Whenever I’m having a spell of the old writer’s block, I’m reminded of this hilarious exchange from 30 Rock:
And just like that, I have an intro!
Time for some news from around the league …
- And sadly, I have to start with something somewhat depressing, disappointing, and unfortunately, not as surprising as it really should be: The Miami Marlins have let go “a longtime scout in need of a kidney transplant as he lay in the hospital days after undergoing colon cancer surgery.” Yeah. That’s bad. You have the right to remake the organization how you want it when you take over, but a little human care is advised. Apparently, this all actually happened back in October, but the news has come out recently and it’s not a great look for the new owners, who come off sounding too much like the old owner.
- When I predicted that the inexperienced Marlins ownership might make a couple of embarrassing missteps while settling in to their new jobs, I didn’t quite picture something this bad. “Probably in their hearts they did what they thought was right,” said Marty Scott, the now-free-agent scout. “I know based on certain aspects of the game, I probably was making too much money. But we all love the game. We’re all in it together. I just think 40 years was worth more than a spank on the butt and see you later.” Like I said, not a great look (and the details (he received a *phone call* while literally laying on a hospital bed) weren’t any better). Just a yucky story all the way around.
- As I’m sure you know, MLB, NPB, and the Players Union agreed to extend the previous posting system for one more season, so that Shohei Ohtani could be posted this year (as he was earlier today). Well, they’ve also now come to an agreement for the next three years, as well:
MLB announced today that its Clubs have ratified the new protocol agreement w/Nippon Professional Baseball. The agreement consists of the following key terms: pic.twitter.com/FPssS4Ud0v
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) December 1, 2017
- In short, instead of the current flat posting fee ($20M maximum), MLB teams will now owe a player’s former NPB team a percentage of the contract to which they sign the player. Thus, the better the player, the more money the NPB team will receive. Importantly, this should guarantee that the players get a larger share of whatever the MLB team is spending overall, at least compared to the current/previous system.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a line in there about deferred bonuses, salary escalators, etc., and that matters because it’ll prevent teams from signing players to “tiny” contracts and extending them to larger deals later, to avoid big posting fees. I doubt a team would be so brazen, but now, well, they can’t.
- The Yankees managerial search continues, and while I’m still pulling for Carlos Beltran to get the job (who doesn’t love seeing recent former players in the dugout?), Bill Madden (NY Daily News) says it’ll probably be either Hensley Meulens or Aaron Boone. Three others (Eric Wedge, Rob Thompson, and Chris Woodward) have each already interviewed and no further interviews are scheduled. According to Madden, the Yankees should announce a decision as early as next week.
- The “Comeback Player of the Year” awards were recently announced, and a potential Cubs target won in the National League:
— MLB (@MLB) December 1, 2017
- I’m still pretty firmly against bringing in Holland to be the Cubs closer because of that scary walk rate and second half struggles, but there’s no denying that he had a good season overall.
- Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association just released their annual drug report, as required by the Joint Drug Agreement, and Craig Calcaterra has more on it for you at NBC Sports. Among the highlights: a total of 10,327 tests were taken this year, and 9,450 of them were performed on Brewers first baseman Eric Thames (that’s just a little joke). In reality, seven players tested positive, five for PEDs and two for stimulants. I don’t have much to add other than drugs are bad, mmmkay.
- And finally, more Chicago-sports-themed Christmas light shows!
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) December 1, 2017