Putting the focus on the focus on Jeter, and other All-Star observations.
One of our writers, Craig Goldstein, had an idea for the All-Star game that we didn’t get to, though I thought it had some merit: Which All-Star games have “belonged” to which players? Last year’s “belonged” to Mariano Rivera, for instance. Cal Ripken’s final game “belonged” to Cal Ripken, and so on. This year’s belonged to Derek Jeter like nothing in baseball has ever belonged to anything else. Bud Selig’s retirement was limited to a two-question commercial-break interruption. Tony Gwynn’s death was not even mentioned, not once. Neither was the death of Ralph Kiner. There was no aside noting that Tim McCarver was enjoying retirement after calling more All-Star games with Joe Buck than any broadcast duo in history. This was all Jeter’s.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
So you want to bet on the Home Run Derby. Some people would judge you for that. I’m one of those people. Totally judging over here. But I do plenty of things that I could be judged for, so I won’t judge you for being judged. We’re all a little judgeable.
Is Mike Trout suffering from a lack of respect? Or is the batter behind him overrated?
Here’s a story about Mike Trout and intentional walks: During his junior year, in the state playoffs, the opposing Cherry Hill East manager got so spooked by Trout’s batting practice display that he intentionally walked him to lead off the game; then again in his second at-bat, with a runner on first; and once more in his third at-bat, with the bases loaded.
You've heard (maybe too often) about the Cardinal Way. Here are all the other Ways.
When Mike Matheny bristled at the Brewers’ Jonathan LucroyAll-Star promotional video this month, one quickly sensed that the Cardinals’ skipper was upset about something deeper than an All-Star roster spot. “Not saying that's surprising,” Matheny said. “We've gone through this the last few years, especially last year with the Cardinal Way stuff getting blown way out of proportion. I think it can put a bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouth.”
Kyle: “I was listening to today's podcast and it was mentioned that the Astros have the best record since ‘some arbitrary date.’ It got me wondering how many teams that statement could apply to if we just vary that endpoint. My blind guess is six.”
As the 2013 season concluded, Alex Anthopoulos’ chair in Toronto was, per reports and common sense, wobbly. “He needs a winning season in 2014 or he will likely be fired,” wrote Richard Griffin, in an article that suggested opposing teams had cracked his tactics, putting the Blue Jays in a disadvantageous position on the trade market. Now, of course, the Blue Jays are the class of the AL East, the most improved team (by winning percentage) in baseball from a year ago, and as likely to make the playoffs as the Tigers are. Clearly, Anthopoulos had a tremendous offseason. Clearly, he’ll be in contention for executive of the year. Anybody who foretold his dismissal clearly didn’t see this incredible act of General Managing in the winter of 2013-2014. Let’s review the seven key moves that Anthopoulos made:
So far as I can tell, ballplayers aren’t all that interested in our concern for their safety. They probably understand the risks better than we do (or feel like they do) and they understand the unintended consequences of ‘solutions’ better than we do (or feel like they do). So there’s a certain pointlessness to any article that dwells too much on the suspensions doled out by Major League Baseball, which are (theoretically) supposed to incentivize responsible behavior and reduce the risks violence imposes on players.
At what rate do big leaguers beget more major leaguers?
A word you’re going to hear during this week's draft is “bloodlines.” Nick Gordon will get drafted early in the first round, and noted will be his bloodlines—son of Tom, brother of Dee. Cobi Johnson will get drafted in the supplemental round, and noted will be his bloodlines—son of Dane, who you’ve never heard of, but still, bloodlines. If last year is a good guide, around 100 of the 1,200 players drafted will have been sired by pro ballplayers. (Many others will be brothers or nephews of pro ballplayers.)