Thanksgiving is next week, and the odds are that you all are going to be pretty well occupied in other endeavors next Friday. So let's flood you all with HaloLinks while we still have your attention!! (And, while I have your attention, I am thankful for all you guys and gals...)
- Hector Santiago: As you should know by now, Santiago has been travelling with the MLB All Stars in recent their Japan tour, and having a great time immersing himself in the local culture. To give you a sense of how much fun the dude has been having, watch this. Note, especially, the smile that comes over Francona's face at the very end. Santiago know how to mess with a manager's head. Literally...........By the way, Santiago got to start the finale yesterday in Japan, and took the loss.
- Howie Kendrick: Alden Gonzalez reads ESPN so that we don't to. Buster Olney ranks Howie as 9th best 2B in MLB. Now, however, I am kind of curious as to Olney's line of reasoning. Not so curious as to break the pay wall, but still. 9th? Among all MLB qualifying 2B’s HK ranks 3rd, 4th, 8th and 7th in terms of AVG, OBP, SLG and OPS respectively. And he is tied for 4th in fWAR. He has a .984 fielding percentage (12th) across the 2nd most innings of anybody, out of the 6th most chances. And all that adds up to 9th best?? For Howie's money???
- SBN 2014 MLB Awards Update: Our Halos Heaven selections for SBN MLB Hit of the Year did not make the finals (what with Jeter's final hit at Yankee Stadium, though...), neither did our offering for SBN MLB Pitching Performance of the Year (although another no-hitter did, but then there's Bumgarner's World Series and Kershaw's 15K no-hitter), nor did our submission for SBN MLB Defensive Play of the Year (but, hey , Howie Kendrick gets a cameo as he gets gunned out by Yeonis Cespedes!). As i type this, the leading defensive play in the voting is pretty weak stuff. A guy catches a foul ball at the rail, and falls in. Happens every day. Big deal.
- Odds & Ends: Yesterday the Halos Designated For Assignment Michael Roth. And, at the deadline, they opted to only protect catcher Jett Bandy and pitcher Danny Reynolds. That means, for the biggest news, they chose to expose Kaleb Cowart to the Rule 5 Draft. Yeah, Cowart has fallen that far. This is the same Kaleb Cowart who was our first rounder in the 2010 draft, 18th overall. The Halos have declared that "they are not giving up on him...yet", but all that stands between now and "giving up" is any other team with a pittance worth of curiosity...........To finish off the activity yesterday, the Angels picked up David Robertson from the Rangers in exchange for PTBNL or cash, and they DFA'd Alfredo Marte to make room.
This Date In Baseball History: 1934 - The Yankees purchase the contract of Joe DiMaggio from the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. (More about PCL player contracts below.) ..........1972 - Carlton Fisk becomes the first unanimous selection for the AL RoY Award. In fact, Fisk was the ONLY player to get ANY votes that year. (Since then the unanimous AL RoY winners have been Mark McGwire, Sandy Alomar, Tim Salmon, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciapara, Evan Longoria, Mike Trout, and Jose Abreu)..........2000 - Uncle Bud Selig testifies before Congress and claims that the economics of the current CBA are so bad we will probably need to see a work stoppage after hte following season just for MLB to survive ("18 to 20 of the 30 teams will lose money..." ROFLOL!!!)..............2002 - Trying to survive, it is announced that the Expos might play one quarter of their home games in San Juan Puerto Rico..........2007 - Tony Reagins sneaks into a local Del Taco signs Free Agent Torii Hunter to a five year deal with the Angels...........2009 - The New York Mets announce that they will re-do a fair amount of the signage surrounding new Citi Field to bring forward the NYM history that architects, designers and ownership had ignored as they apparently chose to pursue a Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field aesthetic (see, LAA isn't the only franchise that can muck up their own cherished history)............2010 - Eleven years since being booted from Anaheim, Terry Collins gets his next managerial gig, with the Mets...........2012 - Greg Halman of the Mariners is apparently stabbed to death by his own brother in his home country of The Netherlands.
Pacific Coast League History Nuggets
In the early 1950's the Pacific Coast League, working hard to become a third Major League of baseball, instituted the "Open Classification" system. This was a "special" level of baseball established by MLB, between AAA and Major League, wherein players at this level would have the chance to waive their "rights" to be drafted into the National or American Leagues, essentially being free agents if they had 5 years or service. This was a fundamental step towards retaining individual players, and improving overall talent levels, both necessary to achieve competitive levels equivalent of MLB at the time. PCL owners were eager to get their players to waive their MLB draft rights under the Open Classification system, and paid them a bonus to do so. As a result, PCL players often made more money per year than did MLB players. So, in the end, it was an easy decision for a great number of PCL players to remain in the PCL. Lack of financial resources would prevent this plan from turning the PCL into a Major League on its own, and the expansion of MLB to the west coast (starting with the National League announcement in 1957 and then the American League announcement in 1960) slammed the door on the plan for good.
