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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez doesn’t support Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers; ‘You’re just a bad te

Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez doesn’t support Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers, who now pitches for the Athletics.

“If he was to do it when he was playing for the Houston Astros, I would say Mike Fiers has guts,” Martinez said on WEEI on Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “But to go and do it after you leave the Houston Astros because they don’t have you anymore, that doesn’t show me anything. You’re just a bad teammate.”

Fiers, who pitched for the Astros in 2017, went on record with The Athletic to tell how the Astros used a center field camera to steal signs from opponents in 2017.

“Now everybody is going to know that you have a whistleblower in any other situation, too,” Martinez said. “Whatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse and Fiers broke the rules. I agree with cleaning up the game. I agree that the fact that the commissioner is taking a hard hand on this. But at the same time, players should not be the one dropping the whistleblower.”

Is there something you’d like to tell the rest of us, Pedro?

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 134 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mike fiers, pedro martinez, whistleblowers

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   101. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:48 PM (#5918515)
What actions was Luhnow supposed to take if he didn't know it was happening? The commissioner decreed the GM was getting suspended no matter if a team pulled these kinds of shenanigans again.
It’s more accurate to say Manfred did Luhnow a favor by not specifically finding that he knew what was going on, as several e-mails certainly suggested, and found that Luhnow’s failure to ensure compliance with the September 2017 MLB Memo was more than adequate grounds for his suspension. Personally, I find it hard to find any explanation for Luhnow’s failure to follow up on the Memo, other than that he was aware of the sign-stealing and thought they could continue to get away with it.
   102. Fancy Crazy Handle on Altuve's Buzzer Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5918516)
What actions was Luhnow supposed to take if he didn't know it was happening?

Proactive ones. If he didn't know, the level of cheating going on under his nose, is only possible through wilful blindness. Especially after MLB explicitly notified him that they were going to go hard after any team - and especially the FO of any team - caught.

And if that level of cheating truly went on with him being blissfully unaware, then frankly he deserves to be fired for sheer incompetence.

But you would be an idiot to believe that. Manfred in his statement, specifically stressed that the level of punishment was in part for the toxic culture that had been cultivated within the Astros organisation. A culture that was fostered and encouraged from the top. Which is why the top had to go.
   103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:59 PM (#5918521)

Oppression is still oppression. Whether it comes from a tyrannical government, or from a community that threatens ostracisation or worse, matters very little to those being oppressed.


It matters a lot. The community won't kill you or send you to the gulag, and you can always leave the community to find another.

Bohemian (for want of a better word) enclaves have always existed, even in strong culture societies, where the true non-conformist could escape to. The reality is, most people are conformists, but having a safety valve for the non-conformists is important.
   104. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:59 PM (#5918522)
If Luhnow failed miserably to live up to his responsibility then virtually every single Astro coach, trainer, and exec should be fired and the team taken away from Crane. On top of that Manfred and the entire commissioner's office should be swept out of office for allowing this to continually happen and with many teams.
Manfred disciplined the folks that he held responsible for compliance with the in-game video rules, and left any discipline of their subordinates to Crane. That seem entirely reasonable. You can’t excuse Luhnow because the video nerds did what they were told.
   105. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:59 PM (#5918523)
They took the team away from Crane?
   106. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5918525)
They took the team away from Crane?
Yet another red herring that doesn’t excuse Luhnow, Hinch or Cora. Crane supposedly concentrated on the business side and was unaware of what was going on. You may not believe MLB’s findings on that, but I’m at a loss as to how you can insist that Luhnow didn’t know but Crane did. Neither Luhnow, Hinch or Cora have made the claims against Crane that you are advancing here.
   107. The Duke Posted: January 22, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5918557)
It’s ludicrous to think Luhnow didn’t know if Hinch and Cora knew. Why? Luhnow is well known to be a hands-on GM who micro-manages every aspect of his team. Further there are many stories that Hinch was mostly just hired to take orders from luhnow. Yet in this case of obvious cheating requiring many players, coaches and Ops personnel, Luhnow had no idea? The MLB report says Luhnow is copied on correspondence related to it and chose to believe him that these weren’t emails he paid any attention to. Sure. Finally, the story told so far is that the players aren’t culpable because Luhnow never forwarded the email. He’s a pretty smart guy. If he forwards the email, calls a team meeting or whatever, he has 20 guys in front of him engaged in that very activity. It’s more likely to believe he goes the plausible deniability route to keep his hands clean AND more importantly, keep the scam running just in front of their first chance to win a World Series

