As always, during this idiot lockout, there is little for baseball news.
One of the things the owners seem to want is to condense the minor leagues even more than they did recently. It seems terribly short-sighted to me. Taking away more minor league teams takes away more chances for moms and dads to take their kids to games and instill a love of the game into their kids.
What the MLB wants is to drop the number of minor leaguers a team can carry from 180 to “below 150”, which, one would guess, means one less minor league team per major league team. Why? I guess a small saving in money. But then a number of the minor leaguers who will be chopped, while likely not guys who make the majors, often become coaches and managers for college and high school teams. Some move up to coach in the majors at some point.
If you want to read the Owner’s side of the negotiations, Jim Bowden tells us that the Players should “make the Owners an overwhelming offer”. Because I guess, since the Owners have presented basically the same offer to the players three times now, someone’s gotta make a big move.
Keith Law, in the Athletic, gives us his top 10 Blue Jays prospects. It is an infielder heavy list. Law has the Jays system the fifth-best in baseball, so, as you can imagine, he likes a lot of these 20 players.
Some interesting bits:
- Kevin Smith at #3:
He’s also staying quieter at the plate, keeping his head steadier and loading his back hip earlier to get to more power without sacrificing contact. It’s worked, and as a middle infielder who’s an above-average defender at multiple spots and has power, he has a chance to have a long, productive career.
- Gunnar Hoglund at #5:
He’ll probably come back slowly this year but be ready for Double A in 2023, with fourth starter potential once he’s recovered.
- Manuel Beltre at #7:
Just 5-9, 155 pounds, the fun-sized Beltre was posting exit velocities over 100 mph while making great swing decisions. He’s a reliable shortstop with an accurate arm and good footwork, making routine plays already, not rangy enough for highlight plays but enough to project as a 55 defender there. The bat has a chance to be special for a shortstop, and in a larger sample, he probably won’t post a .258 BABIP again.
- Ricky Tiedemann at #9:
In instructs, he was sitting 96 and touched 98, and still throwing a ton of strikes. If he carries that over into 2022, he’ll be their best pitching prospect in May.
- Dasan Brown at #14:
The Blue Jays did help him make a swing adjustment towards the end of the 2021 season that seemed to help his timing issue; with his speed and defense he doesn’t have to hit a lot to be a big-leaguer.
- Irv Carter at #19:
He’ll have to develop a changeup and work on getting more consistency to his delivery and fastball command. He does look like the kind of high school kid who’s going to throw very hard and be ready to shoulder a big workload in three to four years.
He figures Smith should be an MLB starter at second or third this year and Otto Lopez could be a utility infielder in the majors this year.
For those of us who subscribe to MLB.tv, the deadline to opt-out is coming up quickly. Since it is very possible the season will start late, and since I don’t want to give the MLB money when they aren’t giving us spring training, I’m going to opt out.
In non-baseball stuff, Ivan Reitman passed. Reitman gave us a lot of great movies, Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes, but amazingly I have a particular fondness for Kindergarten Cop. I don’t really know why, it wasn’t a great movie. But it is one of those that I can quote half the movie. And, of course, any time someone in the house has a headache, I’ll say “It could be a tumour” which gets the answer, in a terrible Schwarzenegger-like accent “It’s not a tumour”.
And I can’t imagine there is a household out there that doesn’t have someone start chanting “It Just Doesn’t Matter” at least once a year. This past couple of years I find myself saying it almost daily.