"I signed in 1952 and played most of the year in Stockton. The Solons took me on a road trip the lsat two weeks of the season. Open Classificaiton was supposed to ultimately result in a third major league, but they didn't have the dollars to back it up. Players had it written into their contracts; we won't be sold to the majors leagues. Players would then come down from teh big leagues and say, 'I don't want to go back.' Most of them were making more money in the PCL at the time, and the playing conditions were as good. Sacramento did have a couple of farm clubs up north - Idaho Falls, Salem, Lewiston. They had several agreements where they would send some of the players from year to year. So they were trying to develop their own farm system, but it only lasted two or three years. They didn't have the money to sustain their own farm system. Otherwise, they would have been a third major league, because hte talent was there."
- BUD WATKINS, Sacramento Solons
Woodford press, Publisher
- The King is Dead!: Uncle Bud Selig is cranking on his final couple of official soirees as Comissioner, and one of the things he is being celebrated for is competitive parity. After all, goes the story, the Kansas City Royals made it to the final out of the final inning of the final game of the World Series, with only the 17th highest payroll. Thus it must be proven that we have parity in baseball and everybody has a chance to win. Right? Right?? Well, right off the top, this parity effort started way back in 1998 with the Volcker Report. The highest payroll in 1998 was the Orioles, at ~$72mm. Back then the Royals were paying their players ~$36mm. The 2014 payroll of the Royals was ~$81mm, which is more than double. So, there's that. But how well do the lower paying clubs sustain their success, or is Selig just getting credit for the crapshoot nature of the playoffs? In other words, how likely is it that the Royals will continue to compete for a WS title while remaining the 19th highest payroll? I have done the research and have the tables, and maybe I will post those on Sunday. But know that since 1998 only one team that ranked in the bottom half of all payrolls AND made it to the World Series once, ever made it back again. And that was when the 2010 Rangers, then ranked 27th in payroll, also made it back to the WS in 2011. But by the very next year they jumped up to be the #13th highest payroll. And, except for the 2013 Red Sox, every single team that has played in more than 1 WS since 1998 returned to the WS after increasing their payroll to the extent that they ranked higher among all teams than in their previous appearance. In other words, get there once by being lucky but get there again by being lucky, and outspending more of your opponents.
- Long live the King! Uncle Bud officially retires as of January 25th, 2015, when his replacement, Rob Manfred, takes over. The owners voted to grant Godfather Rob a 5 year contract to run his Office of Persecution out of New York. For those wondering where I am coming from, know that I have written before how Manfred's investigation of ARod was scandalous, regardless of how one feels about ARod. Manfred basically set a precedent that MLB is entitled to demand YOUR cellphone records from YOUR carrier if they suspect anybody in Major League Baseball might be violating the MLB/CBA rules, and that suspect might have called you or your friends once, even from their butt. And the carriers capitulated.
Here is my Holy Shit! moment of the week. This guys clearly loved baseball even more than us..........I know that this topic was already linked by Jim earlier this week, but I think it's worth another look, with the perspective that the Oakland A's are not so different than the rest of us any more..........For history buffs, here is a cool color photo of Babe Ruth, circa 1938 (three years after he retired), wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers uni..........Blogger Power! Ken Rosenthal with a hat tip to a pair of blogging kids, who got the national scoop on the Billy Butler deal..........Here is a fun diversion: the ultimately bad ballplayer wearing a pennant ring, and going through life convinced he made a difference...........OT: Friday morning timeout to see the obedience challenge equivalent of Bill Bavasi - Bill Stoneman - Tony Reagins.............Some guys get all the luck. I wonder if anybody realizes that this mega-friggin'-over-the-top-hugest-deal-of-all-time begins life as only a $107mm/6 year deal, averaging just under $18mm per year and call bullshit. Oh wait. Yeah. Keith Olbermann just did.............Camo bats: because you never know when you need to sneak up on that Thanksgiving baseball treat in the bush...........I get the fun part of this, building a giant sculpture of Jayson Werth out of canned seafood, but not the practicality. Doesn't this store really need to have a large surplus of stock on hand to do these kind of things?..........Here is a nice human interest story, which might give you a better sense of the baseball world for agents, and for minor leaguer and possible future pro Jaye Chapman...........Foreshadowing: here is what happens when personnel moves back a franchise into a corner.....................Uni Watch suspects that Matt Shoemaker just unveiled the 2105 road gray uniform for the LA Angels, which now includes a red belt and red shoes.............Ah, crap. Canseco's finger did NOT really fall off.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
Friday: (I got nuthin')
Saturday: I only have two events. For the whole weekend. And both land on Saturday. Kind of a bummer after the past couple of weekends with some great things going on all over. I though we had some nice momentum going on leading into the holidays. Oh well. First up is the European Bierfest at Wirsthaus in LA. At $40 per person I wish they had up a list of brews, but if you are close to the dowtown LA area and fee adventurous these are supposed to be authentic European brewers and representatives, so you might strike it rich!..........The other event is up in Snata Rosa, and I have linked to this in past years. It's the NorCal Beer Geeks Beerf Fest and it takes place at The Santa Rosa Veteran's Memorial Building. This one always gets my attention just for the beer geeks attitude. And any beer enthusiasts site that gets blocked by my employer's proxy is alright with me. Love it.
Sunday: (I got nuthin')
BEER BONUS #1: Foster's is Australian for "Imported Piss Water".