Michael Sam and baseball
Ken Rosenthal asked seven baseball executives about potentially signing an openly gay baseball player. All seven responded on the record that they would indeed sign a player who was open about his sexuality. Theo Epstein was one of the execs who backed the idea of signing an openly gay player which to me is refreshing. I would hope that as we progress more as a society our hangups about such things will eventually evolve into something a bit more accepting on the whole.
From a purely baseball perspective I would hope that a player who can contribute on the field isn't excluded because he's gay and I don't think clubhouse chemistry would be an issue to be honest. I think the issue would arise with sports media and fan reaction which would be testing not just on the player but on the organization. I do think we are long overdue for openly gay athletes in the four major sports, and I really hope we advance to the point where a gay player can be who he is and have it not be a big issue in the slightest.
Not everyone will agree with this principle and I understand that. Perhaps it's a bit Quixotic to write about the subject and expect civility in the comments, but I believe in you Cubs Den community.
More scouting opinions
My teammate Jeff Moore over at Baseball Prospectus recently had a chat that touched on a few different subjects regarding prospects and minor league ball in general. There's a lot of Cubs stuff in there but I found this snippet to be very interesting.
Jordan (Vegas): Javier Baez... Give me a ceiling and a floor.
Jeff Moore: The ceiling is Gary Sheffield. The floor could be any powerful young player who fails to make adjustments at the major league level once the league sees him the first time around. That's the key. Baez is going to come up and amaze everyone for a little while because he's ridiculously talented. Then the league will get a book on him and pitch him differently. What happens from there will determine his future. If he adjusts back after the league adjusts to him, it's on.
Power tends to develop slowly in prospects. It's really rare to see a guy with 40 HR potential show up and hit 40 Bombs right out of the gate. Keep that in mind with Javier Baez because I think it will be easy for fans (myself included) to lose sight of the typical learning curve young ballplayers have in terms of development. I'm still in #TeamUnicorn and a proud #BaezBrony but I'll allow some learning time for the young kid.
No international draft until 2017, probably
There are genuine fears concerning MLB shooting itself in the foot and instituting an international draft. Obstructed View writes about it here. GW states that there will likely not be a draft until 2017 and that there is some anti draft momentum building up in the MLBPA.
I'm anti draft, even the amateur draft. I think restricting player movement even for amateurs is a bad thing and I think the draft rewards poor products on the field which does a disservice to the fans. There's a reason the Cubs and Astros are tanking and that's to get better talent via the draft. Thanks to Jerry Reinsdorf MLB has already done a lot of damage to the Free Agent market in the years since 1994. I'm not a big Jerry fan by any stretch and this latest move towards an International Draft has his stench.
I don't like it very much.
Filed under: Chat