2ef1
— Baseball Is Fun (@flippingbats) February 18, 2016
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.