About @Jason_IIATMS

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

If Don Fehr were alive today….

Now, THIS is an awesome quote (emphasis mine):

If Donald Fehr were alive today maybe there would be some real investigating into what’s going on,” said one frustrated agent facetiously. “Go all the way back to the 1990 lockout when the owners agreed that there would be no multi-year contracts to players over 35? Is it any coincidence that there have been no over-35 players (Raul Ibanez with the Phillies being the lone exception) getting multi-year offers?

The agent never mentioned the ominous c-word, but the inference was clear. But if there is in fact another more subtle form of collusion going on among the clubs, somebody obviously forgot to tell the Yankees.

What about the R-word, or even the even more ghastly D-word? Columnist Bill Maddon summarizes the market perfectly:

Rather, it would seem to be a confluence of factors that has caused this ice jam in the free agent market – the economy, the downside of many players left on the market and a disconnect between the agents and the new-market value of their clients. You could add to that the gloomy long-term economic picture former treasury secretary Paul Volcker painted for the owners at their meeting in New York last November. Between that and Bud Selig’s even more dire follow-up speech, the owners were left pale-faced.

Continue reading If Don Fehr were alive today….

Days 'til Posada reports

Via Fack Youk, mostly because I’m a fan of charitable efforts:

Posada’s attempts to right the universe aren’t confined to the clubhouse. His son, Jorge Jr. who is 10 years old, suffers from a rare disease called craniosynostosis which inhibits brain growth in infants. His foundation “provides support to families whose child is affected by Craniosynostosis, a congenital or birth defect that causes an abnormally shaped skull.” You can donate here.

The guys at Fack Youk are doing their countdown to Spring Training by recognizing a Yanks player who wore the number representing the # of days until ST. Continue reading Days 'til Posada reports

Commish For A Day #11: Realignment II, By Value

When I said it was the Commish For A Day #10 was the last of the week, that was before Neate Sager sent me this. Neate is a member of our Canadian infantry division as well as the keeper of the Out of Left Field blog. Neate fully admits that he probably has become a bit unhinged by cheering for also-ran teams — the Blue Jays, the Toronto Raptors, the Minnesota Vikings — which probably influenced the post. He did want it to be known that between Red Sox fans and Yankees fans who make up half the crowd at Rogers Centre when their teams are in town to play the Jays, Yankees fans are far more pleasant.

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Continue reading Commish For A Day #11: Realignment II, By Value

Commish For A Day #10: Stadium financing, WBC

The last Commish For A Day proposal for the week comes from Lar at Wezen-ball. I had to ask Lar about the name of his blog since it was not something that I have ever heard of. His answer should give you some idea about his off-beat personality: “wezen” is the name of a star in the constellation “Canis Major” (The Great Dog). I always liked the way it sounded, and I thought the humor involved with it was pretty funny, though admittedly quite esoteric and quite geeky (it’s the star at the point where the dog’s hind leg and tail meet – so it’s the dog’s butt).” Ladies and gentlemen, we have the first baseball blog named after the butthole of a canine constellation.

If I were CFAD, I’d focus on a couple of things that the owners probably wouldn’t like. First, I’d disallow public financing of stadiums. I’d also like to require that stadiums must have retractable roofs, but that might be unfair after taking away all public money. As much as I agree that building a major league stadium in a given city creates a pact between the city and the team, I don’t think that public financing works. I think it’s been proven too many times now that the team owner has too much power in these negotiations, and the city and the public end up with a bad deal. Making it prohibited or, at the very least, creating some strict regulations for it should help balance things out.

Second, I’d work with the organizers of the World Baseball Classic and the owners to make sure the event had as much support as possible. I don’t think it’d be fair to make participation mandatory, but there should be as few hurdles as possible. Working out the early season schedule, giving the national teams access to venues, and encouring participation among the players could all do a lot to support the event. It’s good for the sport and the players to grow baseball visibility around the world.

There’s probably a lot more that could be done (work with the schedule to allow for a more timely World Series, change postseason start times to give the children of today a chance to see the game, increase teams’ involvement with the community and youth baseball), but those are the two that I would focus on right away.

I was wondering if anyone would address the public financing issues or the WBC. I’ve been critical of the Yanks public financing snafus here, in the name of Randy Levine.

For previous CFAD entries:

  1. Commish For A Day #1: Territorial Rights
  2. Commish For A Day #2: Best-of-7-LDS
  3. Commish For A Day #3: The All Star Game, Neutral Sites
  4. Commish For A Day #4: Instant Replay
  5. Commish For A Day #5: Playing by the rules
  6. Commish For A Day #6: 40 Man Roster
  7. Commish For A Day #7: No DH!
  8. Commish For A Day #8: Realignment
  9. Commish For A Day #9: Balanced Schedule, InterLeague

Continue reading Commish For A Day #10: Stadium financing, WBC

Commish For A Day #9: Balanced Schedule, InterLeague

This Commish For A Day entry comes from Brad, who was good enough to go hog-wild on the balanced schedule idea while eliminating Inter-League play. I thought this made a nice follow-up from the realignment idea earlier this morning. Brad, following his balanced schedule/Interleague reasoning, riffs on a number of the ideas I originally posed. Despite the length of this posting, I included it all.

