The more trivial consequences of the CBA

The more trivial consequences of the CBA
HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA this photo // Reuters

The initial reaction to the new CBA rightly centered around the significant changes to player acquisition, as it stood to affect the coming off-season, and promised to drag other teams down to the White Sox odd little way of doing things.

That’s pretty important since the White Sox minor league system is really, quite terrible.  As Larry from South Side Sox broke down in his top 10 prospect list for the organization, the best the Sox have to offer is a reliever who has probably already graduated (Reed), and the Toronto kid (Nestor Molina) who they pray isn’t another reliever.  The bottom of his list is a hilarious stockpile of toolsy outfielders with contact issues.

So that stuff matters, and obviously took the forefront.  Also mildly pertinent, is the Twins getting very close to signing free agent OF Josh Willingham.  He’ll probably represent almost no change whatsoever in production from fan-favorite Michael Cuddyer and certainly isn’t enough to drag them into contention, but he’ll cost a little bit less.  I’m sure Twins fans are just thrilled to about that.

But really, the Sox are in a holding pattern, as they wait in joyful hope, for the coming of Yankees trade offer for Danks that includes Manny Banuelos.  In the meantime, there’s plenty of time to have fun with the trivial details of the new CBA.  I’m going to operate from this one Tribune article because it contains the above photo, and I so thoroughly adore the above photo.

First of all, the following details are part of the MLB’s “Memorandum of Understanding”.  Just once, I want to be able to say “we have…an understanding“, and when someone asks what it is, I produce an 800-page document.

Teams from the same division are now allowed to meet prior to the league championship round of the playoffs

This is sort of a necessity due to the extra playoff team, but it could be interesting if applied to the Division Series.  Initially I was saddened that playing teams out of division and having unique matchups would no longer be forced, but it would also allow for a Red Sox-Yankees series to possibly occur at a more merciful 5 games.  Any intra-AL Central showdown would be a pretty enjoyable bloodbath.

Players are banned from getting tattoos with corporate logos

“Just trying to head something off at the pass,” said Rob Manfred.  Um…ok, Rob?

There is the possibility of more players wearing microphones during games

“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”  “Get down! Get down! Get down!  Safe!?!?!  Yeaaahh!”  “Ooff, er, grunt”.  I hope you enjoy that.

More advance notice required for uniform changes

Players must tell the commissioner’s office by July 31 of the preceding year if they want a new jersey. That is, unless “the player (or someone on his behalf) purchases the existing finished goods inventory of apparel containing the player’s jersey number.”

As they always say; if you’re going to have a rule that’s sole purpose is to protect merchandise sales, be hilariously honest about it.

Expanded instant replay to determine if balls are fair or foul, caught or trapped, and fan interference

Improving the accuracy of calls can only be a good thing, even if I can’t help but notice that these are pretty much never the calls people get really ticked with umpires about.  Also, it’d be nice if they could implement a system faster than everyone walking off the field and looking at the monitor.  They won’t, though, because it’s baseball, and baseball has plenty of your time to spend.

The All-Star Break is now 4 games long, and the game is now allowed to be played on Wednesday

Anything to make you care about this game, guys.  Anything.

All members of the 40-man roster are guaranteed single rooms during Spring Training.  No more bunkmates.

Everyone’s 9th favorite stock Spring Training story just got thrown into the trash.  Mark Gonzalez was going to have a devil of a time writing a “Eduardo Escobar & Ozzie Martinez: Bunkmates!” piece from his “Gordon Beckham & Chris Getz: Bunkmates!” template anyway.

Players are banned from asking official scorers to reconsider decisions

A sad blow to Orlando Cabrera’s fielding percentage.  However, it also takes away an avenue for Joe Cowley to enter into contentious relationships with players.  It’ll be a new era for peace!

@gordonbeckham Gordon Beckham

@cst_Cowley: “Beckham can be a standout player. I just don’t know if that can happen with the Sox. He’s too in his own head.” // WE WILL SEE JOE

4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

Oh, well, not quite.

Increases in fines for “pace-of-game” violations, going up as high as $10,000 for the 6th violation

It’d be really interesting to see if this actually got aggressively applied, or how it would be.

Players are banned from betting with illegal bookies on any sport

“Players”…”banned”…”from”…”illegal”, yeah, ok, probably a good rule.

Commissioner now allowed to discipline players for breaking federal, state, and local law, as well as “materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball.” 

This would seem like the legislation of personal conduct that Roger Goodell wields in the NFL, only Bud Selig is not Roger Goodell, and the MLBPA is very much not the NFLPA.

“Possible suspensions for intentionally throwing a ball or equipment at non-uniformed personnel with the intention of causing bodily harm; for assaulting fans, media or umpires; or for making public statements that question the integrity of the game, the umpires, the commissioner or the commissioner’s staff.”

Questioning the strike zone of an umpire is put in the same category as whipping a baseball at a fan’s head.

Players can face discipline for violating the MLB Social Media Policy

You know, once it’s written.

“The agreement calls for nicknames written on equipment to ‘not reasonably likely to offend fans, business partners, players and others associated with the game.'”

