It’s one small step for baseball, one giant leap for the Atlantic League.
Very quietly this January, the Atlantic League signed a formal agreement with Major League Baseball to put on paper the league’s rules for transferring player contracts to Major League Baseball teams and their affiliates.
In practical terms, very little has changed. The Atlantic League has been selling the contracts of hundreds of players to affiliated ball in past years. The new formalized agreement doesn’t change that. Just this week, three players were sold to affiliated teams.
But at the same time the agreement is a watershed moment for the Atlantic League. It is the first time that there has been any sort of official agreement or even an official acknowledgement of an independent league by affiliated baseball.
“It signifies that we occupy a place within the professional baseball hierarchy. That’s meaningful to the league,” Atlantic League president Rick White said.
“It begins to help us frame the internal and the public perception for the league and its importance in terms of players and their careers. And it helps all concerned recognize that our leagues, teams owners and directors that we’re viable. It all leads back to enterprise value and community value.”
I am as big a baseball fan as anyone. I’ve also followed the way sports teams have strong-armed and hoodwinked local and state governments to extort money to the detriment of taxpayers. The Pawsox owners don’t need public financing to make money. They only need it to make more money.
A fair deal can get made. The initial proposal is not a fair deal.
Rob Nelson: Eventually the Mavericks signed me in August. It’s not like they needed left-handed pitching. It’s just that I think Bing Russell kind of rewarded me for hanging around, selling tickets and throwing BP. I went back in ’76 and ’77. As my brother Harry described my Maverick career, I pitched briefly and ineffectively for three years. It’s hard to believe.
Todd Field: Rob lived a very austere life. He had not a stick of furniture. The sum total of what he owned consisted of three pairs of blue jeans, three work shirts and dozens of black, blue, red, and green flare-tip pens, and a trove of graphic-ruled bound notebooks. All of this he stored in empty, industrial-size plastic pickle buckets that he’d catch from the obliging counter girl at the McDonald’s on Burnside. He was an idea guy. He was always writing. He was filling those notebooks all the time; he’d always have these ideas.
Maclain Way: Todd would cut up black vine licorice and he would chew it. I think Rob saw that.
Todd Field: Rob never spoke to me like I was a kid. He made it clear that he cared about what I thought about things, and he was like that with all the kids. Rob was the first grown-up I had ever met who asked me questions. One of them was: what was the source of the black juice streaming out of my mouth? I pulled out a pouch of Redman and showed him that instead of tobacco, I had filled it with black licorice. He got it, immediately. I wanted it to look like I was chewing tobacco. He asked me if I’d do the same thing if it was gum and I said, “sure—so long as I could still spit the black juice.”
Maclain Way: I don’t think it clicked then, but it might have been an idea for Rob.
Growing up, little Ty wasn’t allowed to watch TV. But she got to hang out with big league ballplayers.
Robin Ventura gave her his spring training jersey, Ozzie Guillen an autographed picture. She has had dinner with baseball royalty such as Earl Weaver, Rocky Colavito, Jim Palmer, and Bob Feller. She even got up the nerve to talk to Rapid Robert, telling him he had really big feet.
“He put them up next to mine and said, ‘Well, I guess, kid, I do,’ ” she says.
Tumminia yearned to play catch with her father, but he’d usually come home after dark. One night she cried after a ball clocked her in the face. Her father told her to suck it up.
“You want to be able to catch, you catch in the dark,” he said.
He launched another night fly ball, and she fearlessly squeezed it in her mitt.
“She caught that one ball in the dark and that was it,” says John Tumminia. “We’re connected. She’s a four-tool daughter.”
I have all of John’s books. He’s had a tough couple of years physically. If you’ve enjoyed his books in the past, help keep them coming by purchasing this year’s book. It may be too late to use the info in fantasy draft but it’s still a good reference.
