Saturday, May 18, 2013
The issue of redheadedness and athletic performance took center stage before the 2011 NFL draft, when Sports Illustrated’s Peter King interviewed an anonymous head coach who questioned Texas Christian University product Andy Dalton’s ability to lead a team from the quarterback spot. The scout’s objections were based less on Dalton’s arm strength, pocket presence and his Wonderlic score than his hair color.
“Has there ever been a redheaded quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” the coach said. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”
The coach may not have heard of Sonny Jurgensen, who made the Hall of Fame in 1983, or Archie Manning, Carson Palmer or Jeff Garcia, who carved out successful NFL careers in spite of their inherent gingerness.
Posted: May 18, 2013 at 06:18 PM | 26 comment(s)
Friday, May 17, 2013
A larger bite for the Appel?
Major League Baseball teams can spend a little more money on amateur draft picks this year.
The signing bonus values for the selections in next month’s draft will increase by 8.2 percent, players and owners agreed this week.
Under their memorandum of understanding in November 2010 for a five-year labor contract, the sides said signing bonus values will increase each year at the same rate as industry revenue.
The value for the No. 1 pick, held for the second straight year by the Houston Astros, increased to $7,790,400 from $7.2 million.
Stanford right-hander Mark Appel was projected as the top pick last year but the Astros instead selected Carlos Correa and signed the 17-year-old shortstop for $4.8 million, the smallest amount for a No. 1 pick since 2006. Appel was selected by Pittsburgh with the eighth pick, which had a value of $2.9 million, and didn’t sign….
According to figures compiled by MLB last summer, teams allocated $207.8 million to draft picks, down 11 percent from $233.6 million in 2011 though still the second-highest annual total. Just 10 teams exceeded their signing bonus pool, incurring a total luxury tax of $1.6 million. No team reached the second level of the tax.
Posted: May 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
Monday, May 13, 2013
Do any of these guys have ugly girlfriends?
This year’s MLB Draft is unusually difficult to handicap.
The best player available, Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier, will probably not be the first pick. He’s a little undersized and that fact, coupled with his being a prep position player, is historically a bad combination for players hoping to go first overall. If Frazier were a little bigger, he would be a slam dunk as the first choice.
The best pitcher available, righthander Mark Appel of Stanford, will probably not be the first selection either. He is represented by Scott Boras, meaning contract negotiations figure to be contentious, consummating in the last minute of the last hour of the July 12 signing deadline. Last year, similar contentiousness over his contract prevented Appel from signing with the Pirates, who had taken him eighth overall.
If all this sounds like the plot to a Quentin Tarantino film, don’t worry. Predictability is often a bore, and unlike this year’s NFL Draft, which featured a seemingly endless parade of obscure offensive tackles, the 2013 MLB Draft promises to be exciting and packed with unexpected developments.
Friday, May 10, 2013
More like a Hunter’s guide for big game…
15. DIAMONDBACKS: After an early run on pitchers, position players will be the strength of the middle of the first round. Count Arizona as one of several teams in this area who would love an unexpected shot at Meadows. Renfroe and California high school shortstop J.P. Crawford are better bets to be available.
PROJECTED PICK: HUNTER RENFROE.
30. RANGERS: Since 2006, Texas has used eight of its nine first-round picks on high schoolers. Most of the best preps at this point will be pitchers such as Kaminsky, Harvey and Green. Florida high school outfielder/quarterback Cord Sandberg is the type of athlete the Rangers traditionally covet.
PROJECTED PICK: HUNTER GREEN.
31. BRAVES: Atlanta scouting director Tony DeMacio is known for his love for lefthanders, which could lead him to Kaminsky, Gonzales or Green. McKinney would become the Braves’ best hitting prospect if they could get him. Harvey’s father Bryan, a former all-star closer, scouted for the organization, which also likes prep power arms.
PROJECTED PICK: HUNTER HARVEY.
Posted: May 10, 2013 at 09:35 AM | 27 comment(s)
Friday, February 15, 2013
You may remember right-hander Karsten Whitson, who was drafted ninth overall by the Padres in 2010 before turning down $2.1 million to attend the University of Florida. It turns out that his gamble might not pay off.
Per Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, Florida baseball head athletic trainer Pat Hassell announced yesterday that Whitson would miss the start of the season due to continued shoulder fatigue. The exact nature of today’s procedure isn’t yet known, but Whitson’s father, Kent Whitson, told Rogers that his son’s rehab process will take about four months.
While Whitson enjoyed a strong freshman season, forearm tendinitis limited him to just 33 innings last year and he was forced to leave the Cape Cod League after three innings due to shoulder stiffness. Still, the potential was there for him to be a first-round pick this year. He’ll likely draw interest from MLB teams even after today’s procedure, but Whitson’s father says his son is “fully prepared” to return to Florida as a redshirt junior if things don’t work out.
The SB Nation site Gaslamp Ball posted an ill-conceived post celebrating the injury they have since pulled and apologized for.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A little-known aspect of the CBA — the market-disqualification program — is helping force a select group of teams to operate more competitively than they did in the past.
The way the program works, revenue-sharing proceeds for teams in the 15 largest markets will decline by set percentages over the next three years, and disappear entirely by 2016.
Teams that previously received such funds — Toronto, Atlanta and Washington, among them — had little incentive to field better clubs. Why bother? By increasing revenues, they lost revenue-sharing dollars.
The new CBA flips that equation.
Teams that are about to lose their revenue-sharing income are more motivated to make money. And teams make money by winning.
Jeffrey Loria disputes that notion.
Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:31 AM | 52 comment(s)
draft pick compensation
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Mr. January is a nickname bestowed on Boras by owners flabbergasted by his propensity to snag large free-agent deals after New Year’s Day. Boras, long the sport’s villain, is the protagonist in this tussle, because baseball’s new rules governing the draft have destroyed the free-agent market for Adam LaRoche, Kyle Lohse, Michael Bourn and Rafael Soriano – the latter three of whom are Boras clients…
The new draft format included fixed bonus pools for teams based on the previous year’s record; the worst teams would get the most money. A separate rule transformed compensation for free agents who left. Teams would have to offer a player a one-year deal worth the average of the highest-paid 125 players in the major leagues the previous season – about $13.3 million this year. If another team chose to sign one of those players, it would forfeit its first-round draft choice and the bonus-pool money that came with it – unless it was a top 10 pick, in which case it would lose its second-rounder and the accompanying bonus value…
The pool system limits flexibility and creativity, leaving teams even more reticent to plunge into an already-inflated free-agent market when it’s tied to the draft.
“We’d love any of them if we didn’t have to give up our pick and pool money,” one GM said this week, and others have echoed his sentiment, frustrated that two disparate entities commingle in such fashion. Players are even angrier, and agents say they’ve had trouble explaining how stars in the future could be hindered by a rule that MLB promises it did not implement to create a false market…
When Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez got get-out-of-jail-free cards because they were traded midseason – only players who spend the whole season with one team are subject to compensation rules – and the interest in Edwin Jackson dwarfs that of Lohse, the system is broken. There’s a chance Mr. January weasels out of it like he has so many other problems. There’s also a chance some of the best players out there have to pull a Ryan Madson and take a one-year deal, and we saw how well that worked out.
Four players flap in the middle of this hurricane, which seems to spin with no end. Per usual, MLB and Scott Boras, the provoked and the provocateur, are in its ugly eye.
for his generous support.
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