While much of the sports world is still decidedly focused on things like NFL playoff odds and the four teams to make the still inadequate college football playoff, true baseball fans begin to see the faintest glimpse of a light at the end of a long cold tunnel. The MLB Winter Meetings are just one short week away, and if that bizarre New York Mets deal doesn’t kickstart this market, maybe the Meetings will.
While we bide our time awaiting the upcoming possibilities, let’s take a look at what is currently going on.
The price of leadership
The Detroit Tigers made two notable non-tender moves on Friday evening. One was expected in the decision to not offer James McCann a contract, but the other was a little bit of a surprise. In what the organization describes as a strictly financial move, the Tigers decided that paying $3 million dollars to keep relief pitcher Alex Wilson on the roster was a financial burden too high for this team to bare.
This is, of course, bulls**t. Chris McCosky of The Detroit News opines about the loss of leadership at cutting these two veteran players over such a small amount. I’m not so concerned about the leadership part. I can’t speak to the levels of grit and hustle and things like “the have to”, but I’m comfortable saying McCann needed to go. On the other hand, to decide $3 million is too much for a guy who has been a solid part of the bullpen and posted a sub-3 ERA for the majority of the 218 season is a little perplexing.
Buck the system
In the video below, Buck Showalter floats a novel idea that the designated hitter should be extended to the National League. One caveat: once you replace your starter, you lose the DH spot for the remainder of the game. It’s an interesting idea to ponder. Watch below for the initial presentation, but stay for the impassioned argument for the preservation of the strategic element of the National League game. Keep in mind that the “strategic element” of pitchers picking up a bat is what makes NL baseball an inferior product.
Almost a Tiger for a day
The 41st President of The United States of America, George H.W. Bush, died over the weekend. The former leader of our nation was not just an adept politician, but also quite the baseball player, leading Yale to two College World Series berths in his days on their team. If you’re interested, you can read a bit about his past and how he almost became a Detroit Tiger for a day.