One last thing before we get to the goodies. If you happened to peruse the comments section of the Gameday (highly, highly recommended if you don’t already), John passed along an update of The 2015 Baseball Prospect Book. To quote Mr. Sickels from yesterday -
OK guys, for obvious reasons I am not going to make a main screen post on this just yet, but I really need to sell some books here. I haven’t even broken even this year with the book yet, and without more sales soon I cannot justify writing the book in 2016. My family cannot afford to take a loss on this project or even just break even.
I realize that sales are down because the book was late again due to the health issues. Hopefully that will not be an issue next year. But the book represents the majority of my family income and for there to be a next year in the first place, I need to sell books now.
If you have already bought the book, THANK YOU. Suggest it to a friend if you can. If you have NOT bought the book, please do so at JohnSickels.net. You can order the PDFor the paper edition (which includes the PDF!).
From the translated Japanese description on this video:
Made a “fun chants reduce” concept, body fat gymnastics.
Immediately, Kawasaki Munenori’s to professional baseball players, we have to practice. The Kawasaki ish players, riding to Latin rhythms, I was dancing in cheerful! Choreography: South truly supervision: Kuno Fu也Graduate School professor also other, such people have to practice. Q’ulle Manako’s https:? //www.youtube.com/watch v = jJ1rc ... fruit punch Murakami Takeshi’s https:? //www.youtube.com/watch v = EnZg3 ... remember everyone , feel free to fun, let’s reduce the body fat. Containing the description of the south truly and Mr. Kuno teacher “reduce how and dance how Hen” is here https:? //www.youtube.com/watch v = miq4O ... In the web site, how to move the body of each part in public as well. http: //www.suntory.co.jp/softdrink/iy ... Please try. The decrement will, Japan of body fat! Suntory green tea Iemon Tokucha
That should clear things up!
Out of my way, all of you. This is no place for loafers! Join me or die! Can you do any less?
The Cubs will promote top infield prospect Addison Russell to the Majors, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes. It appears Russell, usually a shortstop, will play second base, where the Cubs have struggled this season.
Russell, 21, had been hitting .297/.308/.432 for Triple-A Iowa. He hit a combined .295/.350/.508 at the Class A+ and Double-A levels in 2014, spending part of the year in the Athletics’ system before they shipped him to Chicago as the key to the Cubs’ side of the Jeff Samardzija trade. Baseball Prospectus ranked Russell the No. 2 prospect in the game heading into the 2015 season, while Baseball America ranked him No. 3. MLB.com placed him at No. 5, praising his offensive game and noting that he’s received comparisons to Barry Larkin and Miguel Tejada.
The White Sox will promote left-hander Carlos Rodon, the third overall selection in last year’s draft, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rodon will join the team tomorrow and will initially pitch out of the bullpen, according to Rosenthal.
SAN JOSE—With a simple toss from about 15 feet away, Bryan Stow brought a huge roar from the crowd Thursday night before the San Jose Giants home opener. Stow, the Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death four years ago outside Dodger Stadium, reached a major milestone in his recovery when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He did so while enjoying every minute of his special night.
Maybe the Addison Russell watch can start a little sooner than we think. According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs “other” elite prospect will be playing 2B and batting 2nd for Iowa…
We could downplay this but in recent Cubs history under this front office, a change in position has often signaled that a promotion is at least under consideration in the near—not distant—future. Could that be the case with Russell as well?
Maybe. But let’s take it down a notch for now. The Cubs, specifically farm director Jaron Madison, have said they were going to play prospects at multiple positions and that Russell and [Javier] Baez would rotate to some extent.
Maybe it’s nothing, but it seems like a good night to catch the Iowa game and with no Cubs baseball today, it is going to be awfully hard to stop people from speculating about the team’s short term future.
And in case you are wondering, Kris Bryant is in the lineup for the first game and is playing 3B.
We’re not simply ranking what Triple-A cities stink the most. That’s lame. This is a comparative exercise: is it worse to be sent from Big League City A to Minor League City B, or Big League City C to Minor League City D? This is a multi-variable poll, in which a GREAT big league city can find itself farther down this list if it’s paired with a really good minor league city. We’re ranking big gaps in desirability between affiliates, with the bigger the falloff ranking higher on the list;
Wilmington could be the home of a Double-A Eastern League franchise as early as 2016, a possibility revealed earlier this month because of a legal matter involving the potential sale of the Binghamton Mets.
