Spraying to all fields

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.

Good.

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.

 

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Comments

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  • IMHO signing an openly gay athlete should be just a normal piece of doing business.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    Agreed

  • Bud and Jerry are the Brothers Assholizov.

    /Sochi'd

  • In reply to Eddie:

    niiiiiiiiiiice I like that

  • In reply to Eddie:

    +1 Topical, funny and true

  • If a guy happens to be gay,... but can hit, field, or pitch for at least replacement level,.... why on earth would any exec in his / her right mind NOT sign them, and play them if they are good enough?

    I mean,.... most execs don't seem to have a problem signing good players with other far, far worse 'baggage',... as long as the price were right and the production appropriate.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I agree, you'll have to ask football execs though. Strange Stigma there.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Why would you call being a gay athlete "baggage". Just sayin

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    By baggage - I was referring to any aspect of a potential player that might be spun by some segment of the media, or a political subgroup, or any wing-nut faction as a negative.

    For example - Other players have had DWIs, PED or controlled substance scandals, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Deadbeat Parental issues or other 'baggage' that can make them unpopular with specific subgroups.

    There are a subgroup of potential 'fans' or sponsors who might view a player being openly gay as a negative in that same way. I personally have issues with PED guys getting contracts,.... but despite that they regularly find new homes.

    That's what I mean as 'baggage' - had not meant to apply it to gay atheletes in particular. I don't view it as baggage anyway.

    If I was an owner,.... I would tell any anit gay groups who decided that it was an issue to use their freedom to NOT support my team,... and to go and play elsewhere.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Sounds good to me. I wasn't asking because I thought you had a "baggage" issue when it came to gay athletes. I especially like your last two paragraphs.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    Our next-door neighbors (a gay couple) might just be the nicest couple friends my wife and I have,.... have a couple of coworkers who happen to be gay (and great people to work with),.... and if you do or say anything to my gay niece or her partner you'll have both me and my wife to deal with.

    The only thing different about there being an openly gay athelete in Football, Baseball or whatever sport at this stage is the term 'openly'.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    He wasn't calling them baggage in that sense. He was taking what people are calling it in some media outlets. A "distraction" is what he was meaning that the stigma is bringing towards the locker rooms.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Yep I get that in his reply. And I guess I feel compelled to say that the "distractions" and "stigma" all come from outside sources. From everything Michael Sams has said this was all a non-issue with his teammates.

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    If anything, baseball needs more fans, not less. Signing a gay player, especially a really good one, could open up the door to a whole new market of fans.

  • Everyone seems to think that this is a major clubhouse chemistry issue. From what little I've heard that was the least part of the issue for the young football player who just came out.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    What I love about Mr. Sam's coming out to his team,.... is that he did it before last season to his team,.... and that they didn't say boo about it to the press the whole year.

    I mean,.... he told a bunch of 'macho' football players his secret,... and not a one of them leaked it sufficiently for it to get any airplay prior to this last week.

    Apparently there was no clubhouse chemistry issue in the Mizzou locker room,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Frankly, I dont giv e a whit about Michael Sams and his sexual orientation. I DO have a problem with the MEDIA and there attempting to shove this down peoples throats.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    The media almost universally stink IMO beast,.... you'll get no arguement from me on that point.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    no argument from me either

  • Frankly, I don't give a d$@*! who a player sleeps with, and I'm tired of reading about it on "sports" pages. Nobody "comes out" as someone who prefers bedding redheads, older women or any other hetero group, but for some reason the press fawns over every athlete who talks about a preference for partners of the same gender. You're gay? So what? Shut up about your sex life and play baseball!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Couldn't agree more. I don't care who you prefer as a sexual partner. I don't know why it is so important that athletes "come out". It does not make you a better ball player if you are out. I honestly think it is more of a distraction. This coming out crap needs to stop. They bring on the negative attention themselves by coming out in interviews. If you want to be gay then be gay but you don't need to shout it to the world. Just have your relationships like everybody else and I bet more of society would be more accepting of it. Instead they feel the need to shove it in the publics face.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    Well said. What Sams and the media are essentially doing is making this young man a target. Does Sams think his teammates are going to be so "accepting" if he tries to hit on a teammate or even worse, on a younger kid? Thats all Ill say on the subject. Sams doesnt disgust me. The medias glorification does.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    Sadly, at this point coming out was critical to Sam's chances to play in the NFL. Some if not all of the NFL teams were aware of his sexual orientation. He had to have this discussion as early as possible so that it was defused by the time that the draft came along.

    I agree with both you and Cliff about the fact that this shouldn't be such a big deal, but it will remain necessary until we have openly gay players playing on successful teams (it would be too easy to blame the gay player for damaging a team's chemistry on a losing team). I hope that Sam has the talent to make it in the NFL. That would go a long way towards making such announcements old news.

  • In reply to les561:

    That's the issue in a nutshell. Why is it "necessary" for anyone to be "openly" gay? Nobody is "openly" "silicone-enhanced, chemically blond" oriented. Who Sam chooses to sleep is, or should, be his own business.
    As for chemistry, I'm certain there are NFL players who harbor racist or sexist attitudes and yet somehow keep those attitudes under control. There are penalties for those who don't. It shouldn't be any different for attitudes about homosexuality.

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    In reply to cjordanh54:

    The reason people come out is because if they keep quiet, sooner or later, someone will out them. this way they can live a more normal life. It would be a bigger media circus if one day, a famous football player who had never come out was seen cuddling on the beach in the Florida Keys with another man.
    If said player owns it, on his own terms, there is no scandal, and far less media hype. Own it, then drop it and move on.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I am sorry but teams don't draft or sign a player because he is gay or straight. they do it because they feel he is a good ball player. It should not matter who they cuddle with on a beach in the florida keys. I think people are going to be cool with you as long as you don't throw it in their face.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    He mentioned it to his entire team in college and nobody said anything. This is not throwing it in their face. This is making a potential issue a non-issue.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I am pretty sure going on espn and coming out is. that is fine if you want to go behind closed doors and tell teammates. at the end of the day I don't care if you are gay or straight. the only thing I care about is can you play and help the team. that is all that should matter.

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    In reply to cjordanh54:

    I don't think you understood the point I was trying to make.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Perfect reply Mike. It is necessary for him to come out because it is on his own terms, and a team drafting him will know about it. This is the first openly gay NFL player to do this, so of course the media gravitates toward it. Over time, this will be a non-issue. For now, it's a big deal. To compare something like this to getting a boob job is completely off base. This will be viewed years from now as a huge deal. I'm sure growing up in a "football" world, Michael's heard more than his share of derogatory comments and gay slurs. I'm proud of him for doing this.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Not all of "the press" fawns over a openly gay athlete. You should hear some of the things reported about gay and lesbian people.

    It's a big deal in the press because it's historic. This has never happened before. Ask yourself why? You say so what, who cares, but millions upon millions of people in this country do not. In fact many of those millions believe gays are an abomination to God. If you think gay and lesbians aren't heavily and openly persecuted in this country then you haven't been following the news on this subject lately.

    An appeals judge recently called Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. So the state of Oklahoma is trying to ban all marriage as a response. There are a growing number of stories about restaurants refusing to serve people they know or consider to be gay. There are entire media outlets and major religions that condemn homosexuality. In the host country of the Winter Olympic Games, you can't even wave a rainbow flag. It will and has been ripped from your hands and taken away.

    It is a big deal for any human being, much less one in a major sport in which no one has ever been openly themselves and gay at the same time, to come out. No one ever comes out as someone who prefers redheads or older women because they never have to hide it in the first place. Those things aren't hated or reviled, but being gay is by many people. Football is an incredibly macho sport and just last year we had the Jonathan Martin vs. Richie Incognito hazing incident in which there was speculation that Martin was gay. This is a big deal.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Amen.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Please, save the pseudo-civics lesson, as well as the conjecture about whether I "follow the news" or any other conclusions you might draw from my few posts here. I respect your right to have an opinion that differs from mine, and ask that you give me the same consideration.
    I come to this site to read about baseball and, specifically, the Cubs. If a prospect hits .400, I don't give a rip who he sleeps with after the game; nor do I care to read about his sexual preferences in and among his baseball stats. They are unrelated issues and should remain that way.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I apologize if I gave you the impression that you had any conclusions or that you didn't follow the news. I just wasn't sure if you did or not. You might not have and thus wouldn't have known that there was a lot of reasons for a gay person to be closeted. No offense intended.

    This is an issue you brought up/commented on. It is a sports related topic and was written about in the article we're commenting on. I think it was perfectly acceptable to respond to your post. I, in no way, seek to change your opinion. You simply expressed not understanding why coming out was a big deal and I sought to explain it to you. If you don't want an answer/response, don't post on a message board.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Your response is based on the premise that those who disagree with any issue that impacts GLBT community must be ignorant of the discrimination that people in it face. That's not so, and it doesn't need to be "explained." I simply don't agree that it's "necessary" for the issue to be forced upon everyone at every available opportunity.
    Michael Sam, like everyone else, should live his life as he sees fit. Those close to him will know he's gay by his actions - and those who aren't close to him don't need to know at all. If his team mates have an issue with that, the NFL and his team will deal with it using workplace discrimination laws and rules that are already in place.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    "An appeals judge recently called Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. So the state of Oklahoma is trying to ban all marriage as a response. There are a growing number of stories about restaurants refusing to serve people they know or consider to be gay. There are entire media outlets and major religions that condemn homosexuality. In the host country of the Winter Olympic Games, you can't even wave a rainbow flag. It will and has been ripped from your hands and taken away."

    If you're going to speak about the bill in Oklahoma, speak correctly. IT DOESN'T BAN MARRIAGE. It bans the government sanction of it, making it an entirely religious institution. No one will be stopped from getting married. In fact, it's just the opposite. Everyone will be able to do what they want, and no one will have the power of government to do a thing about it.

    Also, your comments make it appear that the people who supported the gay marriage ban are behind this, and they're not. A libertarian minded representative offered the bill up as a compromise, and it's probably not going to pass because both neo-conservatives, pro-ban, and neo-liberals, anti-ban, think government should have power over a religious institution, but for different reasons.

    As for businesses and churches refusing to serve gay couples, I can only assume you are referring to the bakery in Colorado who was sued out of business for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Why couldn't the couple just do business with a bakery that would willingly take their money? Why is it you think you have the right, at the point of a gun, (because force is the essence of government) to make someone to do something that violates their conscience. You sound like you'd have know problem making a Baptist Minister or a Catholic Priest perform a wedding ceremony that clearly violates their creed. That doesn't sound very liberty minded to me.

    It's one thing for them to use the power of government to deny you your civil liberties, but when you use that same power to make them violate their consciences, you're just as wrong as they are.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Wow. I was just trying to explain why Michael Sam coming out was a big deal and why the media was covering it. Also trying to explain why it would be important for someone who hasn't been publicly themselves for fear of attack would find it necessary to announce who he is to the NFL before being drafted and before some reporter did it for him. You sure read a lot into that and made a ton of assumptions about me and my politics...again.

    I am happy to have a respectful conversation about more political issues, just not on this baseball site. If you have any ideas as to where we can continue this conversation, let me know. I say this respectfully and without sarcasm.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thank you, well said. I don't give a crap what someone does in their personal life. But, why do I have to come to chicago now and espn, and all the talk is about this gay guy, "coming out"? This isn't Iran, gay people are stoned to death. Stop shoving this down our throats GLBT, no pun intended. Get over yourselves already!!

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    In reply to Joshua Adams:

    *Aren't

  • If a player can play, who cares about sexual orientation. Anyone who thinks there has not already been "gay" baseball players in the major leagues is kidding themselves. The comments on the football side of things about disrupting team chemistry and being a distraction sounds a lot like comments made in 1947 and Jackie Robinson.

  • In reply to 1945AD:

    Exactly - and in the NFL as well. Sports teams are subject to the same anti-discrimination laws as every other business. I can't imagine a manager at any local business telling a candidate; "I can't hire you, it would disrupt the chemistry of our team..."

  • Mauricio...really glad to see someone who writes/knows about baseball declaring he does not like Jerry Reinsdorf. Some people will say you don't like him because you don't like the Sox. Personally I have no feelings towards a rival owner...Cards, Reds, Brewers, Packers, Vikings...usually could care less. Reinsdorf is a snake and a con man though.

  • In reply to Mikethoms:

    Although I don't alwas agree with his views on the CBA in baseball, Jerry Reinsdorf is spoken of very highly by former players and employees. He hires many ex-players into his organization after they retire. This includes Bulls and White Sox. He is loyal to people that work for him, and this day and age in business, you don't see that often. So I am not sure villainizing the man makes sense to me.

  • In reply to Ben19:

    I find it pretty easy to villainize him. While I have heard the same things you mention, and they seem to be true it's hard to forget how the Jordan years ended. Then there is everything about US cellular. He acts like he owns it and wields full control over it. That means he rarely lets things like concerts there, even though it would mean money for the state since they own it. He threatened to move and got the city of Sarasota to spend a lot of money wooing him, just to play them against Chicago. He spearheaded all these new draft rules that have handcuffed Theo and he's trying to implement an international draft because he's cheap. He doesn't like the Cubs and AL rivals spending so much because then he looks bad to his own fans when he won't spend. So instead he gets his buddy Bud to change the rules, again. He's an asshole and I'm sure he led the effort to keep Cuban from buying the Cubs. He doesn't care if Cuban is in baseball, just not in Chicago baseball. And I'm not a crazy person who hates the Ricketts and thinks Cuban would have ended our drought already. Just don't like the way Jerry clearly influenced who would buy the Cubs.

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    In reply to Mikethoms:

    Agreed. I just don't understand the Sarasota reference. Are you referring to their spring training and minor league teams that used to play there?

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    No, he was referring to the City of Sarasota as where Jerry was threatening to move the White Sox to for it's regular season games. Chicago & IL didn't want the Sox to move, so they gave Reinsdorf a sweet deal at tax payer expense. Reinsdorf played Sarasota, FL against Chicago, IL to get the best deal. Some would argue it was a shrewd move, others, a villainous one.

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Then I think he meant the city of St. Petersburg or perhaps Tampa. Sarasota has a population of about 50,000 and couldn't even hang on to its Single A team.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Yes I was mistaken, St Pete was the city

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    In reply to Mikethoms:

    Ah, thanks. I'm an Illinois transplant in the Sarasota area and I just couldn't imagine that town going after a MLB team! But I vaguely recall Tampa-St.Pete trying to get the White Sox and, I think, the Giants. Long ago, though.

  • In reply to Mikethoms:

    Although I don't alwas agree with his views on the CBA in baseball, Jerry Reinsdorf is spoken of very highly by former players and employees. He hires many ex-players into his organization after they retire. This includes Bulls and White Sox. He is loyal to people that work for him, and this day and age in business, you don't see that often. So I am not sure villainizing the man makes sense to me.

  • Mauricio what's the deal with the disgust for drafts? Are you suggesting we have all amatuers be free agents free to negotiate with any team once they are eligible? You think that baseball is top heavy now wait until the day that happens. The Yankees would have signed Appel, Grey, and Bryant last year. And the Dodgers will sign Rondon this year and the rest of the top 5 rated players. Baseball has enough problems trying to acheive the parady that the NFL and other major team sports have because they don't have any kind of salary cap. The draft is the only chance that smaller market teams have of trying to have a level playing field. I agree that tanking shouldn't be allowed an maybe the solution is a lottery like the NBA has.

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    Fully agree that there has to be some system of parity. Yankees fans are not entitled to more championships - or playoff appearances - than Pittsburgh fans, but that's the way it works out under the current system.
    Of course, teams won't want to invest in development of International players (as the Cubs have) if they will then lose them in a draft process. So, what's the answer, if not a draft? Salary-cap? Lottery? Income-sharing? More luxury tax?
    Your thoughts, Mauricio?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I think the answer is a signing date much like the July 2 International Signing Day.

    I think income sharing would help, I hate the idea of a salary cap.

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    In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    You're not gonna get income sharing without a salary cap.

    Quid pro quo.

    If the wealthier owners are going to be required to give up more of their revenue to their competitors then they'll want a cap on salaries and the and the smaller market owners will be on board too.

    The players don't want a salary cap and prefer having the Yankees, Dodgers et al driving up FA prices. So they won't support revenue sharing.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    How about another team or two in New York? LA? They have more fans resulting in more money. There is no good reason for them to give that money to another organization as a penalty. This is a free enterprises country. Whatever the market dictates.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    But Baseball is not a free enterprise. It is a government sanctioned monopoly.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Still there is not enough teams in heavily populated regions to have a more competitive balance.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Professionial sports requires c ompetition. If the Stankees or Dodgers win every year, you lose fans and eventually revenue. It also hurts the players, since they have teams that wont pay as much for there skills. Thats what makes pro sports different from private businesses.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    The draft has been collectively bargained so it is a fair way to supply talent through the league. For good reason, if there is no draft the average MLB player stands to lose the most. Bryce Harper would have made over $100 mil on his first contract. Of course that is the extreme example but even guys like Appel, Bryant, and Gray would have received bonus money at many multiples of what they got. The problem is there is only so much pie to go around. The top players will always get their money. If prospects start eating a much bigger share of the pie teams will look to save that money from average MLB's. That is the risk outside the rich getting richer (talent wise). While hard to quantify by how much it is impossible for me to believe the Yankees farm isn't much better with an amateur FA system.

    Usually the argument comes down to free markets or not. I actually believe an amateur looking for a MLB job is no different than when I started my career. The players have choices, go to the MLB, Japan, Mexico, etc. lots of baseball leagues out there. Of course they want MLB for the money, leisure of life style, and closest to home. Well MLB like other companies assigns you to their Houston branch, or Cleveland, etc. of course you don't have to play baseball either, you can choose another profession and live wherever you want.

    Up to this juncture I get Mauricio's argument, I see his perspective and while I don't agree totally, it makes sense. Where I start having problems is when he comes back with no salary cap but revenue sharing. Well we already have a form of revenue sharing in place one. Two, further expansion of that means prospects get all the benefit at the expense of steady MLB players and the owners assume all the risk. It isn't equitable to all parties and it no longer is a free market system. At that point the argument needs to be further developed to see why it would be a good system for MLB, let alone even viable.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    I think you are confusing collectively bargained and fair process/free market. It is not a free market at all right now for domestic prospects. Put it this way. You graduate college and there are 20 potential US employers you could work for. Except you don't get to pick the company, they will pick you based on perceived ability. And your salary is going to based solely on where you get picked in the process. I'd suspect that really isn't comparable at all to how you started your career.

    Current players collectively bargained an agreement with owners to their benefit at the expense of prospects, which is one reason prospects are so valuable to teams right now.

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    Baseball isn't very top heavy though and the fallacy that the Yankees would sign all of the prospects rings hollow for me.

    It didn't happen in the international market and there are more than enough avenues of talent acquisition that would keep competitive balance in place.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    No offense but you're dreaming if you think eliminating the draft wouldn't create a bigger divide between the top and the bottom. Without the draft do you think teams like Tampa and Oakland would be able to compete with New York, LA, Boston, Philly, and Chicago for players?