Finally, do you Believe they stopped doing it because it wasn’t working ? Not plausible. Perhaps they upgraded from trash cans to some better transmission mechanism. Wanna guess what that mechanism might be ?

As to crane ? He’s the captain of the ship. When the ship gets damaged the captain has to pay the price. That’s the problem here

The players ? The MLB gave them immunity per the WSJ today. Case closed

Just my feelings about the whole thing - who really knows
   108. base ball chick Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:11 AM (#5918565)
duke

you got it right.

managers have no power at all any more - if hinch was upset enough to destroy monitors, he was upset enough to stop it IF HE COULD, which he obviously couldn't.

mlb isn't going after an owner any more than they went after owners with the steroid stuff. cmon
   109. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:34 AM (#5918592)
Destroying a monitor is exactly the kind of thing a person with minor power would do.


As for Crane if there was a toxic culture within the Astros that MLB will not tolerate he bears ultimate responsibility for that.

You can't argue that Luhnow knew but that Crane didn't know of the toxic culture. He gave Luhnow an extension. He endorsed the way Luhnow ran the team.
   110. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:39 AM (#5918593)

Manfred declared that anymore shenanigans would cost the GM and Manager a suspension.


In a memo that Luhnow received and did not forward to other members of the organization, according to MLB's investigation. There's no reason to think that Fiers was aware of those punishments, and it's partly (maybe entirely) Luhnow's fault that he wasn't.
   111. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:47 AM (#5918594)

managers have no power at all any more - if hinch was upset enough to destroy monitors, he was upset enough to stop it IF HE COULD, which he obviously couldn't.

This is ridiculous. Hinch had many avenues of action available to him that he did not avail himself of. He never even told the players to stop. He damaged some monitors but we don't even know the details behind that.
   112. villageidiom Posted: January 23, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5918649)
You can't argue that Luhnow knew but that Crane didn't know of the toxic culture. He gave Luhnow an extension. He endorsed the way Luhnow ran the team.
Crane absolutely knew the results of Luhnow's work. It's entirely possible he gave the extension because he was pleased with the results and didn't know 100% of the method that produced the results.

I am not about to say that Crane was the most innocent person you could possibly imagine. I'm not even going to say he was innocent at all. I'm saying it's possible for someone in Crane's position to hear his employee say stuff like "We will stop at nothing to put a team together that will outperform other teams in all ways" and assume that the employee means "within the rules". People who have integrity often take for granted that others also have integrity. It's one of the biggest blind spots I see in hiring and evaluation of staff, by people who you'd think should know better.

People who will skirt the rules seldom announce it to their boss; they'd rather seek forgiveness than permission, because at least the former gets them what they want. Announcing it not only gives the opportunity for the boss to direct them not to do it, but can also tarnish the boss' view of that person, for thinking that it might be OK. If someone wants to skirt the rules, there are strong disincentives for making their boss aware they're going to do it, or making it easy for the boss to learn that it's happening.

Ownership can care about the results and the methods, but can easily measure only the results. It's kind of like any project: every sponsor wants the project done on time and with quality, but the easiest measurement tools they have are a calendar and a clock, so they focus on deadlines and simply assume quality will not be materially sacrificed. Crane could have been that kind of owner: seeing the results, and assuming (or taking Luhnow's word on) the soundness of the methods that produced the results. Happens all the time.

Right now all we know is there are communications and testimony that indicate Luhnow at least knew this stuff was happening, and there was plenty of other evidence that the department he ran prized results over all else. If it's pervasive in his organization, then it seems it's likely at his direction.