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Continue reading Commish For A Day #9: Balanced Schedule, InterLeague

Commish For A Day #8: Realignment

I got this Commish For A Day entry a bit late, but not only was it well-written, it was on a subject that I hoped someone would tackle. Reader TJ was good enough to send this manifesto covering the very sensitive subject of realignment. TJ is currently a senior at The College of New Jersey who is life long Yankees fan.

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Continue reading Commish For A Day #8: Realignment

What I learned today

I learned that the arbitration figures, once settled, are not guaranteed contracts. I didn’t realize this; I thought all baseball contracts are guaranteed. A team could release a player after arbitration and only responsible for 1/6th of their salary.

A lot has been made about Jason Varitek and some other free agents not accepting arbitration, and it has even been suggested in a few places that Varitek […] made a mistake by declining arbitration. But that suggestion may not be right.

In Varitek’s case an arbitration award could have meant about $11 million, as he made $10.4 million last year. However, going to arbitration and having a fully guaranteed contract are two different things. To that point the Red Sox had declined to guarantee any offers to Varitek (arbitration deals are not fully guaranteed) and were hinting that Varitek’s playing time might be diminished, so Varitek ultimately worried that the Sox only offered arbitration to keep the dialogue going and that ultimately they might release him after going to arbitration with him. Had the Red Sox taken him to arbitration, in reality they were only guaranteeing a little more than $1.5 million (a team that releases a player after arbitration but before the season only has to pay one-sixth of the salary). This is a fairly rare occurrence but it has happened in the case of Todd Walker and several other players.

Even so, it’s still a mystery to many why Varitek didn’t take arbitration. And even Red Sox owner John Henry asked Varitek in their well-publicized meeting a week ago why he didn’t take the arbitration offer. The reason is that Varitek didn’t believe that accepting arbitration would guarantee him a spot on the team.

Continue reading What I learned today

Commish For A Day #7: No DH!

The last Commish For A Day comes from International Correspondent and foreign baseball connoisseur Ron Rollins, master of the site Baseball Over Here. This is more of a stream of consciousness…with a distinct left turn into the Land of the Disturbed.

  • Elimnate the DH, as it is an abomination to sports. (abomination = affront to the sensibilities of the human race)
  • There is no sitting out for substitutes at a crucial moment of the game.
  • In the NFL, when the QB is about to get sacked, they don’t stop the game and let someone else get tackled to avoid injury.
  • In golf, they don’t let the player do hit the tee shot, hit the drives and chips, and then have someone else come putt for him.
  • In the decathalon, an athlete doesn’t do 9 events and then get to pick someone to do the 10th because its his weakest.
  • In life, a guy doesn’t take a pretty woman to dinner, wine and dine her, get her all hot and bothered, and step aside and let some other guy complete the mission.
  • No, in life, you have to do the entire job. You have to finish what you start, even if she doesn’t.

So, no DH, eh Ron?

I’m not so anti-DH. In fact, I could even see an argument to expand it to the NL. Blasphemous, perhaps, but it might be better than having to watch some of these inept pitchers trying not to look like fools, or worse, trying not to get killed. Having lost Chien-Ming Wang for half the season due to an injury sustained while running the bases, I could live without seeing pitchers hit.

For previous CFAD entries:

  1. Commish For A Day #1: Territorial Rights
  2. Commish For A Day #2: Best-of-7-LDS
  3. Commish For A Day #3: The All Star Game, Neutral Sites
  4. Commish For A Day #4: Instant Replay
  5. Commish For A Day #5: Playing by the rules
  6. Commish For A Day #6: 40 Man Roster

Continue reading Commish For A Day #7: No DH!

Commish For A Day #6: 40 Man Roster

I’m going to add another Commish For A Day posting (or two!) this afternoon as I’d like to get everything in this week. The response was greater than I expected and I want to give those who took the time the chance to be heard. This post nicely follows the previous CFAD posting about rules changes.

This comes from Howard from Philadelphia, home of the World Champs. Howard’s “too old” to cite his age (his words, not mine!), but he’s got a real beef with the roster expansion from 25 to 40 once we hit September:

The dumbest rule in baseball has to be that teams can have as many as 40 players active for September games after having only 25 players active for games from April through August.

If I was commissioner for a day, I would still allow teams to call up as many as 15 players from the minors for games in September and October; however, each team would have to submit a roster of 25 players for each game. This way, the minor leaguers can travel with the team and play – especially in games between two teams that are out of playoff contention – without important pennant-deciding games being won and lost using a different set of rules than were used during the first 5 months of the season.

Also, if they enact this rule, we won’t have to sit through 4 hour games where Tony LaRussa uses 10 pitchers to get the last 12 outs.

For previous CFAD entries:

  1. Commish For A Day #1: Territorial Rights
  2. Commish For A Day #2: Best-of-7-LDS
  3. Commish For A Day #3: The All Star Game, Neutral Sites
  4. Commish For A Day #4: Instant Replay
  5. Commish For A Day #5: Playing by the rules

Continue reading Commish For A Day #6: 40 Man Roster