This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

MLB All-Star Voting Takeaways: Royals Domination Makes Mockery of Process by Zachary Rymer via Bleacher Report

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2498192-mlb-all-star-voting-takeaways-royals-domination-makes-mockery-of-process

The talk of the baseball world the past two weeks has been how the Kansas City Royals fanbase has successfully reached the pinnacle of fandom.  Let us keep in mind that “fan” is short for fanatic and the Royals loyal following has lived up to that very definition.  If the all-star voting process was concluded today, Royals position players would be starting at 7 out of the 8 positions, with only Mike Trout cracking into one of the three outfield spots.  Commissioner Manfred has already said he would be willing to further evaluate the process of electing starters to the all-star game…I on the other hand love it.  In fact, after I finish this post, I am off to create no less than 20 emails accounts and vote over 600 times to see Marlon Byrd in the All Star game!  If the Royals fanbase, or any other fanbase wants to take over all star weekend, more power to you…but please Commissioner, dont make home field advantage in the World Series based off of the winner of the Mid-Summer Classic. (Korte)

The Bang-for-your-buck team: Baseball’s Best Bargain Contracts by Ryan Fagan via Sporting News

http://www.sportingnews.com/list/4647286-best-baseball-contracts-bargains-harper-archer-goldschmidt-gordon-bryant-pederson-fantasy/slide/331923

Earlier this year I featured an article that built a team from the worst contracts in baseball…a list of aging players, playing for big money and paid on past accomplishments.  A list that gets GM’s fired or hired based on how these mega-deals pan out.  This article does a 180 on that previous list; building a team out of the best contracts in the game.  This team is highlighted with a nice mix of up and coming stars like the Cubs Kris Bryant, young power arms like the Yankees Dellin Betances and more established players like the D-backs Paul Goldschmidt who are just playing on their original big league deals.  The young talent on this list is staggering and is only a snippet of some of the potential stars who are cracking the big leagues this year.  Unfortunately, I read over this list twice and in both cases, no Reds.  Oh well…maybe the next list. (Korte)

Red Sox bench Pablo Sandoval for using Instagram during game by Gordon Edes, ESPN.COM

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13108912/pablo-sandoval-boston-red-sox-benched-using-instagram-game-progress

We’ve all been there. You go to your favorite stall, get real comfortable, pull out your phone and check social media. The bathroom on the third floor of your office building maybe a little bit different than the clubhouse during an MLB game, but at the end of the day, is it really that big of a deal? Do you agree or disagree with Red Sox manager John Farrell’s suspension of Pablo Sandoval for “liking” a picture on Instagram during Wednesday’s loss to Atlanta? (Gangloff)

Fastballs, faith, and family: Pat Neshek on Father’s Day by Eddie Matz, espn.com

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13090519/how-fatherhood-helped-houston-astros-reliever-pat-neshek-rediscover-fastball

Just in time for Father’s Day, Eddie Matz’s story on closer Pat Neshek touches on the heartbreak of losing a child, the life of an MLB journeyman, and how Neshek used the game of baseball as a tool to heal his insufferable loss. (Gangloff)

Steroids or no, A-Rod is worth celebrating as he nears 3,000 hits by Cliff Corcoran, si.com

http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/06/19/alex-rodriguez-3000-hits-steroids-career

Cardinals owner blames ‘roguish behavior’ for hacking scandal by Scooby Axson, si.com

http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/06/19/astros-cardinals-bill-dewitt-hacking-scandal

I love these two stories because it exposes baseball for what it is not. It is not a game of honor and integrity. It is a game where, for over a century, teams, players, and managers have blurred the lines of fair and foul for any advantage to win. How many extra home runs and base hits did steroids get A-Rod? How many home runs and base hits did opposing pitchers on steroids cost him? Frankly, I don’t care. A-Rod has been a great baseball player. I don’t look to him for moral or ethical guidance. Similarly, I don’t model my life after the vaunted “Cardinal Way”. Because the “Cardinal Way” is bunk. I love to see it come crashing down. I don’t believe this was ‘roguish behavior’ on the part of a few members of the Cardinals organization. Employees get their cues from managers and from corporate culture. You know what the Cardinals are dedicated to? Winning. Just like every other team in professional sports. (Ballinger)

6 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    Really like the article on ARod. Cliff Corcoran makes a good point. We may not feel like celebrating ARod’s accomplishments, but we at least ought to recognize them and how hard they were to accomplish. Lots of players used PEDs and only one or two have had the career that ARod did.

    • ohiojimw

      I see ARod as being like Barry Bonds, HoF caliber with or without PEDs.

      There is no way of knowing how much more they accomplished on the field because of PEDs just as we will never know how much some of the great players from back in the days may have had enhanced statistics due to using ancestors of today’s PEDs (use of which in sports in general has been traced back to the 1950s) or greenies or whatever.

    • Taylor Ballinger

      Bingo. Steroids or not, the guy’s an all-time great. Pretending he hasn’t had an amazing career because: a) he’s been a PR disaster over his career and b) he was one of the guys who got caught is unfair. Feel free to put an asterisk next to any conversation about his accomplishments…but dang, at least let’s have the conversation.

  2. The Next Janish

    I wish all fans were as dedicated as the royals are. I believe the Redlegnation pulled a similar thing in the 50’s, before my time though.

  3. Michael E

    Another addition to your list. The ridiculously good deal for Atlanta in the Bronson Arroyo trade.

    They get a TOP pitching prospect by simply taking on the remaining part of Arroyo’s 2015 salary (3/5 of $9.5 million I assume) and likely a $4.5 millino buyout next year (doubt they’ll keep him at the $13.5 player option price).

    Dave Stewart is a meathead and Larussa is hardly GM material either. The D-backs will get picked apart if these two keep leading the team. Bad enough to cut bait early on Scherzer and Bauer, but now their #1 pitching prospect in Toussaint in order to shed about 10 million over two years? Nuts. Where can the Reds sign up?

    • Michael E

      Why isn’t it the Reds making all these shrewd deals? Why can John Hart peel away multiple top prospects in every trade he makes and we get articles here claiming Cueto and Chapman won’t get back even a mediocre prospect (stupid, they should get back two top prospects each…but that’s how Reds fans roll).

      I am angry, the Braves keep making shrewd rebuilding trades, gathering an impressive list of prospects (some already playing for them) with just a few trades the past 9 months. What are the Reds doing? Adding crappy players with overpay’s and two year deals and refusing to ever rebuild, happy to watch this team slowly devolved into next years 72-90 squad.

      (At least we’ll get a top 10 draft pick in 2016…sigh)