There are no communications or testimony that indicate Crane knew any of it, nor that anything is going on outside the organization Luhnow ran. If Luhnow has evidence that Crane knew about this stuff he hasn't shared it with MLB, but that might be because he believes he won't ever be a GM again if he rats out ownership. That also implies he thinks he has a chance at being a GM again, which I find to be laughable.

Anyway, whether Crane was as corrupt as the rest of them, or was oblivious, we don't have the evidence but I find either plausible. Bad bosses often hire bad people, and good bosses sometimes hire bad people because they believe they are good.
   113. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5918687)
Hey, dumb question. If managers and general managers were supposed to know about the cheating here which I totally get that they should and almost certainly did how did the managers and gms skate by on the peds?? Like a Tony LaRussa who everyone said was the world champion control freak didn't know his Pacific Rim sized first baseman was getting some artificial help?? If there is an article or something that explains this and I am the dumbass much appreciated in advance.
   114. Blastin Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5918693)
Wow, people thinking Hinch and Luhnow are innocent of anything and that Fiers is the bad guy is exactly why he didn't say anything.



Pedro, well, Pedro was on Family Feud once, and they asked him how many fights a regular person gets in in their life, and he said "15?" So Pedro does things that way.
   115. Blastin Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5918695)
He never even told the players to stop.


Exactly. The players said they would have stopped if he said a single thing. He did not.

I get being scared, it's human. But it's an abdication of responsibility. So that's his problem.

So many bootlickers out here!
   116. Blastin Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:27 PM (#5918698)
   117. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5918700)
Hey, dumb question. If managers and general managers were supposed to know about the cheating here which I totally get that they should and almost certainly did how did the managers and gms skate by on the peds?? Like a Tony LaRussa who everyone said was the world champion control freak didn't know his Pacific Rim sized first baseman was getting some artificial help?? If there is an article or something that explains this and I am the dumbass much appreciated in advance.
Well, it's much more plausible that the players could hide PED use from management - it's not like they were shooting up in the dugout during games. This, not so much.

That said, of course LaRussa should have at least had strong suspicions.
   118. jmurph Posted: January 23, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5918723)
Pedro, well, Pedro was on Family Feud once, and they asked him how many fights a regular person gets in in their life, and he said "15?" So Pedro does things that way.

This is amazing and I love it.
   119. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5918742)

If managers and general managers were supposed to know about the cheating here which I totally get that they should and almost certainly did how did the managers and gms skate by on the peds?

I'm not sure what the point of this whataboutism is. We know Hinch knew about the electronic sign-stealing. He admitted that he knew about it.

Luhnow may not have known about it (I find that hard to believe) but even so MLB told him it was his responsibility to make sure this wasn't happening. Based on what we know, any cursory fulfillment of that responsibility would have revealed

Maybe managers should also be punished over PED use but it's an unrelated topic.
   120. Sunday silence Posted: January 23, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5918764)
Couldnt Hinch have just written a letter to Luhnow said "Hey these guys are likely breaking some rules and can we get a determination and/or some deterrence?"

Then CC'd the league office, his own attorney, etc. WHy or why not would that be effective?
   121. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5918774)
#119 should say "Based on what we know, any cursory fulfillment of that responsibility would have revealed what was going on."
   122. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5918775)
Couldnt Hinch have just written a letter to Luhnow said "Hey these guys are likely breaking some rules and can we get a determination and/or some deterrence?"

Then CC'd the league office, his own attorney, etc. WHy or why not would that be effective?


Hinch probably could have just said "Hey guys, stop it." And if they didn't stop, "Next guy who bangs on a garbage can gets benched."
   123. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 23, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5918784)
119: So many people consider peds cheating and now consider this stuff cheating I thought it was ok to ask why in this case leadership gets crushed and in the last situation leadership got a pass

So disagree that's it unrelated. No need to respond since you have made your position clear.
   124. jmurph Posted: January 23, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5918803)
No need to respond since you have made your position clear.

Ha! Does this sort of thing tend to work, do you find?
   125. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5918808)

So disagree that's it unrelated. No need to respond since you have made your position clear.