The late Matt Minker, who founded the Blue Rocks and built Frawley Stadium for their 1993 rebirth, long envisioned Wilmington’s location and metropolitan population as ideal for an Eastern League franchise. He nearly secured one for a move several years before his death in 2007.
Now his son Clark, who is Blue Rocks managing partner and minority owner, along with majority owner Main Street Baseball, seems poised to make that move.
According to an injunction filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in New York citing breach of contract, Minker and Main Street Baseball’s David Heller had an agreement with Binghamton Mets president Michael Urda to buy that franchise for $8.5 million. They then planned to move the team to Wilmington while selling their Carolina League franchise for $12.5 million to the Texas Rangers, who would relocate it.
The sale of the Carolina League franchise to Texas is conditional upon the purchase of the Binghamton club, so Wilmington will not be left without a team.
You can judge the quality of a hidden-ball trick by the number of seconds of dead air it produces from the broadcast booth while everyone is trying to figure out what just happened. In this case: 16 seconds.
This offseason, a few ball clubs announced new initiatives to support their players’ mental health. The Red Sox created a new department of behavioral health, headed by Richard Ginsburg, the co-director of the PACES Institute of Sports Psychology, at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Washington Nationals began spring training with a new position known as “life skills” coördinator. The former player Rick Ankiel was hired for the job, and will work specifically with the club’s minor-league teams—where such a position is arguably needed the most. Most minor-league players earn less than two thousand dollars a month and have to cover their own housing and living expenses. Insufficient funds and relatively few days off during a five-month season—which extends well beyond that if you consider spring training and winter ball—separates players from their families and loved ones for long stretches of time. And, after you’ve dedicated your life to the game, there’s the pressure that comes from the belief that you’ve only achieved success if you make it to the majors—a dream that, even for a player in the minor leagues, will likely never be realized.
Remember how curious it seemed when McGwire admitted to seeing a sports psychologist for years?
Situated in the Mojave Desert and with an elevation pushing 3,000 feet above sea level, High Desert annually ranks as the most most hitter-friendly venue in the minors. No full-season ballpark featured more total runs per game (13.97) or home runs per game (2.94) in 2014, and that’s not an isolated incident. For the 2010-12 seasons, teams at the Mavericks’ home park in Adelanto, Calif., combined to feature 14.65 runs and 3.10 home runs per game.
High Desert’s park factors for runs (133) and home runs (150) rank just third and ninth in the full-season minors, respectively, because the Mavericks spend plenty of time in hitter’s parks while on the road. This is particularly true when they visit division foe Lancaster, which featured 12.53 runs per game in 2014, about 25 percent more than in JetHawks road games.
There are minor league legends, and then there was Rocky Bridges. Jim Bouton called Bridges his favorite manager, even though he never played for him. Why? Because Bridges made the game fun for his players.
Bridges was also the man who dubbed Mike Epstein “Superjew” and Greg Minton “Moon Man.”
A followup on yesterday’s Link of the Day, from the Pittsburgh Press, January 30, 1915:
Two major leagues only will be recognized by the powers of organized baseball so long as the civic laws of the land permit the operation of the national pastime under existing circumstances.
A number of promoters of fast minor league clubs evidently have fooled themselves into the idea that their circuit will be granted classification equal to the big two. It is a foolish hope.
According to stories from the west the American association has taken for granted that it is to be raised to major classification because the National and American leagues have expressed a willingness to lift the draft on it. Such an absurd conclusion scarcely can be imagined.
Brand announced that beginning next year, he will petition Congress to add minor league baseball players to the list of 35 occupations not required to receive minimum wage or overtime pay as dictated in the Federal Labor Standards Act. If successful, minor leaguers would fall into a group that includes seasonal workers, trainees and babysitters—likely dooming the lawsuit.