Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Monday, February 04, 2013
One of many interesting things here is that I don’t think the “Bard wanted to start” point has normally been hit quite so hard.
When teams make a trade, do they try to make sure that the trade works for both teams?
... It is pretty much universal that you have to protect your reputation in negotiations; in other words, you can’t say things about the players you are trading that are just not true, or it will ruin your reputation and make it hard for you to trade. You can’t tell people that so-and-so is a great team leader if he’s really a turd.
But to go to the next level, that you HAVE to try to make sure the other team gets value. . .not quite. In a lot of businesses in which you make frequent transactions, you have to be sure you’re not shorting the other guy because… you get a reputation as somebody that people don’t want to trade with. We might call it “Parity Discipline.” But in baseball, you don’t make THAT MANY trades; you might make a handful of meaningful trades a year. You make a big trade with somebody; you probably don’t expect to make another trade with him for five years. It’s not a big enough number of trades to enforce Parity Discipline. If he’s dumb enough to trade you Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, that’s his problem, not yours.
[Earl] Weaver wrote extensively about [Earl] Williams in his autobiography—Weaver thought Williams had the tools to become a catcher, but Williams just didn’t want to do it, and the situation didn’t work out… How would you go about determining how a team should proceed in this situation?
It’s a mistake generally to try to make a player do something that he doesn’t want to do…
With the Red Sox, sometimes I have an idea to help the organization, and I KNOW that it’s a good idea, but I can’t get people to buy into it. Same thing. ..you can “force” the idea forward sometimes, like putting Earl Williams at catcher, but it fails on the ground if the people who have to execute it don’t believe in it…
we had a reliever last year who wanted to start. It was a complete bust, and he had a lost season.
We regret the lost season, but do we second-guess ourselves for giving him a chance to start? I don’t. I don’t think most of us do. Many times you CAN’T give the player the chance to do what he wants to do. MOST of the time, you can’t give the player the chance to do what he wants to do… But when you CAN give a player a chance to do what he wants to do, you have to do it, because the players HAVE to buy into what you’re doing, or there is no chance that it is going to work.
Expansion, more divisions, wild-card, 2 wild-cards… Are you a fan of the growing opportunities for more teams to get a chance to win the World Series?
...If it was my choice, here’s what I’d do. I’d add two teams, break them into four leagues of eight teams, and four teams would make the playoffs—period. I think Wild Cards and small divisions, generally, cheapen the championship, and make the contest less interesting.
It’s NOT about the best team winning. The best team doesn’t win, most of the time, no matter how you run it. If you put all 30 teams into one league and said that the only champion was the team that had the best record in the regular season, I doubt that the best team would win any more often. It’s not about that… It’s about making THIS game important—the June 16 game between Atlanta and Seattle, let us say—it’s about making THIS game important because you have to win these games to earn the championship.
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