Another set of fits and starts last year. I’m not even going to suggest that a promise to get some writing down every day is a New Year’s resolution because isn’t that a resolution every year? I say with a twinkle in my eye, that It is just coincidence that I am posting an entry today. I repeat, it’s just a coincidence.
As I’ve said many times before, I am not a huge Will Middlebrooks fan. It will come as no surprise that I was not upset when he was traded to the Padres this winter. Joe Sheehan (I subscribe to his newsletter) most succinctly summed up Will Middlebrooks with this line:
Will Middlebrooks, first month in majors: .316/.343/.570 in 99 PA
Will Middlebrooks, since: .227/.277/.389 in 795 PA
While this says a lot, I must admit that my first text to my buddy Marc on the Middlebrooks trade lamented that I thought the Sox would get more than Ryan Hanigan for him, after all Middlebrooks still is a bit of a shiny pebble. While Hanigan is a fine backup catcher for Vazquez, a placeholder for Swihart, I was hoping for some shiny swag for Middlebrooks – another similar shiny pebble with its gloss worn off. I mean, we all like the hope of a shiny pebble. The Sox, though, know better than me what is out there. I’m just grateful I don’t have to watch Middlebrooks strike out any more. I do, however, miss Jenny Dell on the sidelines.
On a different topic, I have an inordinate fascination with the head of the MLBPA. I was a huge Marvin Miller fan. As a lawyer, it is hard not to recognize what a great lawyer he was and how he ran circles around the owners. I can’t say that the Players Association head has done such a stellar job in these last two agreements. It will be interesting to see how Tony Clark, who is not a lawyer, handles the next CBA negotiation. The CBA is set to expire on December 1, 2016 so I would think that preliminary discussions/negotiations should start some time this year.
There are some big issues in my mind that need to be addressed – PEDs, the draft and rookie compensation, and compensation picks to teams for free agent losses to name three. One area that indicates to me that the Players Association has been bested by the owners lately is how the qualifying offer system works. It seems pretty clear to me that Marvin Miller never would have agreed to any CBA provision that tied a player’s compensation to a draft pick to his former team. Miller was against such shenanigans and I wonder how the Players Association caved on this issue in the last CBA. I wonder if Tony Clark and other executive comittee members will try to rectify this imbalance. Also, it seems that the Players Association has abdicated its responsibility to rookies in the draft by limiting compensation and what teams can pay draft picks. I don’t think Miller ever would have agreed to this either and it’s not a good sign that the union sides with veterans over lower level players.
i will be watching that this year and just looking under the hood as much as I can at baseball – the industry, teams, and players.