Collusion or Common Sense

We’ve been hearing about it since the end of the World Series….the “hot shot” free agents..namely Bryce Harper and Manny Machado…who’d be on the market and commanding hundreds of millions of dollars in a multi-year bonanza. We were told it was about their age, their performance levels, their potential, their drawing power—ergo, how they could bring in additional fans and sales. But….why do these two players believe that they will be paid $250-$300m contracts? Maybe…because both were stars in huge east coast cities …in fact, just an hour apart…all the press that they’ve received since their arrival has made them THINK that they are really something special….or maybe, they thought it is their charisma….maybe…because both of these players were 1st round draft choices and have been treated differently in their development….maybe they think that their offensive production alone merits such an enormous contract. Well….let’s look at the last part of that statement…listed below, without their names, are 6 players. Following is their rank out of all the MLB in the given category and then the actual numbers that they posted last year beneath it. The only item missing is their name! You decide which ones are Harper & Machado. The list is formed by the RUNS CREATED category…best to worst. I’ll move on while you decide who “owns” those numbers….btw….Michael Trout & Christian Yelich are NOT part of this list….I didn’t want it to appear that I was setting the standard too high and ambush Harper/Machado’s numbers. Who do you think is Harper? Machado? Is it apparent that they are SO MUCH better than…at least…6 of their peers? You already know where I’m coming down…it’s common sense to not pay them hundreds of millions of dollars in a multi-year contract.

v R P A C B
g S R I
Pppp—26 years old #1 #21 #2 #2 #1 #49
.346 32 1.07 8.7 156 80
Xxxx-26 years old #56 T#4 #5 #4 #4 #10
.276 39 .939 7.4 132 105
Cccc-25 years old #18 #9 #11 T#25 #11 #8
.297 37 .905 4.6 117 107
Yyyy—26 years old #97 T#16 #16 #32 #13 #15
.249 34 .889 4.2 115 100
Vvvv—25 years old #29 T#16 #19 #11 #20 #3
.290 34 .881 5.3 105 111
Qqqq—27 years old #40 T#25 #13 T#32 #31 #11
.283 34 .892 4.2 99 104
Zzzz—25 years old #45 T#49 #23 #14 #38 T#84
.278 24 .864 5.0 96 68
***RC = runs created

I’m really thinking that each baseball club REALLY, REALLY promotes their #1 draft choices …when they succeed…which actually isn’t very often! In part, to promote their scouting department and the team. Let’s take a closer look at that success league wide…. I’m assuming that players drafted in 2016, 2017, 2018 haven’t had enough time to develop yet….but think about that…. in football & basketball, the drafted players IMMEDIATELY step right into starting lineups. In fact, many become the face of the team from DAY 1. Back to baseball, in 2015, there were 6(six) players from the 1st round who have “made it” to the Big Time…Alex Bergman, Andrew Benintendi, Carson Fullmer, Ian Happ, Walker Buehler, Dansby Swanson. Bergman & Benintendi have shown signs of being star MLB’ers….jury’s out on the other 3 players. The other 35 drafted in the 1st round…nada, nothing, don’t show up anyplace on MLB rosters. The Cardinals drafted Nic Plummer (pick # 23), Jake Woodford (pk #39) who was 3-8 @ Springfield last year. From the players drafted in 2014, I would assume that with 4 years of minor league training, that many would be in the MLB by now…well, the #1 overall pick by Cleveland was Brady Aiken…he toiled last year @ Lake County Class A and was 5-13..ugh….only a 1st round pick would be around long enough in Class A to get that many starts (losses). Carlos Rodon, Kyle Schwarber, Aaron Nola, Kyle Freeland, Michael Comforto, Trea Turner, Sean Newcomb, Bradley Zimmer, Brandon Finnegan, Matt Chapman, Luke Weaver, Michael Kopech, Jack Flaherty…13 have reached the MLB plateau, 27 1st rounders have not yet reached the MLB….sooo…to this point.. 1 of 3 players chosen in the 2014 1st round have climbed the hill to the MLB. A couple look like they are…or will be… stars in the MLB. More of the same occurs for 2013 draft and all the other years prior to that time. “Hitting” big on a 1st rounder is a HUGE success for the MLB teams…so when it happens…they want to really play it up. Is it collusion or common sense that these two players are still seeking a sucker… ooops a team…. to sign them to a mega-million dollar contract using that hype as the springboard?

Here’s the actual players on the list above:
Pppp is Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
Xxxx is Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians
Cccc is Manny Machado—Free agent
Yyyy is Bryce Harper—free agent
Vvvv is Javier Baez Chicago Cubs
Qqqq is Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds
Zzzz is Matt Chapman—Oakland A’s
Not included on the list were Christian Yelich & Michael Trout

Which numbers did you think were Harpers? Machado? I would add that I believe Machado severely damaged his value with his post-season antics. If a team valued a player representing them properly on the field, he really threw himself under the bus ….with his showboating, dirty, lackadaisical play.

