The best thing about the Super Bowl is that it means baseball is just around the corner.
- I guess it’s just around the corner. Maybe not. A prominent baseball agent wrote that a “fight is brewing” and that players are “outraged” about the current lack of signings. He also said that the players are discussing a boycott of Spring Training.
- Buster Olney first reported about the possibility of a boycott of Spring Training and his wrote a detailed piece outlining the issues that the players have with ownership and the possibility of a boycott.
- However, it should be stressed that the Players’ Association has denied that it is threatening a boycott and they have denied that they are even considering such an action. Probably for a lot of the reasons outlined in Olney’s piece.
- Jeff Passan talks to both front office executives and players about the current state of labor negotiations and notes that the current slow winter has shaken the players out of their complacency. But there’s a lot more issues going on than just free agents not getting paid.
- Craig Edwards notes that the for the first time in almost forever, overall payroll may go down in 2018.
- There were no developments in the “pace of play” negotiations over the weekend, but lots of people were reacting to the proposal to bring back bullpen carts. Maija Varda doesn’t think bullpen carts will speed up the game but that we have to bring them back anyway.
- Grant Brisbee thinks bullpen carts are just a distraction from the current labor issues, although a wonderful distraction at that. He does point out that in our world where so much information is available at our fingertips, there is surprisingly little documentation of bullpen carts. Seems like no one in the 1970s cared enough to keep a record of them.
- Miami-Dade County was supposed to get a share of the profits if the Marlins were sold less than ten years after the construction of Marlins Park. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Miami-Dade forgot the first rule of Hollywood—always ask for a piece of the gross, not the net.
- At least one advertiser is boycotting the newspapers owned by Pirates owner Bob Nutting to protest the Andrew McCutchen trade.
- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus does not want to opt out of his contract after this season. In this market, can you blame him? However, that’s not a formal denial of his option.
- Looking ahead to actual baseball, Mike Petriello assesses the possibility of the Yankees breaking the single-season home run record in 2018.
- Mike Axisa has five teams that could really improve themselves by signing a free agent this winter.
- Dayn Perry thinks that the Red Sox, as well as the Yankees, should consider signing Todd Frazier.
- Anthony Castrovince has ten things to look forward to in 2018.
- Sean O’leary looks at the current state of the Giants outfield heading into 2018.
- You probably don’t remember Andy Van Hekken, who made five starts for the 2002 Tigers. But since then, he’s pitched in the minors and since 2012, has pitched in KBO or NPB. At age 38, he wants to come back and try to pitch in MLB. (h/t Hardball Talk)
- Speaking of old guys who won’t retire, the Rangers have signed Bartolo Colon to a minor-league deal. Hallelujah! Someone get George Handel out of his tomb so he can write an oratorio to Colon.
- Royals outfielder (and former Cub) Jorge Soler has made some physical and mental changes to improve on a disappointing 2017.
- Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez is being sued by a man who claims Martinez jumped him outside of a strip club and broke his back in 2014.
- New Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome has told Cooperstown that he does not want Chief Wahoo on his Indians cap on his plaque. The only time Thome ever wore an Indians cap without the Chief on it was during his 22-game return to the team in 2011. However, of the 14 Cleveland players in the Hall, only Early Wynn has Wahoo on his plaque. Admittedly, though, a lot of those guys played in Cleveland during the “Naps” days or before Wahoo was created. But Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller and Bob Lemon all have just a “C” on their caps.
- Eric Gomez has a preview of the Caribbean Series. Real baseball!
- More real baseball! David “Goofy” Sutherland hit a walkoff home run to send the Brisbane Bandits to the Australian Baseball League Championship Series. They will face the Canberra Cavalry in the finals.
- Red Sox outfielder and avid bowler Mookie Betts finished second in a celebrity bowling tournament to the host, Chris Paul of the NBA Houston Rockets.
- Baseball players, and not just Mike Trout, reacted to the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl.
- Former MLB outfielder Eric Byrnes is pretty darn proud that he sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady three times in a high school game.
- And finally, while the Super Bowl was played indoors in Minneapolis, the home of the Twins, Target Field, was covered in snow. That was the perfect excuse for snow artist Simon Beck to turn the field into a work of art.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.