clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MondoLinks: Turkey Week

New, 176 comments

How many strikes in a row for the LAA Front Office Free Agency endeavor?

Sports Contributor Archive 2019
Gene Mauch: 1981-1982, 1985-1987
Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

THE HOT CORNER

It’s Turkey Week. As Billy Eppler trots through the Free Agent market having rolled gutter balls on Yansmani Grandal and Travel D’Arnaud, two catchers who went elsewhere instead of filling one of his big holes, we hear of a Zack Wheeler closing in on a Chicago White Sox deal as the ChiSox are currently high bidder. Strike on Grandal + strike on D’Arnaud + strike on Wheeler would be 3 consecutive strikes = turkey! Pass the gravy.

Yeah, I know you want to START with Gerrit Cole and THEN go buy up everybody else with whatever money you think Arte has left over. And you are happy waiting as long as it takes to get that first step of signing Cole done. Because that worked out so well for us when Dipoto went chasing after Zack Greinke. But when you are getting outplayed by a team that has been banging at the bottom of their division 6 of the last 7 seasons, and hasn’t spent as much as $100 million on their players since 2016, and who doesn’t have a Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to build around, you know that your sense of urgency might be lacking.


ANGELS

Adios, Kole Calhoun..............

Hola, Tony La Russa..............

The funniest moments in LAA history and not one mention of Jeff Mathis trying to throw out a guy not stealing first base?............

Well, Shohei, f you are going to give up a home run in Anaheim, giving it up to a happy cartoon kid is a good cause.............(h/t reddit).............

Meet Sprocket, your Rocket City Trash Panda. Dear Rocket, please keep an eagle eye for Asstros baseball bats. They are gonna make life in that trash can unbearable............

As if this were any kind of mystery, whatever upgrades made to Angel Stadium will probably doom The Grove...............But somebody with possible inside knowledge of that recent meet between Anaheim and the Angels seems convinced that Anaheim is happy to convert the land into a Disneyland sub-division...........


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

After opening up their wallet and eagerly corning the bullpen market, the Braves have chased down Travis D’Arnaud to receive all those relievers..............

The White Sox, having taken Yasmani Grandal already, are now rumored to be high bidder for Zack Wheeler. Some teams are happy to score runs by stringing together a bunch of doubles while other teams keep waiting for the miracle home run...........

LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim is being posted from Korea.............

The Cubs must have claimed Jharel Cotton off the waiver wire, because they worked out a trade for him from the Oakland A’s............


ASSTROS NUTZ

Detective Internet is still picking up circumstantial evidence. This one has something unusual, and the timing fits for 2017, but the other 2 seasons then erase the idea. Either that, or the Asstros chose to shelve something that was working so grand in 2017.............

Rob Arthur of Baseball Prospectus thinks he has a smoking gun. If you don’t have a sub you can jump to the crucial data set he is basing his article on. If you are still curious about this you can then jump over to the reddit review where the average fan points out that the “tell tale” change actually had taken place well before Arthur’s key date. So I dunno about this one, either..........

MLB has Inspector Clouseau on the case. “Players have been asked about “buzzing,” via the use of Band-Aid-like wearable stickers; furtive earpieces; pitch-picking algorithms; and other potential methods of sign-stealing, the sources said.” And you can just imagine the players responding “Well, sure! Even though I know you have zero evidence of this Get Smart! level espionage gadgetry and there is zero chance of you ever finding anything even remotely like it, I’m happy to tell you that it all really happened. Because I can’t wait to be suspended.”..........

In keeping with my framework, MLB is offering leniency to those players who confess. They are also checking phone records?...........

Ben Lindbergh writes at TheRinger and tries to pick apart the phenomenal talent level of the Astros from whatever benefit they got from sign-stealing. In fact, it really doesn’t matter how much or how little it helped any specific batter. It only matters whether or not they were doing it. And banging the trash cans should be enough evidence to say yes, they did. If it didn’t help that is merely more stupid because their analysts should have noticed that and put an end to any risk...........

Technology has morphed the game in ways you and I were not aware. One of which is the delays caused by the cat and mouse game of sign-stealing espionage and counter-espionage. Another is the rise in popularity of the video room. “Players, coaches, support personnel and analysts fresh out of prestigious universities studying multiple camera feeds both to decode the signals of opposing catchers, coaches and managers and to find any ‘tells’ from the pitcher that might give away his pitches.”..........Yeah. We should start by moving that room far from the dugout, and then making it off limits during the game............


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

The Yankees have decided to try and yank back something like $26 million owed to Jacoby Ellsbury. Their reasoning is the they are accusing Ellsbury of seeking medical support outside of their official system without their permission. I looked up this doctor that Ellsbury sought out. He is not a witch doctor. He is a family physician. Ellsbury is a Scott Boras client, so expect a real battle..............

MLB ignores grassroots with plan to whack minors. There is value to being connected to a proven marketing system that takes one’s product into every tiny corner of the country. Not that major city Front Office analysts thinking they can math their way to similar or even superior results will care about things like that. But to them, and to those who think that lower-level MiLB is little more than worthless never-will-be hangers ons, allow me to direct your attention to merely one list, that of the more famous alumni of the Burlington Bees, one of the teams targeted. A couple of Hall of Famers, a hoard of MLB All-Star appearances, a bunch of Gold Gloves, a couple of MVPs, a Cy Young Award winner.............And, by the way, you also should know that this proposed plan would limit the June draft to 20 rounds. I could pull together an impressive list of Big Leaguers who were drafted after that cutoff, guys the current level of analytical arrogance would never have found (Rajai Davis, Andy LaRoche, Dallas Braden, Tyler Flowers, Sergio Romo, Logan Morrison, Brad Peacock, Derek Holland, Giovanni Soto, Tanner Roark, Luke Voit...).............

SportsIllustrated writers take their own hypothetical shot at a single vote Hall Of Fame ballot. Only one chose Derek jeter..........

Whoa! What is this? MLB owners have voted to return digital broadcast rights to the local MLB franchise. So the stranglehold that MLB held on streaming rights which prevented fans from even thinking about watching the stream of their local team, is now gone. Now that control is in the hand of the franchise. Why is this important? Well, us old farts will recall how Ted Turner chose early on to broadcast all the games of his (then) Atlanta Braves to one and all across the country. That is how the nation came to know and love TBS. So who will be the first TBS of the MLB Internet?...........

The Nationals not only won the World Series, but they won the legal battle with the Orioles over TV rights payments. Their reward for the media dispute, $99 million, should buy a lot of bling for the WS rings................


STUFF

Mike Wilner does the same job for the Toronto Blue Jays that Terry Smith does for LAA radio broadcasts. And he is pretty pissed off at the Steve Marcus Nuthin-But_Jeter HoF ballot............(h/t UniWatch) The coolest Happy Birthday card, ever! Is that Justin Upton making the catch?..........Trevor Williams is up on current cultural events, and has an excellent sense of humor.............

OT: Dog takes over a car, throws it into reverse, drives in circles for an hour? Yep. Florida............