I think we covered the latest developments in the Astros sign-stealing scandal pretty well yesterday. Go back and read that article for more information.
Also, we’ll have more coverage of MLB’s attempt to gut the minor leagues all week, but you can get a head start by reading this piece in the New York Times and this one in the The New York Daily News. Here is the list of teams marked for execution. There aren’t any Cubs affiliates on the list, but the Cubs former long-time affiliate in Daytona is. The entire Appalachian League and Pioneer League are on the list as well.
A lot of depressing stuff today.
- Let’s (formally) start with some sad news as Vera Clemente passed away at the age of 78. The widow of the late Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente, she kept alive her late husband’s legacy and his passion for helping the less fortunate since his death in 1972.
- One more sign-stealing story as Rob Arthur found clear evidence of the Astros scheme in the audio tracks from the 2017 season.
- Barry Svrluga reports on the preparations the Nationals took in the World Series to prevent the Astros from stealing their signs. I’d like to say this is why the Nats won the World Series, but the Astros batting line in the 2019 series wasn’t really out of line with their regular season line. Almost exactly the same batting average and only a slightly-decreased OBP. Their power was down, but that can be explained by the entire ball conspiracies floating about.
- The Nationals also have some new alternative caps, uniforms and logos for 2020 that are reminiscent of the old Senators look.
- More good news for the Nationals as a New York Supreme Court Justice has ordered MASN to pay the Nationals over $100 million plus interest for the broadcast rights for the 2012 to 2016 seasons.
- Grant Brisbee argues for the continued necessity to keep asking questions of Gabe Kapler about his handling of sexual assault charges when Kapler was with the Dodgers. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Tim Brown looks at the fate of the LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy) reliever with the new rule that pitchers face at least three batters. Basically, they’re going the way of the handloom weavers during the Industrial Revolution. We’ll see if the left-handers decide to carry the analogy further by setting fire to the umpires’ scorecards. (Shoutout to all you E.P. Thompson fans.)
- Pitchers must spend 15 days on the injured list in 2020, just like in the old days. Obviously too many teams were manipulating the rules when it was just 10 days. Position players will still have a ten-day IL.
- The Pirates have hired former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as their new GM.
- Winter previews for each team in the AL East, the AL Central and the AL West.
- Richard Justice has nine “perfect” fits for free agents.
- Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi explains why he accepted the team’s qualifying offer.
- In the light of the free agency of Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, Sarah Langs looks at players who left a World Series Champion in free agency. Dex!
- Agent Scott Boras blasted the current free agent system as “corrupt.” A self-serving comment? No doubt. An incorrect statement? Not in my mind.
- Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda has complained to the team about the way the team bounces him back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen.
- Ben Clemens argues that free agent reliever Drew Pomeranz has the potential to be a dominating reliever over the next few seasons. Clemens admits this is surprising.
- Will Leitch has one “bounce-back” candidate for each MLB team. He admits that Yu Darvish has already bounced back, but includes him anyway.
- Justin Klugh has an appreciation of the career of the likely-retired Martin Prado.
- Alex Coffey has the long history of the elephant as a symbol of the Athletics, which goes back to Philadelphia and an insult by Giants manager John McGraw. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson has a ranking of the top 50 prospects in the game. One Cub on the list, One guess.
- The Sawamura Award is Japan’s version of the Cy Young. This year, the award went to no one because the committee did not feel any pitcher was worthy of it.
- And finally, James Carter was a pitcher for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons in the Dodgers system as recently as last year. Now going by his middle name, James Turlington is one of the hottest male models on the planet. (And yes, he’s the nephew of supermodel Christy Turlington.)
Dodgers drafted him before he was in vogue https://t.co/58ckGLdBMl— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) November 18, 2019
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.