Hey, the World Series starts tonight. That’s neat. Who are you rooting for? The super-rich, coastal team with a ton of recent success and one of the best front offices in baseball or the super-rich, coastal team with a ton of recent success and one of the best front offices in baseball?
At least it’s not the Brewers.
- Speaking of the World Series, Brett made an astute, yet poignant observation this morning:
Baseball may not be "dying," but today, the day the World Series between two historic and popular franchises begins – a Tuesday, no less – this is what ESPN's home page looks like.
Please stop fighting against attempts at beneficial change for the sport. pic.twitter.com/Neb7kFc7B5
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 23, 2018
- We’re not just talking about any World Series here. These are two of the biggest teams inthe sport. And you can poke fun at the choices of that particular website/publication all you want, but guess what: they target what sells, and, right now, even on the morning of a HUGE World Series with no football games to be played, baseball isn’t cutting it. That’s an issue.
- Relatedly, the Commissioner, Rob Manfred recently addressed the drop in attendance this season and stated “We’re concerned about it. We’re trying to do some innovative things.” What those innovative things are, I’m not sure, but I get scared even thinking about it.
- To be fair, Manfred did hit on some good points in that interview, including the importance of social media, but the superseding importance of including players *and* specifically, being “authentic” about it. I can tell you with certainty, having traversed these waters myself over the years, that authenticity is the ONLY thing that plays. People can just tell.
- Back to the World Series (that’ll be trend today, as you can imagine), FanGraphs cheekily writes that it’s “The Best World Series Money Can Buy.” The Red Sox finished the season with a final payroll around $237M while the Dodgers are right around $194M. Together, it’s the largest payroll by the two World Series teams ever. A much deeper, and interesting dive is available at FanGraphs.
- Another special thing about this particular World Series matchup is that it’s the first time these two teams have squared off in over 100 years. And because of that – along with the popularity of both franchises – Yahoo Sports has found that the average price of a Fenway Park World Series ticket on the resale market is $1,718 – which is apparently the fifth highest price of the decade. They have many more quirky and interesting ticket price factoids here.
- During the NLCS, Manny Machado played the role of the villain for the Milwaukee Brewers, thanks to a couple of questionable decisions on the field as well as the whole crotch re-assembly thing:
Meanwhile in the baseball game pic.twitter.com/KCO6ZzHoLw
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 21, 2018
- I’m not saying that’s not sometimes necessary, but I think we all know what he was doing.
- But he won’t find a warmer reception in Boston, that’s for sure. At NBC Sports, Craig Calcaterra retreads over some of the conflicts between Machado and the Red Sox, who played his former team, the Orioles, quite a bit over the years. At the same time, at Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan reports that Machado doesn’t actually enjoy the role of “villain,” despite everyone’s apparent wishes. With that said, Machado defends the way he (or anyone) wants to play, including a not-so-subtle jab at the league: “However you play is however you play,” Machado said. “Everyone has their own different personalities in the game. Not everybody can be robots. I know MLB is trying to make us robots, but we’re just going to go out there and play our game.”
- Do you, Machado. But as for the villain? There’ll never be one better than Joey Votto:
Joey Votto is the villain we deserve (volume)pic.twitter.com/GZ7ZrQ9tBw
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) February 20, 2018
- The Mets are having some trouble finding a GM thanks to the perception that whoever takes the job won’t really be calling the shots. To that end, two higher profile candidates have been “eliminated from consideration:”
Kim Ng and Dave Littlefield have been eliminated from consideration for Mets GM job. Leaves Melvin, Van Wagenen and Bloom as the known candidates.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 22, 2018
- With that said, Doug Melvin seems to be legitimately interested in the job, though there was some confusion on that. The Mets may never not be a mess, so long as the current ownership group remains at the helm.
- No one fails to sign players better than the Orioles. After acquiring one of the biggest bonus pools in baseball thanks to a series of trades during the season, the Orioles came away without either of the Mesa brothers are Sandy Gaston. Why did they even bother to build up that pool if … oh never mind. Perhaps the Cubs can relieve the Orioles of that extra pool space and put it to better use (though that reportedly incoming Japanese ace won’t actually be subject to these restrictions, so maybe there’s no need).
- And finally, this is odd. You almost never see a two-year Minor League deal (perhaps he was simply dying to get back into the big leagues and sees this as his best option?):
Diamondbacks sign 25-year-old RHP Shane Watson to two-year minor league deal. He pitched as a reliever in the Atlantic League this year after injury trouble in Phillies system.
Watson was Philadelphia's top pick (supplemental first round) in 2012.#GenerationDbacks
— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) October 23, 2018