Why does every toilet in our house clog constantly?!?! (Sorry for throwing you under the bus, family, but it ain’t me!)
• Kevin Goldstein’s latest chat is up at FanGraphs, and one thing I want to note up top is the reminder in a question about the nature of the Designated Hitter. We know it’s coming, but the question was whether it would just be universal, or if we’d get the “double hook” rule. I kinda forgot about that – it’s the vastly superior version of the rule that ties the DH to the starting pitcher (when one departs, so does the other; increases the value of starting pitchers, benches, and strategy) – because it hasn’t come up at all in any of the reporting about CBA talks. Basically no rule stuff has. So, like Goldstein, I would just expect the regular old universal DH to come. Which is a bummer now that I’m reminded how much I LOVE THE IDEA of the double hook.
• Other bits from Goldstein: FG incorporates a lot of Statcast data into their prospect rankings, seems like folks are pretty down on Jo Adell and Jarred Kelenic (which is a reminder that even tip-top-5-type prospects sometimes do not transition well to the big leagues), it would be good to have a solid knuckleballer on staff as a change of pace(!) but they’re really hard to find, and Goldstein has consistently said he believes the regular season will be shortened by the lockout.
• Also, as Brad notes from Goldstein, Nick Madrigal mentioned alongside Jose Altuve as having the best hand-eye coordination in baseball:
You read it here first, folks, Nick Madrigal is the next Jose Altuve (hopefully without the cheating). pic.twitter.com/B4sPWLjfZI
— Brad (@ballskwok) January 31, 2022
• It’s interesting that those two come up as having that superior skill, given the obvious superficial physical comparisons folks will make (though I think Madrigal is a touch taller and Altuve is a big thicker). The big difference, of course, is that Altuve showed quite a bit of power potential in the minors (and a higher strikeout rate) despite his size. I think Madrigal can keep adding enough doubles power to float the SLG a little and also keep defenses honest enough to support a high BABIP. But I don’t really see anything in what we’ve seen that suggests he can approach double-digit homers in a season. (Prove me wrong, Nick! But also, keep doing all the stuff that makes you unique!)
• Doug Glanville offering a very thoughtful counter to those (like me) who say that the Hall should simply admit PED users who were among the truly elite for their era and in baseball history:
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) January 31, 2022
• Whatever I might think as a random dude typing on a keyboard, Glanville is 100% right about this:
Watching so many of sports’ biggest superstars tweet their disappointment in the vote that kept Bonds out didn’t help. Eventually, I realized what many of them haven’t had to: The lines you draw are different when you are directly impacted by such rampant cheating. Not peripherally, not theoretically, but directly – in your contract negotiations, on the lineup card, on the depth chart, in the win column.
It is one thing to watch artificial domination on TV, marveling at the numbers it produced as if it is a magic show. It is another when you lose your job from it.
• Thank you, MLB Daily Dingers, for reminding me of the Zach Davies Experience:
9/5/2021: Bryan Reynolds went oppo taco for his first career grand slam. He posted career-high marks in homers (24), RBI (90), runs scored (93), and fWAR (5.5) for the #Pirates last year. #LetsGoBucs (via Sports Productions) @BucsDugout @rumbunter pic.twitter.com/q16YpqR4D8
— MLB Daily Dingers (@MLBDailyDingers) February 1, 2022
• The MLB The Show cover is out, and obviously it’s Shohei Ohtani, though there was a fun opportunity missed:
— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) January 31, 2022
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) January 31, 2022
• A reminder that Jordan Hicks should be more fully healthy for the Cardinals this year, and we’ll see if his recovery from Tommy John has set him right. He could do ridiculous things before the injury (though he hadn’t yet quite put together top tier results to match):
Jordan Hicks' Legendarily Unfair Stuff. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Bn7pBUBDFH
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 28, 2022
• My favorite baseball freak:
Giancarlo Stanton had the most 115 MPH+ home runs in MLB in 2021.
The top three were:
1.) Stanton — 9
2.) Ohtani — 7
3.) Tatis — 4 pic.twitter.com/9e7rIK0APl
— Joe Randazzo (@Yankeelibrarian) February 1, 2022
• I have been trying to figure out for a while how to meaningfully discuss baseball considerations tied to climate change (because the latter will continue to have an impact on the former over time!), but for now I’ll share this Yahoo piece on the subject. There are a lot of baseball players getting involved in green initiatives and trying to figure out how to help. I think that’s great modeling.
• Oh, are they actually doing this:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 1, 2022
• Nerf toys, toothbrushes, speakers, outdoor gear, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad