It’s not easy being a self appointed expert. For instance, Jeff Sessions. Here at Baseball Anarchy, we are not in danger of sudden dismissal, so therefore we can keep it going as long as anybody cares. To be sure, as sure as truth is truth, many of you care. That’s why we receive so many questions. It is our mission in life to answer these as best we can. The following are some of the best.
From Rusty Gates, in Topeka: Okay, so there is a trade deadline every July 31. I’m confused by the fact that some players get traded in August as well. What’s the deal?
Answer:Rusty, it can be confusing. As you know, major league baseball is a really big business. Therefore, management is a little more difficult than managing, say, your local Dairy Queen. Millions and millions of dollars are at stake, talent evaluation is crucial, and legal expertise is required with contracts for players. Tickets need to be sold. Back in the day, the way it worked was, if the Yankees were worried that somebody like Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle might have sprained his ankle badly on a water sprinkler or something, they could just open the safe and send a bag of money to a team like the St. Louis Browns or the Kansas City A’s and pluck a Norm Sieburn or a Joe DeMaestri and go on about the business of winning a pennant. Sometimes they would have to include a player they wanted to be rid of like Billy Martin. Now, with free agency. the amateur draft, and revenue sharing, it is much more difficult. Teams in contention feel the need to add to their rosters because confidence in the players already assembled is a thing of the past and players like Dallas Keuchel get all upset if you don’t “…make a move” to strengthen your chances to play in October, as they say. Teams out of contention are wont to rid themselves of expensive players that they may have gambled on incorrectly who are also about to become free agents. Any feelings that the players have regarding having to move to a different team are still largely ignored. After all, now they make enough dough to live wherever they want, and wives and children don’t have contracts. So before August, it has mostly to do with “prospects” who can help the out of contention teams in exchange for “established stars” that might help contending teams succeed. The established stars, such as Manny Machado, are also referred to as “rentals”. Buster Olney and others even get into the international signing money aspect but , for brevity’s sake, we won’t go there. In August, a player cannot be traded without clearing waivers. Say what? So, if the Giants want to trade Andrew McCutchen, or the Mets want to trade Jerry Blevins, those players must first be offered to every other team before any deal can be made. If a team claims the player, “waivers” can be revoked. Let’s have a drink.
From Cheryl Gettis in Oshkosh: Is it me or does the pitch count thing seem to be getting out of hand to anyone else?
Answer:It’s not that long ago, Cheryl, that war was not considered a permanent thing and that baseball managers and coaches watched the way a pitcher was throwing more than counting how often he did. I think we are approaching the day when pitching prospects have Tommy John surgery in high school just to use it as a base line, so to speak. For me, it is telling that pitchers now build up their arm strength to achieve 100 pitches per outing rather than nine innings, which is considered cruel and unusual punishment. Madison Bumgarner or Max Scherzer is blowing the opposition away and we are supposed to believe that they can’t finish. It’s considered smart and useful for batters to run up counts and foul off lots of pitches so that the starter approaches the century mark before the fifth inning. Can we consult Bob Gibson on this? Yet, it is the bullpen, full of hard throwers who can actually pitch a whole inning, sometimes two days in a row, that we are really to fear because they are all “lights out”. so why are we in a hurry to get to them? I’ll have another cold one.
From Bill James in Biloxi: The 2018 Boston Red Sox are on pace to challenge the best winning percentages of any team in baseball history and they have a wide lead over the Yankees in the A. L. East. Are they really that good?
From Jess Tellme in Yreka CA: Isn’t it great the way that MLB has been so creative with special jerseys and caps and stuff for different holidays and the players’ weekend with nicknames and the Little League look?