    True the Yankees didn't spend big on international free agents, but those players are usually 4 or 5 years away and the Evll Empire is usually not looking that far ahead. However I guarantee you that if they had the chance to sign 22 year old college amatuer free agents that are ready to go in a season or 2 they'd do it in a second.

    And saying that baseball isn't top heavy just isn't correct. When's the last time a small market team won the World Series? St Louis? They aren't really a small market team with a payroll usually around $100 million and Anheuser Busch bank rolling them. San Francisco? Same thing about $100 million

    When's the last time a true small market team won? Florida in 2003? That's over 10 years

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    The drafted kids tend to be about 4 or 5 years away as well.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    So you're saying that Appel, Grey, and Bryant won't be up until 2017 or 2018? Wow we really have to push back our timeline for winning.

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    I'm saying those guys won't be impact talent until at least then. Bryant won't be Trout and I think the recent run of Prospect Success has colored everyone's perception of what a reasonable timeline for a prospect is. Up and being a 4 WAR player are two very different things.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    No the Yankees and Dodgers wouldn't sign all the top prospects it is an inexact science. But their resources would give them a huge advantage in that market, there is very, very little doubt of that.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    You said it before Muaricio. The Evil Empire always goes for the proven players. There TV contract makes it possible. The other clubs only real shot is to build a farm system and hope many of them develop.

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    The problem with this theory is that we know from the old International Free Agent signing periods that the Yankees *didn't* get all the top IFA talent because teams like the Rays and Pirates spent a fortune on scouting to find guys before the big boys.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I didn't say they'd sign IFAs if you read my comment correctly. I said that if they had the chance to sign ANY amatuer free agents (which if there wasn't ANY draft all players would be included EXPERIENCED college players) the more wealthy teams would sign all the best amatuers making it more difficult for there to be paridy in MLB. And really that's the whole point of all this. You want paridy. It's good for sports. The NFL is the most poplular major sports league by a wide margin because all teams have the same restrictions payroll wise.

    I love baseball. It's my favorite game. But it's becoming less and less appealing to fans because the spending has gotten out of hand. Something needs to happen to make it more even. And getting rid of the draft is not the answer.

    This isn't fantasy baseball where you can do an auction for players because in that scenario everyone has the same amount of hypothetical money to spend.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yes Mike that is true. Today the MLB just created an amateur FA system. I own the Yankees and just named you my GM. How will you react? The old system had a flaw, MLB talent is far more known than amateur or foreign. The Yankees invested heavy in both but spent most of their resources with the more known investments. The Rays and Pirates had no choice, they couldn't compete for the top players.

    If we have a new system with Amateur FA's I guarantee you as my new GM will have a scouting department then envy of every other team.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    The draft was only instituted in the '60s. The Yankees still had more money than all of the other teams. Great players were spread throughout the league. Why?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Because it is an inexact science as I did mention in a different post above.

    But you are making my case for me. Between 1920 (when they first started flexing their money muscle) and 1959 The Yankees appeared in 24 WS, winning 18 of them in a 40 year span. Never did they miss a fall classic in more than three year stints. Also, they had three dynastic periods that those teams are considered on the short list of great teams in history. Those being the 26-32, late 30's, and 50's.

    From 1960 to 2013 they have appeared in 16 fall classics winning 9 in a 54 year period. Part of that is due to the expanded playoffs BUT, they have two extended periods of over a decade that with even the expanded playoffs they don't play a meaningful October game. The have two dynastic squads of the late 70's and 90's. The 70's is giving them the benefit of the doubt as they would rank dead last, and really not close to the other four dynasties.

    There is no question that while the Yankees still sit atop the mountain of baseball success, they have come down a few notches from the pre draft period.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    Bullshit. The first draft was in 1965, it would have takent 4-5 years for those players to have an impact on the majors. (The #1 overall pick, Rick Monday, didn't make the majors until 1967.)

    The Yankees fell off a cliff and stayed there until 10 years later, had a couple good years in the mid-70s, and were terrible until the mid-90s. It's a dead period much like the early 20th century -- when there wasn't a draft. Since 1996, they're in a period of dominance much like their DiMaggio-Mantle runs. And the reason those teams before the 60s went to the world series is because there was no LDS. The best team in the AL went to the Series. A lot of those Yankee teams that lost in the playoffs would have gone to the World Series under that system.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    What? I thought we were having a reasonable discussion here? I have Followed this blog for a long time and never seen such a response to anyone!

    If you use 1965 it even supports my argument the more because the data I used was skewed to the post draft as the early 60's were those dynamo 50's clubs last stand. But that is more titles pre draft.

    One mistake in your analysis is that you use the early 20th century as a reference. Please site a source that they were using their financial strength at that time. The Yankees became the team we know today around the 1919-1920 season when they just started buying players via lopsided trades. It is pretty well documented. At that time they began a scouting effort that was the envy of baseball producing an overlapping period from the 20's to 60's that linked Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle.

    Also, it is widely accepted that the 90's dynasty was built through the draft. The 80's and 2000's where success has been more limited was when they just tried to buy MLB talent. That all lends itself to the idea that the Yankees have struggled more is a post draft era. They struggle because they don't have the time to build like the Cubs are with their fan base. Only when Steinbrenner was kicked out did they build the farm. Their most comparable dynasty to the great ones before the draft is when they built the farm. When the did it another way their success has been much less.

    They have not had a run like the late 30's and 50's with DiMaggio and Mantle. Even the '90's doesn't compare to those dynasties.

    As for your BS comment just go to the Yankees franchise page on baseball reference. Cut the line at 1965 or 1970, whatever you think is fair. Tell me which period looks like the most success to you? It really is pretty black and white and far, far from BS.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    "they began a scouting effort that was the envy of baseball"

    This is the key to our disagreement. If they were doing it through an outstanding scouting effort, then they have been matched and surpassed by the Pirates and Rays. So if we open up the floodgates and let those two teams sign whoever they want, they will win consistently.

    Additionally, if the Yankees were still signing all the quality free agents in 1962, 1963, and 1964, imagine how long that team would have been good. I'd argue that their success was the result of two excellent recruiting classes that they supplemented. They didn't have a new class coming up when the draft hit. It may have slowed the rebuild, but a rebuild was coming.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    And apologies. BS was uncalled for.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Evil Empire took advantage of free agency in the 70s. The Reggie Jackson Stankee teams largely had only Ron Guidry and Thurnan Munson as players who came thru the Stankee farm system. Everyone else , from Catfish Hunter to Craig Nettles to Bucky Dent , either was a Free agent or acquired thru trade. Once the FA market evened out, the Stankees lost there competitive age until the new Cable TV markets in the late 80s starting giving the Stankees more financial muscle.