Last weekend…in a moment of boredom…and a lack of commons sense….I put on….probably for the 1st time in the last several decades, the NFL Pro Bowl game. It was a complete joke…but it wasn’t funny. It was raining hard for much of the game, so it was slippery and difficult to change directions quickly. Hence, the players seemed to be “taking it easy & slow” to attempt any change of direction while running. But the SAD PART was that used “touch football” rules. When a runner was approached by a defender… arriving a step away with his arms out as if to tackle him, the officials blew the whistle… before the contact. I don’t’ think that ANY players actually hit the ground in the entire game from being tackled… maybe a couple did as they slipped the wet turf. We saw No blitzing the QB, vanilla pass coverages, smiles, pat on the backs to the opposition, putting d-backs into the game as receivers than he caught a TD pass because he was completely unguarded by the defender….heck, my Frosh football team schemes of years ago would have looked complex compared to this rudimentary style of playing. I’ve seen more intensity in a backyard, family game of touch football.. much more intensity  It was a real embarrassment for the league. It will be the LAST time that I EVER watch this type of touch football.

Clearly there is no common sense in the musical chairs of college/pro football coaching spots. A coach gets fired… apparently for inept performance…but within days he’s signed to coach again at another place. Many times, it’s even coaching different positional players…or even different levels (college v pro). Why would you hire a guy so quickly who’s just been fired for being inadequate? And…it happens over and over again for many of these nomad coaches. I know the ol’ boy network flourishes but…isn’t it more important to win as a Head Coach then to provide the umpteenth job for Joe Mediocre? Maybe the Peter Principle comes into effect here? It certainly does when advancing to the Head Coach position. Wouldn’t a GM…. want to try some new, fresh ideas? E.g. Rams getting a young HC.

There was certainly no collusion last year when the Cards signed Greg Holland to a $14m contract. They…seemingly…rushed him back too soon and he was awful…I mean really awful. So…far out of character, the Cards ate the contract. Holland resigned a few weeks later with Washington Nats. A complete turn-around took place. In his 25 innings in St. Louis, Holland surrendered 34 hits, 28 runs, 22 walks, 0 saves and just 22 strikeouts. Upon arriving in D.C., Holland contributed 21 1/3 innings over which he allowed 9 hits, 2 runs, 10 walks and 25 strikeouts, 3 saves. Now Arizona has signed him for a modest…in this era…$3.5m contract. Shame on the Cards for rushing him back too quickly

Ss one looks at Mozeliak’s free agent signings over the years….he’s had some HR’s and some real swing & Misses. At the bottom was the one-year, $7.5 million signing of Brad was really bad! The rest of the bottom five… according to Rick Hummel… is filled out with backup infielders and catchers –$5.25 Mark Ellis, Ty Wiggington, Bryan Pena and Ruben Tejada. I’d add to the “worst” list—Greg Holland, Dexter Fowler ($31m in 2 years while hitting .230), Brett Cecil-horrible 4 year contract for $31m…who EVER, EVER signs ANY reliever for 4 years? Matt Belisle was signed in 2015…and to use an expression of 1 of my in-laws …he’s “just another guy”. (TU Nick!),,who was moved on quickly. MO also traded for Justin Masterson in 2014. He carried along a hefty $9.7m contract. The return on our money? 3-3, 7.04 ERA, whip 1.565….ugh! That’s even worse than the CD rates these days  On the better side of the signings, one would have to give praise to MO for the Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Kyle Lohse signings. Beltran was a 2 year Cardinal @ $13m in 2012-13. During that time he hit .282, 56 HR, 181 RBI. He helped the Cards reach the playoffs in both those years. Lance Berkman was also a 2 year Cardinal. He was there 2011-12. During that time he hit .295, 33 HR,101 rbi’s. He received votes in the MVP voting in 2011..finishing #7. He missed much of 2012 due to injury. Loshe was a 55-35 hurler in the Lou , 3.90 ERA during his 5 years (2008-12)with the Cards. Not a star but he did win 55 games for us. Common sense tells that the development of players through the farm system has been a better avenue for the Cards than signing free agents…but fans pressure the team to show their sincerity to improve the club by signing FA…please note…these successful signings have all been gone for 5 years now!
Speaking of free agent movements this off-season….no collusion, or common sense…only stats 
Highest WAR listed for a signed FA ,3.5, is listed for starting pitcher Patrick Corbin (signed by Nats away from AZ)..he’s predicted to have a 2019 that looks like this: 13-9, 31 starts, 182 inn, 168 hits, ERA 3.43, whip 1.21, predicted to average slightly more than 1 k/inn. #2 on the WAR list at 3.3 is DallasKeucehel (unsigneed currently). Fan Graphs thinks his 2019 will look like this– 13-10, 3.69 ERA, 32 starts, 198 innings, whip of 1.32.

FanGraphs projections for 2019 Cardinal & former Cardinals pitchers look like this:

War record ERA starts innings holds whip

Lance Lynn 1.6 8-9 4.46 24 138 0 1.43

Adam Wainwright 1.3 8-7 4.20 18 123 2 1.35

Andrew Miller 1.3 3-2 2.95 0 60 13/13 saves 1.13

Trevor Rosenthal 1.2 4-3 3.11 0 65 6/18 saves 1.21

Joe Kelly 1.0 4-3 3.21 0 65 5/16 saves 1.22

My common sense tells me that you’ve had enough! Thanks for making it to the end…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s