Well, to make my position clearer: They are different sets of circumstances. MLB policy said the GM and Manager would be held responsible for electronic sign stealing. There was no such policy for PEDs. Hinch admitted to knowing what was going on and there is some evidence Luhnow knew, whereas I'm not aware of any such evidence for TLR and PEDs (although there's some evidence of such knowledge by other teams' execs). Those are reasonable answers to your question as to why Luhnow and Hinch were punished and TLR was not punished back in the day.

Should GMs and Managers be punished for PED usage under their watch? Probably, if they are aware of violations and don't do anything about it. Otherwise, as #117 said, it's harder for GMs and Managers to police PED usage and easier for players to hide it. There's also already a testing program that has been collectively bargained so the teams are limited in what they can do above and beyond that. So I'm not sure it makes sense to put additional enforcement burden on management.
   126. Zach Posted: January 23, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5918812)
Couldnt Hinch have just written a letter to Luhnow said "Hey these guys are likely breaking some rules and can we get a determination and/or some deterrence?"

Then CC'd the league office, his own attorney, etc. WHy or why not would that be effective?


I don't think baseball managers tend to use the same risk minimization strategies as corporate lawyers.
   127. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 23, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5918815)
124--Just not interested in a back and forth when I ask a question the answer I get is basically #### dude it's so obvious how stupid are you when I said upfront likely a dumb question to this crew but I don't have all the history. And if the poster comes back they should get why I do not respond. If I ask a question in good faith and get told to #### off I move on.
   128. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 23, 2020 at 05:51 PM (#5918836)

#127 I didn't mean to be dismissive and I tried to provide a more fulsome response in #125. Sorry if I came across that way.
   129. Sunday silence Posted: January 23, 2020 at 06:50 PM (#5918846)
Somewhat on topic, a few days ago I said that this story is bigger than the 1919 Blacksox; which probably deserves some questioning cause well that's quite a statement. BUt I should have said i think it has the potential to be bigger that that one and let me give some reasons:

1. This involves not just one team, but at least two and probably more. And not just one season but two or more? Its really vast and that has a way of really irking people.

2. its becoming rather divisive among the MLB community. Hard to understand the ire really, unless this sort of cheating is more wide spread. I mean, in 1919 it was pretty clear the blacksox were wrong, they may have had reasons, Comiskey may have been a dick, but they were clearly bad guys. Here we have MLBers criticizing the whistleblower. It's more grey in this case. Some people hate on the whistle blower. Some think the case is overstated if everyone is doing it. There's lot of room for arguments.

3. The Comm'r response seems lame and possibly inept. We dont know what he knows, but the failure to penalize the players seems more and more strange. Unless of course most of the league is doing this. There's been more allegations since his Astro decision and was he aware of all those? Do these allegations put anybody in more jeopardy?

4. The story has legs, lots of legs; it continues to percolate. MOre info keeps on coming. It did in 1919-20 as well, but there's just so many follow ups here. What did the Astros do after 2017? What were the Red Sox doing? Lots of lines for further research. In 1920, well there's always been an issue of Joe Jackson's guilt, and I guess who the gamblers were. BUt by 1950s or so everyone just assumed Jackson was as guilty as the rest and that seems to be the end of it.

I dunno, obviously its just an opinion about the future but I think we view historical events through the writings of well historians and people who recount the events. Its hard to understand how deep the impact was. In current times, we are so caught up in the event that we see it differently. We dont have time to study its future effect or where it fits in history, we're too busy caught up in the latest rumour and speculation.

Well like I said, its my opinion. But I find the whole story very engrossing and just a gigant web of mystery.
   130. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 23, 2020 at 07:16 PM (#5918852)
SS - Didn’t you say it was “worse” rather than “bigger?” That’s very different.

Re your point 1: Stepping back from worse vs. bigger my understanding of the Black Sox is it was the end result of something that had been a concern (e.g. Hal Chase, various stories about people as big as Cobb and Speaker) .

