Why Teams Rarely Talk About the Luxury Tax, Darvish Tweets, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Why Teams Rarely Talk About the Luxury Tax, Darvish Tweets, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I was thinking this weekend about what an advantage the NFL has over MLB when it comes to casual playoff watching. Although MLB has so many more games – which does help in a way – they start at odd hours and, particularly late in the postseason, consistently start so late in the evening that staying up for the whole thing means a midnight commitment that casual viewers just aren’t going to make. By contrast, the NFL can park their games in the afternoon and early evening on the weekends, and it’s like you get to see the entire series in a single three-hour stretch. It makes for very easy casual viewing, which is why it feels like everyone is watching the games.

  • The ongoing saga in Boston about whether they’ll get under the luxury tax, what ownership has directed the front office to do, what they’ve said, what they’ve changed course on, and so on and so on, is a big part of why the Cubs will never say publicly what their spending plans are.
  • Here’s what owner John Henry said at the outset of the offseason, per MLB.com: “This year we need to be under the [luxury tax, aka CBT]. That is something we’ve known for more than a year now.” And now, here’s what he says … after an offseason that has so far seen the club unable to move their pricey players: “This focus on [the] CBT resides with the media far more than it does within the Sox. I think every team probably wants to reset at least once every three years – that’s sort of been the history – but just this week … I reminded baseball ops that we are focused on competitiveness over the next five years over and above resetting to which they said, ‘That’s exactly how we’ve been approaching it.'”
  • The main reason you just don’t get into this stuff publicly should be obvious: telling the world what you’re going to do (or not do) simply doesn’t serve any useful competitive purpose. Who knows what deleterious effects Henry’s earlier comments had on the Sox’s negotiations in trades, as teams almost certainly tried to limit prospect/player returns in favor of just offering to take on salary? As much as fans might want to HEAR the plans and particulars, the Cubs are just not ever going to say it. We have to observe their behavior and the state of the market, and you can usually figure it out from there. For example, it was clear a month ago that the Cubs were planning to stay under the luxury tax, and they’ve done nothing since then, so, yeah, pretty confident in that one … which means the Cubs have lost that negotiating edge in any case. Blame the arbitrator in the Kris Bryant service time grievance.
  • Speaking of which, IS THIS FINALLY THE WEEK?!? … probably not. I fully expect the decision to be released as I lay on my death bed in 2094, with a cyborg blogger scrolling MegaTwitter and leaning over to whisper the news in my ear, to which I respond with just one cryptic word: “Rosebud.”
  • Yu Darvish remains the Twitter king. In a column about 12 changes he’d like to see from the Cubs, Paul Sullivan included a section suggesting that the Cubs make Darvish stop “clapping back at Twitter trolls,” said it was “silly for a major leaguer to act so thin-skinned,” and advised that Darvish “forget about what others say and focus on pitching.” In perfect Darvish form, he responded in two tweets – one serious, one hilarious:

  • Cubs prospect, and former Cubs prospect, having fun:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.