It seems odd to wish anyone a happy holiday on Veterans Day, so I’ll just say that if you know a veteran, be sure to acknowledge them today. When my Korean War veteran father was still alive, I would call him on Veterans Day. Sometimes he appreciated it. Sometimes he just didn’t care.
You know it was a slow weekend when the big news is a uniform change.
- The San Diego Padres finally gave in to the popular will and are bringing back brown uniforms for the 2020 season. A team has to have an identity separate from other teams and that’s especially true for the Padres, a team in the far corner of the country surrounded by other teams and Mexico. No other MLB team claims brown—they need to own it and they do with these new uniforms. I’m not a fan of the new alternate road uniforms, but the regular home and road uniforms look quite good. (Note: the uniform that new Padres manager Jayce Tingler is wearing in the photo is not quite the new road uniform. It’s similar, but the new road uni says “San Diego” and not “Padres.”)
- Paul Lukas has more details on the brown unis and the big “brown carpet” event the Padres had to announce the uniform change.
- The Padres also hired former Yankees (and Cubs) pitching coach Larry Rothschild as their new pitching coach.
- The Diamondbacks also announced some changes to their uniforms and Phil Hecken applauds the new “cleaner” and simpler look for Arizona.
- The General Manager Meetings start today and new Giants GM Scott Harris will be there with his old boss, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. Mark Feinsand tells you what to expect at the GM Meetings. (Expect some rumors but little to no action. The deals usually happen later at the Winter Meetings.)
- David Schoenfield looks at the 2019-2020 free agent class and plays a game of “Most Likely to. . .” for the class of 2019-20. He’s not a fan of giving a big contract to Nicholas Castellanos.
- David Adler thinks teams should really be bidding hard on free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas.
- Brendan Gawlowski finds the best home for the top six free agents.
- R.J. Anderson has one “under-the-radar” free agent for every MLB team to sign. Dan Otero? I guess he’d be worth a look, but I don’t think he’d be better than Rowan Wick. Otero has lost 3 mph on his fastball since 2016 as well.
- Dayn Perry has ten top candidates to be traded this winter.
- Boston columnist Dan Shaughnessy called trade candidate Mookie Betts “overrated” and Craig Calcaterra thinks it’s part of a campaign by the Red Sox to get the fans to accept a trade of Betts to save the team money. When one of Shaughnessy’s arguments is that Betts isn’t as good as Mike Trout, you know this isn’t a serious argument.
- That the Red Sox are trying to save money is a sign that things are screwed up in baseball at the moment. Buster Olney has some things that both labor and management need to do to avoid a work stoppage. (ESPN+ sub. req.) Although I’m not quite sure how the players agreeing to speed up the pace of play will avoid a work stoppage, it’s still a good idea anyway.
- Legendary union head Marvin Miller is on the Hall of Fame ballot again, seven years after he died. Joe Posnanski wonders if it is the right thing to do to induct Miller into Cooperstown when he repeatedly said that he would refuse the honor when he was alive. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Ken Rosenthal looks at how Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer is trying to take a different approach to contract negotiations and representation. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Chris Haft looks at the pros and cons of Thurman Munson’s case for the Hall of Fame.
- Joe Wilkinson thinks that baseball needs to stop thinking about a major league season as “one winner and 29 losers” and realize that teams can be successful without winning the World Series.
- Neil Paine notes that the World Series is won on the field and not on paper. (Or megabytes of storage, these days.) But Paine that asks if the World Series was won on paper, who would be the champion? He does this for every year going back to 1969 and don’t worry, the Cubs still won the paper title in 2016.
- Will Leitch has one potential future MVP for each team. I like this list because unlike some of Leitch’s other lists like this, I really can see a possible future MVP on the Orioles or Marlins. Or at least in their minor league system, which counts for these purposes.
- Gerard Gilberto looks at the final six candidates for the two Rookie of the Year Awards. Worth going over the candidates, but we know Pete Alonso and Yordan Alvarez are winning this thing.
- David Schoenfield got his hands on the 2020 Bill James Handbook and shares some things he learned from that baseball annual. Most interesting to me is how much the game has changed from the beginning to the end of Bruce Bochy’s managerial career.
- And finally, pitcher Josh Lindbloom has thrived pitching in Korea’s KBO and he shares his secret to succeed while playing in Asia and how he hopes it can be a path back to the pitching in the majors. (The Athletic sub. req.) Lindbloom says one of the secrets is to simply accept that Korea is a different place—not better and not worse—and to play the game and live the life you have and not the one you wished you had. Lindbloom is a free agent this winter and is getting interest from KBO, Japan’s NPB and MLB teams. But he’s a very popular player in Korea, winning their version of the Cy Young Award twice.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.