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Monday

9

June 2014

60

COMMENTS

Baseball Loses A Legend, Cubs Shock The World & More!

Written by , Posted in General

It was a good week to be a fan of Cubs baseball to say the least. Unfortunately, not all the news this week was positive.

Baseball Mourns The Loss of Don Zimmer

We’ll begin this week’s article by getting some of the bad news out of the way first. Don Zimmer, known most for his time with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Chicago Cubs passed away this week at the age of 83, and with that we lost one of the best men in baseball.

A servant of the game for seven decades, Zimmer was one of the most well respected guys in the entire league. To many, he was more than just a teammate or a coach; he was a close personal friend and basically a family member, as noted by Joe Torre early this week.

With a career that spanned from winning a World Series with Jackie Robinson to advising a Tampa Bay Rays team that also went to the big dance, it’s safe to say that Zimmer experienced just about as much baseball as anyone ever has.

The loss of Zimmer is one that will impact many lives in and out of the game of baseball, and it’s unfortunate to see a man of his caliber go. What was your favorite memory of Don Zimmer?

Santana Done For The Season, Possibly Forever

I decided to try to get all of the bad news out of the way first; I promise this is the last sad story! After signing with the Baltimore Orioles this offseason in an attempt to come back from a variety of injuries, Johan Santana has suffered a huge setback, this time in the form of a torn Achilles tendon.

This injury happens to be one of the more devastating in sports, especially to an athlete of Santana’s age. He’ll be out at least until the end of this year and many are speculating that this will end up being a career-ending injury for one of the game’s most dominating pitchers of the 2000’s.

If this does happen to be the end for Santana, we’ll have to unfortunately look back and think about what could have been. He was lights out for the Twins and in his early years for the Mets, as evidenced by his multiple Cy Young awards. Injuries took their toll, however, and he hasn’t been at peak form since 2011.

While he didn’t have the longevity to be considered as a Hall of Fame candidate, we’ll be able to look at his career fondly in retrospect. If he had remained healthy, where would you rank Santana among the top pitchers in today’s game?

Cubs Are On A Roll

Since this topic has been covered at length on here, I won’t go too deeply into it other than saying that the Cubs had an extended winning streak for the first time in what feels like forever. Oh, and according to ESPN and FanGraphs, they currently have a better chance of making the playoffs than the defending World Series champion Red Sox.

Morales Finally Signs

What Kendrys Morales experienced this offseason may become more and more common with the new terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. After being unable to reach a deal with the Mariners this offseason, any team that signed Morales before the MLB Draft would have to forfeit their first round pick.

While he is a productive player, it’d be tough to reason giving up a first round pick for someone of his caliber. Because of that, he waited and waited until the draft, and found himself signed within a day of the first round ending. While that was no surprise, the team that signed him certainly was.

Currently sitting in last place in the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins didn’t seem to be much of a “win-now” type of team. With the signing of Morales, it appears that they are serious about making a run this year. He should add some pop in their lineup and he might actually help them contend for a Wild Card spot this season.

If all else fails, he’ll be able to be put on display for about a month, after which the Twins could turn around and deal him to pick up some prospects. Can Morales help the Twins make the playoffs this year?

MLB Draft Actually Draws Some Coverage

Speaking of the draft, after years of being dwarfed by the NBA and NFL drafts, it appears the MLB is actually making some headway into making itself a spectacle like the other two. Full coverage from the MLB Network and sites like Bleacher Report were definitely a step in the right direction in terms of getting noticed on a wider scale.

As for the draft itself, there were some surprises early on, with the Miami Marlins selecting hard-throwing high school right-hander Tyler Kolek rather than highly touted lefty Carlos Rodon. Along with that, the Cubs turned a few heads by selecting catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber with the fourth pick, as he was expected to wind up in the middle of the first.

Much like in every draft, there were quite a few legacy picks, and a few big names taken late. Cal Ripken, Mariano Rivera and Magglio Ordonez all saw their sons go off the board in the middle-late rounds, and new Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel had his name called, too, despite not having played since his junior year of high school.

While some say picks like Manziel marginalize the importance of the draft, I really don’t see the problem with it. With as many rounds as there are, I think it was a smart move publicity-wise, and one that will probably pay off more than an actual selection. What are your thoughts on picks like these, and which team do you think had the best draft?