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    And a Salary Cap is just a phenomenally bad idea. The upside of a salary cap is that it forces teams to trade away home grown players before they get too expensive.

    So, for the Cubs, it would pretty much guarantee that one of Baez, Almora, and Bryant would bloom on another team. Think Roosevelt Colvin for the Bears.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It works in the NFL just fine. Roosevelt Colvin was a one dimensional player and it never really bothered me that he left. He was a 3-4 outside linebacker and not really best suited for the 4-3 the Bears were running the past 15 years or so. It happpens all the time. Some team can't afford Colvin so he goes to another and they draft a guy for less money and round and round it goes.

    The Hawks have been able to keep their core with a very conservative cap. Some have gotten too expensive, but the core remains. You still have to have guys that know what their doing and know how to manage it.

    The NBA is a whole nother matter. That league is a mess.

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    I agree the salary cap in the NFL works great. The NHL seems to be thriving too. The NBA does not have a hard salary cap. The rich teams ignore it pretty much. I think a hard salary cap in MLB would promote parity and health. Right now there are the Pittsburgh (who made the playoff the first time in 20 years) and the Yankees (who have made the playoffs something like 18 out of 20 years). That is not fair.

  • In reply to John57:

    Thank you. The perfect example of why the NFL's system and to a lessor extent the NHL's is better than MLB's is Pittsburg. Small market. 3 teams. The 2 that have perenial winners have a salary cap. The 1 just made their first post season in 20 years has none. All 3 are good talent evaluators but only 2 get a real shot year in year out. Not fair. That's why you see so many empty seats in baseball towns like this because even if they win the fans know it's going to be short lived.

  • In reply to John57:

    I worry about trying so hard to make everything about fairness. That just doesn't work out in the long run. Too much regulation has a way of producing less of a product.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think it would be less regulation. How many rules are there about going over the soft $189 million cap, rules about going over the IFA limit on spending. Just put in a hard cap and get rid of the rules about going over. This would reward the FO who can manage their team the best, period.

    The NFL product is thriving OK with a hard cap.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I don't think fairness is the issue so much as competiveness is. How many teams have moved due to lack of fan support? Why would fans pay to watch a team that has zero chance of competing against the big-money clubs?

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    For me, the Hawks are an excellent example of why I don't watch hockey that closely. I fall in love with a group of Hawks players last year -- and many of them are gone this year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Except that isn't true. The Hawks literally only lost 2 guys, both of whom were relegated to the 4th line in last year's playoffs (Frolik, Bolland). They also lost their backup goalie but he actually took less money elsewhere to compete for a starting spot. There is way more turnover in football or even good baseball teams in a normal offseason.

    Nothing like 2010 cup team, which was clearly never meant to be a long term team because the team's three best players Toews/Kane/Keith were all in the final year of entry level or bridge contract and were due for MASSIVE raises, but the team loaded up prior to that season and maxed out on the cap by bringing in Hossa in order to stack the team enough for the season..

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I've thought about your comment, Mike and, as a Cubs fan, I've been guilty of being so impressed with the players that I overestimated the team's ability. At this point, I think I'd gladly trade a complete roster turnover on the Cubs in exchange for four playoff appearances and two World Series wins in a four-year period.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    No problem Mike! I love both your contributions as a poster and to the site with your articles.

    Part of the fun of baseball is the opinions that is for sure, and to discuss this great game. At the HOF they have several lockers as a tribute to those 50's Yankees teams, one for Mantle, Berra, Ford, etc. One of them is for the front office. I do believe they had a first rate FO and the money to get the prospects they wanted.

    I take your point that they can't get everyone, and I will gladly admit they caught big breaks. The Cubs had DiMaggio offered to them first, largely because of the nice transaction for Augie Galan between the Cubs and Seals and because the Wrigley family name and money. Cubs passed on Joe because of Joe's knee, and the Yanks sign him shortly after. Berra is another, he tried out for the Cards and wanted to play for his hometown team, he doesn't make it and the Yanks scoop him up.

    You raise a solid point on the early 60's teams and if I find time I need to do some research there. I know they were sold in '64 to CBS, so I am not sure if they started to pull back on their pursuit of prospects knowing they were up for sale, if they missed on some guys, or what. That certainly is the period they need the next big guy or two and they never got them and hit a major drought.

    Still I have to believe that without a draft they would better be able to both get young talent and sign free agents. They wouldn't get everyone, nobody can, but teams like the Yanks and Dodgers would have another advantage against small market teams.

    To be honest this all would benefit the Cubs in a few years as they should be a top five revenue team when they get the ballpark and t.v. Issues behind them. So it probably would be good for my team, but I fear the have nots would sink further behind big market teams.

  • Hey, lets all hope that being gay does drop Sam's draft status. Let the Bears pick him up in a later round for a steal. In all seriousness though, I think that the way this story came out is extremely positive. It is news because it is a breakthrough, not because it is a controversy. I agree completely with Cliff1969 though, and hope that we eventually move away from reporting about players off the field activities unless it directly impacts their status with the team, like an arrest. Guess the 24 hour news media needs something to fill their time though.

  • I'm looking forward to the day when a person's sexuality isn't even an issue and signing or drafting a homosexual player doesn't merit a story. I don't now (and have never) understood why someone else's sexuality is an issue.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Tiger Wood's sex life was a big story.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Anybody famous's sex life is a story if it is juicy enough to sell ads.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    But Tiger's sex life had a cost. He lost quite a few endorsement contracts plus his wife.

  • In reply to John57:

    Yep John,..... but the media made a killing on the scandal.

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    "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." ~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    Thank you for writing that MR. I wish it were only as simple as "Can he play winning baseball at its highest level or not," but it isn't, and honestly, I think the supposed violation of societal norms is the least of the problems.

    I don't think MLB, or any professional sport for that matter, is going to have a problem hiring an openly gay player, as long as that player is truly capable of helping a team win. The problem is going to arise with borderline players and when they get cut. There's going to be a lawsuit by an openly gay player alleging that the only reason he was cut was because he was gay, and that very real fear is what is going to keep teams hesitant, because it's already happening over gay marriage.

    Look at what's happening in Colorado where courts are telling churches and business that they have to serve gay couples, even if it violates their conscience to do so, and it doesn't matter that there are churches and businesses available that will happily cater to the gay communities needs and wants. Certain people with an axe to grind are attempting to force acceptance, which is only making things worse.

