Since we’re not allowed to talk about current players during the lockout, I thought I’d say something about MLB writers. Tim Kurkjian is going into the Hall of Fame and I think it’s amazing that the 1988 Orioles, that team that lost 21 games to start the season, had Kurkjian as their beat writer for the Baltimore (Morning) Sun, Ken Rosenthal as the beat writer for the Baltimore (Evening) Sun and Richard Justice as the beat writer for the Washington Post. I mean, that’s kind of like Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins and Ernie Banks all being on the 103-loss 1966 Cubs. Or maybe more accurately, it’s like Dalton Trumbo, William Goldman and Paddy Chayefsky all writing separate screenplays about an overflowing toilet.
Wait. I’ve just been informed that I am allowed to write about current players. I don’t work for mlb.com. So to quote the immortal Emily Litella, “Never mind.”
- As long as we’re on the subject of sportswriting and lockouts, Stephen J. Nesbitt, Mike Vorkunov and Evan Drellich take a look at MLB’s baffling decision to remove all mentions and images of players from mlb.com. (The Athletic sub. req.) They talk to lawyers and all of them say that there doesn’t appear to be a legal reason that MLB had to remove all of the images of players from their website, unlike what MLB claims. But they also don’t think it’s very useful as a negotiating tactic to pressure the players. The three writers also talk about the limitations that MLB has placed on the writers for their official website, such as not mentioning current players unless absolutely necessary.
- If you don’t subscribe to The Athletic, then Joe Lucia has a more detailed summary of some of what’s in the article.
- On what I wrote earlier, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian was named the winner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Career Excellence Award. This is what they used to call the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for the Hall of Fame, but they’ve changed the name because Spink was a notorious racist who fought against the integration of baseball for decades. Anyway, congratulations to Kurkjian.
- Ken Rosenthal, whom as I mentioned was once a competitor with Kurkjian and is now a colleague, talks about what makes Kurkjian such a special writer and a special person. (The Athletic sub. req.) Above all, it’s his kindness and enthusiasm for the game.
- Kurkjian’s colleagues at ESPN also talk about how much they respect and admire him.
- Cesar Brioso applauds the induction of Tony Oliva and Minnie Miñoso into the Hall of Fame and says that it was way past time for both of them.
- Dayn Perry “fact-checks” that now-infamous letter that commissioner Rob Manfred sent to the fans when the lockout was announced.
- Marc Normandin also analyzes Manfred’s letter. (free reg. required.)
- Kevin Blackistone writes that you should pay attention to what the owners do, not what they say.
- Some people claim that a good thing that happened because of the lockout was that there was a frenzy of free agent signings at the deadline. Bradford Doolittle thinks MLB should have a similar “dead period” every winter. (ESPN+ sub. req.) I wrote more about this in last night’s BCB After Dark.
- Later today, MLB will hold the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Here’s what you need to know. (mlb.com content)
- JJ. Cooper has a preview of some of the players who may get taken in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. (Baseball America sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson gives out a grade for every team for their pre-lockout transactions.
- Ben Clemens has the current payrolls for every MLB team as we go into the lockout.
- Kevin Goldstein evaluates the free agent signings of relievers Corey Knebel and Mark Melancon who went to the Phillies and the Diamondbacks, respectively.
- The Mets have begun interviews for a new manager. (mlb.com content) There are six candidates expected to get an interview.
- Brittany Ghiroli thinks the Mets should hire Buck Showalter and explains why. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- The Athletics have also begun their search for a new manager. (mlb.com content) They also hav a list of six candidates.
- Mike Axisa tries to list the best potential destinations for the remaining top free agents.
- Bobby Nightengale examines what the Reds would want in return if they decide to trade pitcher Luis Castillo.
- Vinnie Duber looks at the other 29 teams to see which one might have a second baseman whom they might trade to the White Sox.
- Kenneth Moffett, who was the federal mediator for the 1981 MLB strike and briefly head of the MLBPA after that, has died at the age of 90. Condolences to his family and friends.
- Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka officially retired in Japan this week and was surprised at his ceremony by Ichiro Suzuki bringing him out a bouquet of flowers.
- And finally, the Durham Bulls announced their new uniforms, which are actually (almost) their old uniforms. The Bulls are going back to a uniform in the style of their 1980s uniforms that were made famous by the movie Bull Durham. (mlb.com content)
Look out, Mama, there’s a white boat coming up the river. End the lockout.