This Week’s MVP: Adam Jones (.444/.429/.815, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Tanner Roark (1-0, 0.60 ERA, 15 K)

  • Doc Raker

    Kendry Morales turned down a $14M offer from Seattle in the spring to sit out half the season and wait for a better deal. He got a $12M prorated deal from the Twins which means he will earn $7.6M in 2014. He will also being joining the season cold without a spring training. I don’t understand why a player would turn down $14M to miss half a season. Kendry lost $6.4M by not accepting the Seattle deal back in the spring.

    • Eddie Von White

      Ken must have a very dry morale right about now.

      • Seymour Butts

        I appreciate your wordplay, sir.

      • Eddie Von White

        I appreciate your use of the word “sir”.

      • Get a room, you two.

      • PLCB3

        Just once I want someone to address me as sir, without adding you’re making a scene.

      • “About” should have read “as of.” B+

    • Chuck

      Ego combined with a shady agent whispering lies in his ear is the likely reason.

      • Doc Raker

        I agree, how do these guys come to think $14M isn’t enough?

      • PLCB3

        Ironically the tender depresses their value because signing the player comes with the cost of forfeiting a first round draft pick. It’s similar to the old system where the players who would bring back draft picks had to be offered arbitration by their old teams to get said pick. But you run the risk of the player accepting it. Which was Hendry’s reasoning for not giving Rich Harden arbitration after 2009 despite declining a trade because he felt he’d get better value with the draft picks. If you feel he’s going to accept arbitration, you make the trade.

    • PLCB3

      Stephen Drew lost also. As did Nelson Cruz. Teams don’t want to give up a draft pick unless it’s for an elite level player. The old system was better but who had draft picks attached to them was arbitrary.

  • Doc Raker

    Kendry Morales turned down a $14M offer from Seattle in the spring to sit out half the season and wait for a better deal. He got a $12M prorated deal from the Twins which means he will earn $7.6M in 2014. He will also being joining the season cold without a spring training. I don’t understand why a player would turn down $14M to miss half a season. Kendry lost $6.4M by not accepting the Seattle deal back in the spring.

    • Eddie Von White

      Ken must have a very dry morale right about now.

      • Seymour Butts

        I appreciate your wordplay, sir.

      • Eddie Von White

        I appreciate your use of the word “sir”.

      • Get a room, you two.

      • AC0000000

        Just once I want someone to address me as sir, without adding you’re making a scene.

      • “About” should have read “as of.” B+

    • Chuck

      Ego combined with a shady agent whispering lies in his ear is the likely reason.

      • Doc Raker

        I agree, how do these guys come to think $14M isn’t enough?

      • AC0000000

        Ironically the tender depresses their value because signing the player comes with the cost of forfeiting a first round draft pick. It’s similar to the old system where the players who would bring back draft picks had to be offered arbitration by their old teams to get said pick. But you run the risk of the player accepting it. Which was Hendry’s reasoning for not giving Rich Harden arbitration after 2009 despite declining a trade because he felt he’d get better value with the draft picks. If you feel he’s going to accept arbitration, you make the trade.

    • AC0000000

      Stephen Drew lost also. As did Nelson Cruz. Teams don’t want to give up a draft pick unless it’s for an elite level player. The old system was better but who had draft picks attached to them was arbitrary.

  • Dork

    I like the manziel pick, and I am glad the cubs did not make any picks like this.

    • PLCB3

      It’s stupid to waste a pick like that. Yeah it’s not likely anyone drafted there will make the majors but you’re not going to leverage it into much. Might as well give yourself a chance with an actual pick.

  • Dork

    I like the manziel pick, and I am glad the cubs did not make any picks like this.

    • AC0000000

      It’s stupid to waste a pick like that. Yeah it’s not likely anyone drafted there will make the majors but you’re not going to leverage it into much. Might as well give yourself a chance with an actual pick.

  • Dork

    The Pirates pitching staff all of a sudden does not look that good. It sure would be nice to keep the Winning going this week in Pitt.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      Cole headed to the DL, too.

  • Dork

    The Pirates pitching staff all of a sudden does not look that good. It sure would be nice to keep the Winning going this week in Pitt.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      Cole headed to the DL, too.

  • Doug S.

    40 draft rounds and not one Carlos taken by the Cubs. We’re turning the corner.