They’re still mad about this.

The practice of calling up players from the minors but not activating them, often referred to as “taxi squads”, is forbidden

A small concession in terms of organizational flexibility that surely won’t really affect the White Sox in any way for a while.

Finally, starting in 2013, there will be 6 five division teams, playing 17-18 games versus divisional opponents, and no more than 20 interleague games a year.

The White Sox played 18 interleague games in 2011, so this is going to be pretty darn mild.


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  • I think the White Sox “taxi squad” was literally a group of rickshaw operators who took players from the parking lot, through the tunnel, to the clubhouse entrance.

    I guess those guys will be looking for work.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    They'll be fine. People's desire to travel slightly more efficiently at great physical cost of others is recession-proof.

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    As was proven by the lucrative contract received by Paul Konerko, who the rest of the Sox hitters piggyback?

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    I would make a joke about everyone on his back making his knee give out, but I wouldn't want to take focus off the fact that Paulie spent the 2nd half waddling around the bases because Andrew Miller is terrible.

  • It's time to jettison the All-Star game. Just name the All-Stars and give everyone a week off.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Deserving players getting the credential as an All-Star is definitely all I really care about, but so long as sports leagues exists, so will their obvious, pointless cash-grabs.

  • A comment unrelated to this post: Any thoughts on the Astros return for Melancon in comparison to the White Sox return for Santos? And do you think the White Sox could expect a Jed Lowrie type of return in a Gordon Beckham deal?

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    The only real way to rationalize the Sox return for Santos is that they view Molina as a #2-#3 starter type. By that notion, they went for what they view as a higher-level target or quantity, while Lowrie and Weiland are more take-a-chance types. Weiland might be bound for the bullpen, and Lowrie has a 91 wRC+ through 920 big league plate appearances. Then again, Melancon wouldn't seem to project as great as Santos down the road, so I tend to like what the Astros did a bit more. They cashed out a guy who doesn't have the K-numbers to ever be an upper echelon relievers in exchange for a couple fliers on useful players. The Sox are operating in their own world on Molina, though, so it's almost hard for me to judge.

    When you say "Lowrie type return", I'm assuming you're saying trading our prospect-in-crisis for someone else who's of the "good if he can stay healthy" type. That might be a little high still. Seems like the Red Sox were willing to part with Lowrie's potential in exchange for a sure fix at a need role. Beckham's not going to fill that for anyone unless a contender is really dead-set on "all we need is great defense at 2nd base, nothing more!" I think of a return similar to a Kila Ka'huie type, someone who's a somewhat revered prospect with good minor league numbers, but has struggled to produce in the majors in any real way. That's just spit-balling, though.

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    Yes, I'm asking if you think Lowrie and Beckham have roughly the same market value. It seems clear to me that you're inclined to believe Beckham is never going to hit. If the Sox think that too, then they should trade him because they would effectively be selling high (not low as you suggested in a previous post) since his prospect-in-crisis status is unlikely to last another year, after which he will just become a "bust."

    I tend to view the Santos trade more favorably from the White Sox perspective. But much of this is based on bias and intuition: the Sox need prospects; I don't sweat relievers; trades for pitching prospects have worked out for Kenny in the past; the Marco Paddy factor. But just because I like the player and the deal does not mean the Sox did not overrate Molina (well hello there Mr. Double-Negative). And yes, it seems like the Astros got something like an equal return (considering the Red Sox traded apples and the Blue Jays traded oranges) for a worse pitcher.

    Thanks for taking the time to address this comment during your day/evening of misery.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    I kinda view Lowrie and Beckham as different types, and maybe I'm not good enough at calculating player value to size them up. Lowrie is generally viewed as a good player who can perform if healthy, and Beckham is a player who was thought to be a potential franchise centerpiece whose approach has slipped away. Beckham has a much higher ceiling, but (and this could be biased since I spend all my time on a team that employs Herm Schneider) it seems easier to get a guy healthy than "fix" a major league baseball player.

    I agree on relievers to a point. I don't sweat them in the sense that I don't like throwing them goo-gobs of money, but you need a few good ones around, and Santos could be one less thing to worry about for a while. Teams being dumb about relievers seems like one of the outstanding market inefficiencies, but Toronto is a front office that is pretty explicitly impervious to it in the wake of last season's trade deadline where they made it rain relievers (They traded three, and let two others walk in free agency thus far). I'm not accusing the White Sox of overrating Molina. They could be extremely right, and would certainly know better than me. What I would say is that they projected their high view of Molina as the league-wide conception of his value, and thus might of sold themselves short.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    As for the thanking thing, talking baseball is always fun. Besides now that my reader interactions are generally positive, and no longer diatribes written by players' family members, it's given me the push needed to make my writing style a lot more personalized. I don't think I do a lot of the wackier stuff of the last few months without regular feedback telling me "Hey, that didn't suck!", so thank you, for that.

  • No WSO White Sox fix? This is what a day in hell must be like. Damn you evil pathogen! Get well soon James.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Thanks for the well-wishes. At least the Sox didn't punish me for my day off by trading all of the Charlotte Knights for Orlando Hudson or something.

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