Re your point 3: From what I’ve been reading the big issue regarding the Commissioner’s treatment of the players is a bit complex. Basically it seems he offered amnesty if the players told what they knew and that amnesty was offered due to issues regarding both the impending CBA negotiations and the fact that the current CBA would have made it difficult for MLB to prevail in a grievance brought by the MLBPA.
   131. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:53 PM (#5918866)
the fact that the current CBA would have made it difficult for MLB to prevail in a grievance brought by the MLBPA.
On what basis? That it doesn't have a provision for a specific punishment if players happen to be caught cheating specifically by stealing signs? I'm unconvinced.
   132. Dock Ellis Posted: January 23, 2020 at 08:58 PM (#5918869)
Thank you for sharing that, Blastin
   133. Sunday silence Posted: January 23, 2020 at 11:44 PM (#5918915)

SS - Didn’t you say it was “worse” rather than “bigger?” That’s very different.


I cant really recall exactly what I said and I know I could have worded it better but I was sort of just throwing it out there not really going for a thesis, but I thought it might be interesting to refine what I said and give some reasoning.

my understanding of the Black Sox is it was the end result of something that had been a concern (e.g. Hal Chase, various stories about people as big as Cobb and Speaker)


I think thats true and as such, the two stories have a certain similarity: there's an underground unspoken sort of game being played and its ongoing and its widespread.

I guess that doesnt make 2019 bigger or worse than 1919 but its interesting that something could even mirror that or be on par with that. People say throwing games is worse, but I dunno its pretty bad either way.


Basically it seems he offered amnesty if the players told what they knew and that amnesty was offered due to issues regarding both the impending CBA negotiations and the fact that the current CBA would have made it difficult for MLB to prevail in a grievance brought by the MLBPA.


that seems to be what happened,but my concerns are: did this amnesty cover years 2017-19? and if not then how do we treat 2018 and 2019 cheating? or if pre 2017 stuff emerges. Its quite possible that we are looking at the tip of the iceberg.
   134. Walt Davis Posted: January 24, 2020 at 12:30 AM (#5918927)
Pointlessly late and apologies if somebody else answered it but (for the US) ...

"Working age": 16-64 in the US. So yes, this includes HS and college students
"Prime working age": 25-54. When nearly everybody is done with their education and before folks start retiring early.
"In the labor force": 16+ years old, Working or actively looking for work (in the last week or two) ... this includes folks 65+
"Not in the labor force": Everybody else who is alive and at least 16 years old
"Unemployment rate": Those not working but looking for work divided by THE LABOR FORCE not the working age population
"LFP rate": Those working or actively looking for work divided by EVERYBODY AGED 16+

Also the labor force doesn't include military or institutionalized people.

Obviously the LFPR is pretty useless in an aging society because it includes 85-year-old grannies in the denominator. That's why you start getting things like "working age", "prime working age", etc. as alternative denominators.

Women in the 50s were frequently not in the labor force (housewives). People 15-24 are frequently NILF because they are in school and not employed or actively looking for work. (I forget how student jobs are handled) Note there is no distinction between full and part time work. There are measures for "would like to work more hours" commonly referred to as "underemployment."

In deep recessions it is common to have months where the number of employed people goes down while the unemployment rate also goes down. This happens when enough people leave the labor force, generally because they have been unemployed so long they give up looking for work. Things of course got really, really bad following the collapse of 2008. It is a long-standing finding that people rarely fully recover from extended periods of unemployment, kinda regardless of their skill levels. Beyond any psychological/social/whatever issues that keep them from even looking, they will have a harder time finding new jobs, they are more likely to be part-time and unstable jobs, etc. Any labor economist could have told you a big chunk of the labor force was likely going to be lost for good -- even Krugman (not a labor economist) wrote about it several times.

LFP was high among men in the 50s in part because LFP was low among women. Between the early 60s and the 2001 recession, the LFPR went up from about 58% to 67% which is mainly the boomers tilting the pop distribution and women entering the LF. It dropped in the 2001 recession, didn't go up at all, plunged following the GFC and has picked up a teeny bit since late in Obama's 2nd term.

A pretty thorough summary of the issues
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