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MLB 2018

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    Cubs are going to set up their own sports network with Sinclair in 2020.

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      Hopefully the Cubs will learn from the disaster that is the Dodgers network and not get too greedy with their pricing.

      I was traveling for work last week so I recorded MLB Now episodes from the winter meetings. They showed a clip of Chris Ruso's High Heat that featured an interview with Tony Larusa. Mad Dog didn't dance around the subject: he told Tony that the vote seemed to be the worst example of cronyism. Larusa was pissed but it was good to see someone say this to a member of the committee. That clip was followed by Al Avila appearing on MLB Now, where the panelists were less blunt (they're not sports radio shock jocks) and Avila wouldn't have the same connecton to Baines. But Brian Kenny basically showed that the real deserving candidate was Will Clarke and that it was hard to find Baines landing in the top 20 of any category among any eligible folks for the hall of fame. The only thing Baines had was accumulation of some stats because of a 20-year career, but was never a truly top player.

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        Crikey - Will Clark is only two years older than me.

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          Dodgers trade Puig, Wood, Kemp, and Farmer to the Reds for Bailey and 2 prospects. It's mostly salary exchange, but it seems like a ridiculous trade for the Dodgers. The insiders on MLB Network are talking a lot about Puig being a huge fan favorite but perhaps not so popular in the clubhouse. Still, here is what I've seen the Dodgers do during the off season in recent years: Kazmir (hurt and barely pitched then traded as a salary dump), Mccarthy (hurt and barely pitched and then traded in a salary dump), Brett Anderson (hurt and barely pitched), Wood (acquired in a trade with one really good season), Kemp traded for Grandal and who knows what else (Grandal worked out well) and then Kemp re-acquired and now traded again. I said the exact same thing last off-season: I have a hard time seeing how this Dodgers braintrust has done anything useful. I know they've made it to the WS two years in a row, but almost all of the key players in that run were drafted or acquired by Ned Colletti. Friedman seems to be doing what he had to do in Tampa (roster turnover) but most of the buys have been stupid.

          EDIT: And the other talk is freeing up outfield spots for Pollock, who fits perfectly with the buys I just described above: injured every single season for significant time.
          Last edited by danielmak; 21-12-2018, 22:52.

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            What with the Cubs continuing to bat their eyes at Russell while jumping into bed with Sinclair, it is as if our preferred clubs are devoting their off seasons to pressing our respective buttons.

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              Finally one of you admitted it: (Excuse me but) FUCKING SINCLAIR?

              And, the Reds got PAID!

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                I was not expecting Tulo to NYY. Will be interesting to see if has anything left.

                Meanwhile



                Just move them to Montréal already.

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                  There should be a book or a 30 for 30 on how Major League Baseball fucked up in Florida, a state that produces talent by the bucketload and is full of Latin Americans (especially Cubans). In addition to old people and transplants from somewhere else, unfortunately*.

                  * which is the curse of all Sun Belt teams in every sport

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                    Cubs are going to set up their own sports network with Sinclair in 2020.
                    Ah crap, even setting aside the horribleness of Sinclair, I hope this doesn't mess with the international rights.

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                      There's no good reason the Rays couldn't work. Tampa is a big market. But they fucked it up from the start with the stadium and by letting Naimoli run the team so badly for so long and alienate so many potential fans. Even going to the World Series hasn't overcome that stink.

                      Montreal is not a panacea. Because those fans will quickly realize, as Tampa fans have, that there's really no chance to be a consistent contender in the AL East with the Red Sox and Yankees having such an enormous economic advantage.

                      Toronto can do ok because its a huge city and, currently, they have most of a whole country behind them, the Orioles have a great park and that whole Baltimore thing, but there isn't much civic pride in Florida and because of the weather and so forth they have have other things to do, so they need a compelling "product" (like the Lightning in the NHL or the Lebron-led Heat in the NBA, for example).
                      The Expos could contend in the NL east because the Mets and Phillies are chronically poorly managed, but an American league Expos will struggle in the AL east and a lot of the potential fanbase will just drift off and start talking about the Habs off-season moves.

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                        GY, it is only the local broadcasts; MLB will continue to control the international rights and games will continue to be available on MLB.TV.

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                          David Robertson: 2 years for $23 million.

                          I would let that sink in.

