Friday, June 5, 2020

No. 13

The Giants have the 13th pick in the draft. According to ESPN:
Day 1 of the draft will be June 10 at 7 p.m. ET and include the first round (37 picks). Rounds 2-5 (123 picks) will begin a 5 p.m. the following day.
There are lots of places to get information about draft prospects and whatnot. I'm not really interested in players until they become Giants, mostly because I have no scouting skills. One guy is as good as the next, until they aren't! I'll let the experts do the picking. I've learned over the years that I'm bad at prognostication.

I also dislike the draft, as you probably know, and think it should be eliminated. There is a good, short piece over at Beyond the Boxscore that sums up my feelings nicely. It is short. Go read it and then argue with me. (hat tip Baseball Musings).

At the same time I hope the Giants can sign some quality players! I hate having to root for a positive outcome for a system that stinks. But as a fan, of course, I hope number thirteen is lucky for the Giants.

I'm still optimistic that the increasingly acrimonious conversation between MLB and MLBPA is just hard bargaining. Both sides are digging in their heels, but I want to believe that is mostly posturing before they agree to compromise. I may be naive, or a bit too hopeful. If both sides want baseball to resume, they have to break the deadlock and find a middle ground. I assume both sides want baseball to resume and that both sides know the game might not recover if they don't settle. I have no idea what they really think, of course. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed!



M.C. O'Connor said...

Ken Rosenthal is not optimistic about MLB and MLBPA getting a deal done:

And so the bad marriage continues. The players and owners are like a couple at a dinner party trying to out-argue each other while the other attendees wait to sit down and eat. Fans worldwide would love to devour baseball again, but the players and owners are caught up in their pride, and Clark and Manfred are caught up in trying to protect their legacies and, perhaps, their jobs.

Congratulations to all.

The possibility of baseball returning on July 4 is all but gone, and no end to this dispute is in sight.

This is from The Athletic (paywall).

I don't like Rosenthal on TV but he is a serious writer and I think he is fair in his reporting. He works hard to find sources and doesn't just offer his opinions. Like me, he wants the big picture, not just the talk. So when he is pessimistic I worry.

All along I've hoped that the acrimony was just posing, but it is obviously deeper. The CBA is up after this year, season or no season. That's apparently weighing on the negotiations.

The players usually have to cave as the owners are anonymous and immune to the fans' wrath. The players are the face of MLB and if they won't compromise and the season is cancelled I think it will be bad for them. They will gain power as a union. They will have solidarity, but for what? The fans will stop caring about them and the owners will just keep replacing older players with cheaper youngsters.

The owners are dicks, of course. They'd squeeze nickels out of their dying mothers if it helped keep the shareholders happy. Seems to me they don't have to do anything but sit there and say "we've made multiple good faith offers" over and over again and eventually the fans will accept it as true and the union will lose.

I hope I'm wrong!

M.C. O'Connor said...

This is from a David Laurila piece at FanGraphs:

Andrew Miller is a member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee. I asked the St. Louis Cardinals southpaw for an update on where things stand from his side of the negotiating table.

“Players have always shown the desire to play, and to play as many games as possible,” Miller told me on Friday. “I can’t overstate that. Health and safety remain legitimate concerns — even as recent events in the country have dominated the news coverage — and if we can’t figure that out, there is no season. I think we are close on the medical protocols. The economic discussion is an entirely different story.

“We made an agreement in March hoping to expedite the process when the time for baseball seemed imminent. Players proceeded under the assumption that both sides wanted the maximum number of games. Unfortunately, despite a lot of public positioning from MLB, the process has dragged along at a slow pace. It now appears that MLB’s intentions all along have been to play as few regular-season games as possible. MLB has taken the stance that unless we break the agreement from March and accept a pay cut, they can dictate a short season. While we can appreciate the sacrifices required under the circumstances of this pandemic, MLB has only offered options that will hurt players in the long run. Players are determined not to abandon our principles and step away from what we believe to be a correct and fair agreement.”

What comes next?

“As for the economics, I’m not aware of anything at the moment,” said Miller. “It’s the unfortunate reality we face. I know it’s a broken record at this point, but we want to play. And we want to make sure that message is getting out loud and clear.”

M.C. O'Connor said...

David Pinto at Baseball Musings looks ahead:

I hope there are some games this season. If not, I will understand that the game was in a very difficult position, and I am willing to forgive the loss of a season. I will be upset, however, if the inequities the players currently face due to the length of time until free agency, the manipulation of service time, the unfairness to amateurs, and the structural incentives to tanking are not addressed in the next CBA.

I really think baseball will be better off for EVERYONE if they get rid of the monopoly and anti-trust exemption and force MLB to treat all their "job applicants" equally! The plantation system of pro sports is a galling anachronism.

At this point I think the owners have to give in on something substantive in order to get the players to compromise a little and get an agreement to play this year. Buster Olney at ESPN says any settlement would be more like a cease-fire or armistice. Seems like a fair description.

The owners are the ones with the true wealth, the ultimate deep pockets, and of course the political influence to keep their power and status intact. They aren't really going to lose much. Players have their livelihoods at stake.

Even if the season starts, it is going to be WEIRD. No fans, or very few anyway, which is bizarre enough, then all the schedule/roster adjustments, not to mention all the spitting and high-fiving being verboten, the real possibility of the games putting people at risk and spreading the virus, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Strange times.

nomisnala said...

Management always takes extreme positions in these types of negotiations because they can. They also have the machinery to put out just the right amount of propaganda, to sway many people to their side. Unlike many unions, the players union has both the advantage of representing relatively wealthy players, and the disadvantage as seen by the public as representing a bunch of spoiled rich entertainers. The owners do have the perceived power, but I admire the players for holding out for what they deem is right. Of course when players did not help peripheral stadium employees in the past, it did not bode well for the image of the players, but many players contribute time, effort and money to the community. In the end, I go to the games, and watch the games, because of the players, and not because of the owners.

M.C. O'Connor said...

It takes the owners' billions to put on the games, and that means they ought to view themselves as stewards. Alas, I don't think many of them do. Owning a team is like owning a thoroughbred--it is a status symbol. It is a very exclusive club. When you have billions, all that is left is status and exclusivity.

It is interesting how many players, because of social media, are so much more outspoken about issues and politics than ever before. I've never looked to athletes (or any other celebrity for that matter) for moral or intellectual guidance, and I can't understand why anyone would, but it seems that lots of people want to know what LeBron is tweeting, for example. If their voices can contribute to positive change, great. But I suppose for every progressive out there you get Aubrey Huff or Curt Schilling as well, so I don't know.

I do know that Barry Bonds mentioned stadium workers in his farewell speech many years ago. He thanked them for making the games possible. You don't usually hear that stuff from celebrities.