    I don't think the fans are going to matter much at all. The press will report whatever propaganda their corporate masters tell them to report, and the sycophantic masses will lap it up, because it's easier to do that then look through the lies and know the truth of how today's news isn't really news at all, but it's a pack of half-truths designed to keep us afraid and pissed off at each other. Think about that the next time you see the freak show at a gay pride parade. When you don't actually know any gay people and all you see it that, which isn't really representative of anything real at all, it's no wonder you're afraid and pissed off, but then that is the intent of the way such events are covered.

    A visit to most any Major League ballpark in the neo-liberal bastion of the northeast and left coast tells we really haven't come as far as a society as we'd like to think. Visiting black and Hispanic players regularly get racial epithets shouted at them from the stands to this day.

    These places are hardly the cradles of open-mindedness that they pretend to be, whilest they look down their long noses at the more Southern and rural parts of the nation. In fact, it's hilarious to know that, when most black and Hispanic athletes are asked where the fans are the most polite and cordial to visiting players, it's places like Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and SLC that almost always top their lists. So I suspect that an openly gay player would receive similar treatment depending upon where they are visiting at the moment, but I digress.

    I think, if we take Jefferson's sentiments and apply them to anything racial or sexual, that's the way it should be, and if it took making a blood sacrificial offering to the Baseball Gods of Clark the Cub over the pitchers mounds at Wrigley in front of 40,000 people to get the Cubs a World Series Championship, there isn't a person who regularly reads or contributes to this blog who wouldn't volunteer to hold the knife. Just say'n!

  • Professional sports are one of the last remaining pure meritocracies in our society. The pressure to win outweighs every other personnel consideration. Players respect each other because they that every player is probably the best player that organization has to play that position at any given time. The problem, if any, is with the fans.

    Now, much has been made about the hostility of white players to Jackie Robinson when he broke in. Of course, that was a different time with different mores, but there was another factor at play that is rarely mentioned that doesn't apply to today's sports labor market. Many mediocre white MLB players in the 1940s could see what would happen to their jobs if MLB became integrated and they had to compete with an influx of talent from the Negro Leagues. White-dominated labor unions in the north reacted in the same way to the influx of migrants from the south in the 1920s and again in the 1940s. It was a unique situation.

    The overall rule has been that professional athletes care about one thing above all regarding fellow teammates: can they help us win?

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    In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    So you mean to tell me that every roster and lineup decision that Dusty Baker has ever made was based purely on athletic merit.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Haha. You may not believe this but I thought about Baker and was going to put in a little snarky line mentioning him but decided not to. Great minds think alike!

    Baker notwithstanding, my serious point is that sports in America are comparatively speaking an island of peace in our society precisely because the players respect each other's abilities and believe that their jobs depend on their ability to perform and nothing else. Michael Sam will be fine unless his teammates believe he has his job only because he's gay, and that's hardly likely to happen today in any sport.

  • Tolerance is a two way street. If one expects it toward same sex couples, then they must give it to religious folks who live the bible more literally. We call this freedom. Neither gets to be the thought police for the other.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That never happens. Intolerance for the Christians is the inevitable outcome.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    Why?

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Exactly, you don't have a right not to be offended, and that's where all sides of this issue have missed the boat.

  • Since there has never been a single openly gay player in the locker room of a MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL team, we really can't know what the level of acceptance will be when that actually happens.
    There will be a different dynamic in the locker room with a secretly gay athlete than there will be with an openly gay athlete.

  • Whether or not you agree with it is your personal choice. I know MANY openly gay people and call several of them my friends, BUT I come to this site to read about Cubs and baseball not about this subject which ESPN has been talking about it AD NAUSEAM. Let's stick to baseball. I hope to not offend anyone with this reply.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    It will effect baseball.

  • Vince Lombardi was notable as a guy who picked up players based solely on talent and nothing else. He invited gay players to camp ( yeah, they knew way back then) and one of them, Jerry Smith, became an All-Pro.

    This was pretty revolutionary stuff. He saw a market inefficiency.and exploited it.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Nothing wrong with Lombardi, or any coach doing. This isnt about Michael Sams. This is about the media using a gay athlete to promote a political agenda. Thats not what I watch sports networks or go on baseball blogs for. And its not the business of the media to be promoting agendas. Anybodys. The media is supposed to chronicle events.

  • This MLB and gay topic reminded me of this MTV commercial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhgulIFjF4E

    Abolish the MLB draft. How much would Stephen Strasburg have signed for if he was a free agent.

    I think we need a boycott the MLB draft Facebook page.

  • I cannot believe people still care about sexuality.

    Javier Baez is going to be inconsistent, but he is also going to be awesome. He may end up being frustrating like Soriano was at the plate, but that is still a heck of player.

    International draft is happening sooner or later, so it doesn't really matter. We are dealing with a government sanctioned monopoly. The MLBPA is not as strong as it once was and MLB player salaries have risen enough where the players are not going to worry about the small piece of the pie that is currently being alloted to these kids. They'll use it as a bargaining chip sooner or later.

    Pitchers and catchers cannot report fast enough. We need to start arguing over important stuff like who the 25th man is going to be instead of this trifle.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Amen

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I think we can all agree with first remark and whatever goes on between consenting adults is only their business. Yes, let the games begin.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    This is exactly right. It's why I wish Congress would stop fighting about stuff long enough to remove MLBs antitrust exemption.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If Congress could actually stop fighting and accomplish something, I would hope they could find something more important than baseball to deal with. But it would make for a good sound bite or two, so that probably would be their first ortder of business.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Nothing is more important than baseball.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    "people" are not the problem. The medias glorifcation of Mr Sams sexual orientation is. Most in here dont care at all about his choice of who he sleeps with, just do us a favor and keep it to yourself.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Why should he keep it to himself, Beast? Should a heterosexual player refrain from talking about women? All talk of anything remotely sexual should be banned from the lockerroom? So no more....lockerroom talk.....in the lockerroom?

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    It would be nice if such talk was restricted to the locker room. Unfortunately, that's not the case. We're dealing with headlines. How often do you see one that says "So and so prefers brunettes?" How about "Player X cheats on his spouse?" It's all pretty much a non-issue unless it deals with homosexuality.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Especially difficult considering the propensity of pro athletes to frequent "the club".