  • Doug S.

    40 draft rounds and not one Carlos taken by the Cubs. We’re turning the corner.

  • Chuck

    It is really hard to get excited about the MLB draft when a vast majority of the players are years away from the pros, if they ever get there. Sadly, most will wash out at some point in anonymity.

    Conversely, most players in the NBA and NFL drafts will see significant playing time from Day 1.

    • Glad I’m not the only one underwhelmed by this.

      • Dork

        Absolutly agree, I think it is why tanking makes absolutly no sense in baseball. The winning streak was fun, I want some more of that, 2015 draft position be damned.

      • With you on the win streak, Dork. These last two have been a bit rough. I guess that is sort of expected when you march Jackson and Villamustache out there.

      • Chuck

        I do think “tanking” is a viable strategy in baseball if your goal is to clear the slate of the MLB team if the MLB team is under-performing and/or is old and expensive. The goal should not be horrible to get draft picks.

        I’ll put it another way. I think it is OK if as the GM you say to yourself “This core is just not cutting it. We are not going to compete for a pennant or ring with this group. Let’s make some trades, get some young talent, clear the books, and clear the slate for a new group of young guys and see how this goes.” not “Let’s be cover-your-eyes-horrible for five years to get some high draft picks!”

      • Brian Rzeppa

        The exact strategy of the Astros.

    • PLCB3

      This

  • Chuck

    It is really hard to get excited about the MLB draft when a vast majority of the players are years away from the pros, if they ever get there. Sadly, most will wash out at some point in anonymity.

    Conversely, most players in the NBA and NFL drafts will see significant playing time from Day 1.

    • Glad I’m not the only one underwhelmed by this.

      • Dork

        Absolutly agree, I think it is why tanking makes absolutly no sense in baseball. The winning streak was fun, I want some more of that, 2015 draft position be damned.

      • With you on the win streak, Dork. These last two have been a bit rough. I guess that is sort of expected when you march Jackson and Villamustache out there.

      • Chuck

        I do think “tanking” is a viable strategy in baseball if your goal is to clear the slate of the MLB team if the MLB team is under-performing and/or is old and expensive. The goal should not be horrible to get draft picks.

        I’ll put it another way. I think it is OK if as the GM you say to yourself “This core is just not cutting it. We are not going to compete for a pennant or ring with this group. Let’s make some trades, get some young talent, clear the books, and clear the slate for a new group of young guys and see how this goes.” not “Let’s be cover-your-eyes-horrible for five years to get some high draft picks!”

      • Brian Rzeppa

        The exact strategy of the Astros.

    • AC0000000

      This

  • Doc Raker

    Just an FYI- The Cubs lost in Pittsburgh Monday night. Jackson took the lost, surprise, and they didn’t hit much. Carry on.

    • Eddie Von White

      Just an FYI – legends don’t get lost, they live forever.

      • Seymour Butts

        I saw Yogi Berra at Don and Charlies in Scottsdale a few years ago. He was definitely lost.

      • Eddie Von White

        He probably came to a fork in the road and took it.

      • Seymour Butts

        …and then you get to the Slauson cutoff…cut off your Slauson and proceed to the fork in the road.

      • You must have been lost as well, unless Don figured out how to make a Cold Cut Combo.

      • Doc Raker

        Chicken Schnitzel on rye, toasted. Seymour asked Don if he can pay an extra $1 for a bag of chips and a fountain drink. “You do the combo here Don?”

  • Doc Raker

    Just an FYI- The Cubs lost in Pittsburgh Monday night. Jackson took the lost, surprise, and they didn’t hit much. Carry on.

    • Eddie Von White

      Just an FYI – legends don’t get lost, they live forever.

      • Seymour Butts

        I saw Yogi Berra at Don and Charlies in Scottsdale a few years ago. He was definitely lost.

      • Eddie Von White

        He probably came to a fork in the road and took it.

      • Seymour Butts

        …and then you get to the Slauson cutoff…cut off your Slauson and proceed to the fork in the road.

      • You must have been lost as well, unless Don figured out how to make a Cold Cut Combo.

      • Doc Raker

        Chicken Schnitzel on rye, toasted. Seymour asked Don if he can pay an extra $1 for a bag of chips and a fountain drink. “You do the combo here Don?”