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                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                            GY, it is only the local broadcasts; MLB will continue to control the international rights and games will continue to be available on MLB.TV.
                            People in Chicago should just hope that Sinclair doesn't set an unrealistic price for local cable/satellite providers to carry the station like we have here in Los Angeles, where most people still can't watch Dodger games.

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                              Very much so.

                              In a way it is strange how insulated from these local dramas those of us who support clubs from other cities are.

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                                Toronto's attendance is going to be a massacre this year. They're already marketing 'family packages' for cut rate prices; 4 tickets with hot dogs and drinks for $69, etc. It's amazing how quickly things turn. We were hot just 2/3 years ago, and now I barely recognize 5 names in the lineup.

                                Florida is weird. They should be packing people in.

                                And speaking of 'product', here's a crazy idea: pick up the pace of the game, starting by removing the right of batters and pitchers to call time outs.

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                                  Originally posted by WOM View Post
                                  Toronto's attendance is going to be a massacre this year. They're already marketing 'family packages' for cut rate prices; 4 tickets with hot dogs and drinks for $69, etc. It's amazing how quickly things turn. We were hot just 2/3 years ago, and now I barely recognize 5 names in the lineup.

                                  Florida is weird. They should be packing people in.

                                  And speaking of 'product', here's a crazy idea: pick up the pace of the game, starting by removing the right of batters and pitchers to call time outs.
                                  They're working on that, but only slightly. They've limited how many times the manager can go to the mound and umps break-up catcher-pitcher conversations much more quickly than they used to.

                                  The batter can't just call time-out. The ump has to give it to them. They usually do.

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                                    Dude, they always do. And they do it just to fuck with the pitcher's rhythm. And then the pitcher retaliates by stepping off the mound because, I dunno, a bug flew by his face. Its ludicrous.

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                                      A study was done about 2 years ago (can't remember the guy's name who did it) but he compared a Cubs game from the 1990s (maybe the 1980s) to one two seasons ago. The scores were identical in the two games but the total game time for the recent game was much longer because of dead time.

                                      TV commercials are one culprit, and that won't change. There are five changes I have heard about decreasing the dead time that resonate for me:

                                      1. Enforce the existing rule that batters can't leave the box unless they are injured, break a bat, or some other logical reason (not to mess around with gloves and take practice swings).
                                      2. Get rid of walk up music (although for younger fans this might add to the experience of seeing a game in person)
                                      3. Pitch clock, but I only think this is of value of the clock does not re-start if a pitcher steps off the rubber
                                      4. Any pitching change needs to result in a pitcher facing multiple batters (I'm fine with 2 batters)
                                      5. Allow pitchers and catchers to wear earpieces that can be connected to the coaching staff. I know that the total time for a coach to relay a pitch to a catcher and then to a pitcher is minimal but now that pitchers and catchers rarely call the pitches, we have increased dead time waiting for this information to be relayed.

                                      Of course, it's worth noting that the live experience is really only reduced by extra inning games (see how quickly the stadia empty after the 11th inning) so really the dead time matters most when it comes to TV viewers. I get it. I love baseball, but I probably did not watch a single game start to finish during the season; I only watched playoff games from start to finish. I tend to watch a couple innings and then jump to football or I wait to watch highlights on MLB Tonight on MLB Network. In the past I tended to listen to a lot of games on the radio or watch from start to finish but this was when I didn't have cable (less competition) and games were shorter.

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                                        I have no idea what the hell is happening in New York. Yankees and Mets are going with the White Sox approach to free agents: sign guys who are top level at a position and the move them. I can't figure out why these second basemen were signed by either team, but I'm most disappointed by the Yankees move. Torres is young, is coming along at second and now that's disrupted. And the idea that moving a player around the diamond will be the option didn't work when the Rockies signed Desmond. I don't see that working with Lemahieu. Stupid signing. I hope I'm wrong.

                                        Meanwhile it looks like the Dodgers have traded for Russel Martin.

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                                          I thought 'we' did pretty well last year, but should have done better.

                                          Including whatsisname for the $300million. And that's fine.

                                          Unless these kids come back chomping at the bit, we are out by July. (I take it you got the same Twitter and email messages as I did, by signing up to utter bollocks by a bunch of tools who think they can sell out of towners to buy some shit from a huge FRANCHISE? )

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                                            John Wetteland has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 4-y-old.

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                                              Originally posted by Gerontophile View Post
                                              John Wetteland has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 4-y-old.
                                              Wow. That's sickening.

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