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hoffpauir6:

    To Hoff and Cliff - that's the point I was making to Beast. I was asking him why he thinks a homosexual player has to "keep it to himself" when I highly doubt he thinks a heterosexual player should have to follow the same rule.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    I'm pretty sure Richie Incognito didn't keep it to himself.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Ha, no he did not.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Excuse me, Mr McCann, but does the MEDIA giv e a very large megaphone to a heterosexual player talking about women? Im sure "outside the lines" wasnt asking Ben Rothlesberger about the women he dated , were they? ESPN put this man on the show for ONE reason and ONE reason only. To promote an AGENDA.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Mr Mccann, I dont see "Outside the lines" or ESPN asking oh, Jay Cutler about his relationship with Jenny Cavalerri. They are giving Mr Sams a megaphone so ESPN can promote a POLITICAL agenda. Its that simple. Deal with it.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    No one gave anyone a megaphone. And putting words in all caps isn't going to make it so.

    Whether we like it or not, a college football star declaring his homosexuality prior to the NFL draft is pretty big news. You might not think so - in fact, you might be angered by it - but that's beside the point. Gay rights is this country's ongoing civil rights movement, and that's news. It's that simple. Deal with it.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    And there's the problem. You can't have an opinion. If you disagree with me, just "deal with it."

    So much for honest discussion.

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    I used the phrase "deal with it" because I was playing off Beast's usage of it. I'm trying to keep this nice, but perhaps if you would have read the entire conversation you would have fully grasped my intention.

    However, no one ever said someone isn't allowed to have an opinion. I know I never said that. Dislike anything and everything about someone - that's your choice. But be prepared to deal with the consequences.

  • I hope I am the first to respond here. Please no one else do it. This is really not the place to get into such a discussion.

    Baseball please.

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    Another point on the last draft if there were no draft: all three of Appel, Bryant, and Gray would have gone for Masahiro Tanaka-esque contracts. There is no way one team signs all three. On top of that, the money spent for amateurs -- there would literally be no cost controlled players -- would drive down the contracts for older players like Ellsbury and Garza, making them more signable for non-Yankee teams.

    The economics on this one are incredibly clear. I don't think you could find an economist who would argue against the claim that the Salary Cap and the draft are largely mechanisms to save the owners money.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Rule 5 drafts would get really interesting if the major market teams started hoarding outside of the very top ten prospects too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Yankees spent almost that much anyway this offseason. They signed Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann on top of Tanaka. So to say they couldn't or wouldn't do this in the future is just not realistic.

    The problem with MLB is that they are always behind the times. They were the last to go to a wildcard. The last to have a comprehensive drug testing policy. Not to mention the only major sports league in America without a salary cap and the only one that has different rules for the different leagues/conferences (DH AL only).

    The reason for all of this silliness is not because of the big bad owners, but because of the MLBPA. They are the problem with baseball. They have become way too strong over the years and MLB will continue to suffer until they start making concessions. I'm not holding my breath.

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    And they went to the very limits to sign Tanaka. If they'd signed Bryant, Gray, and Appel, Tanaka would be a Cub. All of this shakes out. Also, having spent that this winter, it's unlikely they'll have the money to keep spending every year.

    Again, the economics on this is pretty much incontrovertible.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point. The draft slot rules in MLB are similar to basketball players needing to be one year out of high school to get drafted. The rules benefit established players and keep GM's from looking like idiots signing prospects to big contracts that don't pan out.

    Jayson Stark had a pretty interesting piece debunking the myth that parity in the NFL is greater than MLB. Although I do think it probably takes longer to fix a bad MLB team compared to the NFL. Not sure if that is related to the salary cap or that the NFL draft yields NFL ready players compared to MLB that or 3 or 4 years away. Might be a combination of both.

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    I hope I live to see the day when a coach says it's the bigot, not the gay player that will upset locker-room chemistry.

    And sorry Mauricio, but you're dead wrong about the amateur draft. It's the only way to prevent a perpetual NY-LA World Series.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    SKMD, I would like to know what your definition of a bigot ? Because I think its wrong to tell somone how they should feel about a certain lifestyle. Not saying you are but I see that in the media alot, I'm not saying name calling or bulling is ok but don't try and change someone's beliefs.Again SKMD i'm not saying your trying to do any of this I just wanted to know your idea of a bigot, because I have a feeling alot of people think being a bigot means you disagree with the lifestyle.

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    In reply to seankl:

    Being gay is not a lifestyle, it's not a choice. It's inborn. A bigot is someone who discriminates against someone for something that person has no control over.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Sometimes. There are all kinds of gay, straight and those who can't figure out which they are in this world. Inmates doing long time adjust to same sex activity, but many do not. Individuals who are hurt deeply try the other sex and those who are unattractive to opposite sex settle for whatever. Some think that they should try all adventures. It's probably a small percentage that born in the wrong gender body. I'm tolerant, but reserve the right to be disgusted.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You have a choice, and you do have control. In my opinion the reason people say its not a choice is because its accepted in the world. You can't look at it as natural, but in the same breath say having sex with an animal or small child is not. All of it is unnatural to me. But don't call a person a bigot who doesn't accept it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to seankl:

    I will continue to call those people bigots because that's what they are. It is entirely natural, it occurs in all countries and cultures, in fact it occurs in other species. People say it's not a choice just because it's accepted? What about places where it's not only not accepted, it could mean a death sentence ? Get a clue.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    If that's the case, SKMD, you're as intolerant and closed-minded as you accuse others of being.

  • For the record I think that Mauricio and Mike and John for that matter are very intelligent guys and truely thank them for doing this blog. It keeps me going in the offseason...

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    No question this site is great in the off season, to follow the team in season ( can't wait until that part is more fun), to get prospect info, and just read and talk baseball! They have a great thing going here and I really believe this site will grow in time.

  • "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." ~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    "In fact many of those millions believe gays are an abomination to God."

    I am not one of those who think the above, but would Jefferson be incorrect if he had said the following?:

    "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to believe gays are an abomination to God.. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." ~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

  • In reply to DaveP:

    The term "gay" as it refers to homosexuality is a fairly recent term, so I cannot believe that Jefferson used it to describe homosexuals.

    I don't buy your quotes, sorry.

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    In reply to SFToby:

    Toby, he said, "what if" with regards the second quote. He was using a hypothetical to make his point.

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    As Mauricio implied above, personal views about homosexuality and name calling really need to stay off these boards. I fully admit it's impossible to discuss this without tap dancing on the line, but please be aware there IS a line.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I believe he asked us to keep it civil. I didn't translate that to mean we had to keep our personal views on the subject to ourselves, although maybe I misread.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Tim McCann:

    I probably could have phrased that better. You are correct. Expressing your personal opinions in an uncivil manner, perhaps?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I would definitely agree with that!

