News & Views: “Well, Actually, This Week, Just Views!”

Mike:

Comcast 508_0The Phillies reached a new deal with Comcast for their local broadcasting rights, and one source referred to the payout as “massive.” I have seen a lot of mocking of the contracts the Phillies handed out over the last few years, and there is a popular narrative that our future is brighter than theirs. However, the differential between the Phillies payroll and the Mets payroll also widens every year, which will allow any GM to have a lot more leeway to get things correct. Plus, if a GM gives out enough bad contracts he will be replaced. It’s not so easy to get rid of crappy owners. If I had to bet real money on which team will do better in the next decade I have to pick the Phillies.

Jimmy:

By “massive,” I believe the value has been reported at $2.5 BILLION DOLLARS. So, yeah, they will have some wiggle room when it comes to contracts; meanwhile, the Mets are dithering over Ike Davis, contemplating trading Daniel Murphy to clear room, etc. Some folks contort themselves into all kind of gyrations to argue that “money doesn’t guarantee championships,” and of course that’s a classic straw man argument. Nobody is talking about guarantees. The issue today, and into the future, is the ability to compete with puny, uncommitted, underfunded ownership. Anyway, these TV deals remind us that professional baseball is an entertainment business. The fans aren’t tuning in to watch the owners count their cash; they watch the players and root for the uniform. Those athletes deserve a fair share of these massive payouts. They are not overpaid.

Now that's entertainment!

Now that’s entertainment!

Mike:

The other day Adam Rubin included an entry from Collin McHugh’s blog, “A Day Older, a Day Wiser.” Collin writes well, and this entry is a good look into what it is like to be a player who is right on the edge of being a major leaguer. It has to be frustrating to be that close. Bloggers like me joke about guys like McHugh, but the average Joe on the street wouldn’t be able to make contact against him. Being a Quad A type has to be maddening.

Jimmy:

Collin McHugh, human being.

Collin McHugh, human being.

Yes, it’s humbling whenever we recognize the humanity of these athletes. It gives one pause before typing a heartless, dismissive remark. Then we type it anyway (but we feel badly afterwards!). The once great, now reviled Dick Young pioneered the journalistic practice of getting into the locker room, connecting with the players. But an argument can be made for the value of staying out of the locker room, remaining somewhat detached from the personalities. Analysis that is strictly performance based. Sometimes, for example, I think the minor league mavens get too attached to some of these prospects. Rooting kicks in, clouds judgment. It’s understandable, I don’t fault them. What’s more inspirational than a talented young man with a dream? If the journey and hopes and struggles of a guy like Colin McHugh don’t tug at your heart, then you aren’t alive.

Mike:

I loved this Pat Jordan post from Sports on Earth. With Pat Jordan writing and Tom Seaver as his subject, you can’t go wrong. It’s been around a couple of weeks so a lot of people have probably read it already. If not, I urge you to click on our link, or go through Google, whatever. I’m not hunting for clicks, I just didn’t want to let this article go by without my praise.

Jimmy:

a-false-spring-pat-jordan-paperback-cover-art-1You will recall that one of my favorite baseball books of all time, A False Spring, was written by that very same Pat Jordan. I wrote it up here a while back, and can’t recommend it highly enough. And, yes, it was a terrific article. He also deftly handled Seaver’s recent struggles with memory recall, the mind’s fuzz. It was poignant, because mostly all we see when it comes to Tom is greatness.

Mike:

Some people have complained about Seaver to me the last few years, that he hasn’t “kept up” with the Mets. That may be asking more of Tom than is possible these days.

Jimmy:

Getting back to Ike for a minute, and the protracted stalemate, does it remind you of anything in the Mets past?

Mike:

No, but I also have stopped wasting any more of my precious time on earth trying to figure out what the hell they are doing with Davis. I’m a decisive guy, when it comes to Sandy’s penchant for navel gazing I end up checked out.

If he winds up with some major haul I will salute him. Wake me when this reaches a conclusion.

Jimmy:

luis-castillo-dropI’m with you. All the empty speculation and third-hand rumor doesn’t do a lot for me. Stephen Drew is there for the taking — a guy I don’t love, actually, but he’d be an upgrade — and the sense here is that the organization is paralyzed by the prospect of spending money. Maybe we’ll see Murphy flipped in a package deal, who knows. I guess this reminds me of the old Luis Castillo days, when everybody hated him but it took a year of hand-wringing before the organization finally bit the bullet.

It comes down to this, I think. It’s January 5th. If patience remains his byword, then Sandy Alderson is once again proving to be the master of his domain.

It all comes down to a game of chicken.

I’m not going to be the blogger who blinks first.

A behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Mets trade talks for Ike Davis.

A rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Mets trade talks for Ike Davis.

 

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4 comments

  1. ERAFF says:

    Great Article on Seaver… always an incredibly interesting Man.

    He was Precise and intellectual…and he made the intellectual decision to throw every pitch like an angry, attacking Gorilla. NOBODY… EVER…. came roaring down the the pitching mound at home plate like Tom Seaver. A Drop and Drive Ape Man in dominant attack. Of all of the athletic Imprints— Drop-Drive, Drop-Drive…again,….. again…again… 100, 115, 130 times……Attack…Attack..Attack——- What a marvelous memory He Is!

  2. ERAFF says:

    Seaver Vid

  3. Patrick Boegel says:

    The most recent deft mangling of the “money” issue coming from what to me was once Mets central went something along the lines of, here is a link that talks about how no team in the playoffs last year had a player who accounted for more than 20% of the teams budget, like David Wright does for the Mets.

    The linker, and the originator of the very flimsy math piece completely neglect that every team on the list had vastly different budgets. The Dodgers for example ranged from around 40-250% greater than all other teams. They had I believe four players making over $20MM, yet none accounted for more than I think 10.6% of the teams budget. Completely neglecting the fact the budget was massively bigger than most teams and the four said players combined made more than I think half the playoff teams.

    I was pleased to hear JP Riccardi recently openly say that no team can possibly build through the draft alone. It gives me some semblance of hope that maybe he and Depodesta working in tandem (with a decent budget) can accomplish something in the future when Sandy Alderson’s penance in complete.

  4. Dave says:

    Thanks for sharing the Seaver piece. Besides everything else that made him great, he always had (still has) something to say. Never mailed it in with sports cliches, even if it was a brief appearance on Kiner’s Korner with a cup of Rheingold on the table.

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