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    Before Tanaka signed with the Yankees, I was the one who facetiously suggested we stake out JAL flight 075 from Tokyo to O'Hare - MAN, was I wrong... LOL!

  • I've seen surveys that say people with higher IQs are generally more tolerant of other people. It this is true, and if it also holds for level of education, then baseball could be the last sport to accept gays.

    Baseball players are generally the least educated of all major sport athletes, with many skipping college or in the case of Latin American players, skipping large parts of high school. Compare this to NFL players, who for the most part have either graduated college or at least attended 4 years of college. NBA players have in general attended 2 or 3 years of college, if not actually graduated. A lot of hockey players are also drafted after playing for a college team for a couple years, and then left there to finish school and learn more about hockey instead of playing a junior league.

    The other reason why baseball might be harder to accept gays could be the fact that just about all players spend a lot of time in the minors, and for the most part are played in smaller towns that aren't exposed to as many gays as big city folk are.

    Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  • Educated high IQ people are only more tolerant if you agree with them. They will refer to those who disagree as racist, homophobes, and stupid. Pompous can trump reality, but in the end 'Shagra La' doesn't exist. All people are flawed only high IQ educated elitists think that they are not.

    Baseball are the least educated?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Well said slug. I own a gun business and the most arrogant people I meet in it are professors and other academics.

  • John, I am curious what FO is going to do with
    all these starting pitchers?

    In Chicago: Wood,Shark,Jackson,Arrieta,Hammel
    then at Iowa: Hendricks,Grimm,Ramirez,Beeler,
    Rusin then Marshall,McDonals,Wada,Jokisch,
    Rivero and Cerreno,Loux,Negrin & Pimentel.

    Thats around 15 starters in Iowa and there is no
    room in Tennessee. I actually like that 1st 5 in Iowa
    ALMOST as much as the 5 in Chicago. So it looks
    like some decent pitchers are going to be released
    by the Cubs this spring?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    The overly simplistic answer is,.....

    They are going to let them compete among themselves and the 'best 5' will start out the year as the rotation,.... a couple of the others among them will fill out the bullpen,.... and a couple with either MiL options left (Rusin, Grimm, Beeler, Hendricks,...) will fill out the rotation in Iowa,....

    Somebody in the ML roster gets hurt, or falters, or gets traded,....then one of the guys in Iowa heads to Wrigley,.....

    Probably the only 3 that are 'locks' to start out the season as starters in Wrigley are Shark, Wood and Jackson. After that - it gets fuzzier. I'm thinking that the #4 and #5 guys are going to start out as Arietta and Hammel when it all sorts out in AZ.

    Arietta is a bit of a wildcard,..... could go good or bad as a starter. Hammel is probably gone at the trade deadline if he is pitching well. Jackson could be gone in July as well IF he's putting up decent numbers but one or more of the 'kids' is making a statement in AAA.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I agree on Hammel & Jackson I think if they are
    doing well they will be traded. Always there are
    a few injuries every year.

    If you trade Hammel & Jackson we might see Grimm
    and Hendricks. If Arrieta falters we have many options
    for sure.

    I was curious how many pitchers you could tie up
    in Iowa because I come up with 25-30 pitchers
    remaining after the 12 that are in Chicago.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Iowa is going to be interesting - that's for sure. Managing that pile of quality arms is going to be a fun one for their manager down there,.... But definately some of them are going to make it at some level in the big leagues over the next few years. I like what I've seen and read about (in particular) Hendricks and Beeler as #3/#4 type potential innings-eaters.

    No Aces - at least not among the crowd in Iowa - but Beeler, Hendricks, Grimm, possibly Marshall, and Rusin all could fill in the back end of somebody's rotation - and might be capable of filling that role now for 'somebody'.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I think this FO has put us in a position with waves
    of 3-4-5 type starting pitchers coming and potential
    all star type hitters as well we are a couple of MVP
    type candidates away from turning the corner.

    A couple of big ifs but If a couple of these guys
    (olt,baez,bryant or alcantera) come on and are
    quality big leaguers.and Castro and Rizzo rebound
    I really think we are one high quality lefthanded
    hitting outfielder and one TOR from being a solid
    and consistant playoff team.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bleachercreature:

    There are those, like Cabrera who are out of options. If DFA'd to clear roster space, he would likely be selected off waivers. Some will, as you suggest, be released. There's just no room.
    To break it down further, I think one or two possible starters (eg Rusin and Grimm) wind up in the Chicago bullpen, two or three could wind up in the Iowa bullpen, perhaps even working as piggybacks.
    You can expect a veteran or two at Iowa, but not five or six, so the retreads will battle all spring and some will be launched by opening day.
    Pitching depth is a nice problem to have

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Agree the depth is great. I envision Cubs staff this way.
    Starters: Wood,Shark,Jackson,Hammel, Arrieta &
    Villanueva with bullpen of: Veras,Strop.Parker,Wright,
    Russell & Cabrera. So I think Rondon,Rusin & Grimm
    will all start in Iowa.

    I also read that there was a bunch of interest in trades
    for Villanueva this winter. So FO told him to be prepared
    as a starter to start the season. So if that happens maybe
    Arrieta goes down to Iowa and Rusin stays in Chicago. It
    will be a very interesting spring.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    "Pitching depth is a nice problem to have."

    And more importantly - it is a 'problem' that I don't recall the Cubs as having had for at least a decade or more. Nice change to see.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    well that was easy.... 2 fewer guys to worry about in Iowa
    (Raley & Marshall) just claimed off waivers from the Twins
    and the Reds.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bleachercreature:

    2 open spots on the 40-man. Hammel will take one.

  • I'm not sure that educational level has as large an impact as you think, although I agree that college attendance is usually time spent in the most liberal of environments. Listening to interviews with some athletes as they try to put together a coherent sentence can be painful!
    At any rate, the availability of satellite TV and Radio, Internet and especially social media have infinitely expanded the average person's exposure to all kinds of people and social issues. Today's young adult has grown up with gay TV characters, celebrities, politicians and gay topics in everything from the sitcom scripts to nightly news to his or her favorite music. It's a far cry from watching Ricky and Lucy occupy separate beds on one of the three channels we received when I was growing up!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Oops - meant as a reply to SFToby...

  • Brett Marshall claimed by the Reds, Brooks Raley claimed by the Twins.

  • Mexica God of War as compared to the growing promise of Javier Baez. GENIUS

  • Apparently - Deric Jeter has made it official,.... he's retiring after this year.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Ooooph...it's going to be worse the Rivera's last year with all the hoopla.

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