A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club
It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.
Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.
Michael Bourn had a career day playing at Great American Ballpark.
The Tuesday Takeaway Brandon Beachy came into yesterday’s game against the Reds having allowed just one home run in 54 innings this season. Great American Ball Park took care of that. Michael Bourn came into yesterday’s game against the Reds having hit just one home run in 201 plate appearances this season. Great American Ball Park took care of that, too.
By the time the Reds were celebrating their 4-3 win, Beachy had served up three long balls—a pair to Brandon Phillips and one to Zack Cozart—and Bourn had mashed two. Beachy’s home-runs-allowed figure had quadrupled. Bourn’s home-runs-hit mark had tripled.
What are the fantasy implications of some of the recent trades and signings?
Marco Scutaro | Colorado Rockies | SS/2B | Acquired via Trade
After spending all of 2011 struggling to find someone capable of handling second base adequately, the Rockies have finally found someone. Scutaro is far from a sexy player, and the move to Coors Field won’t help him as much as it will a guy like Michael Cuddyer, who has actual power, but Scutaro should still receive a moderate benefit from the park and league change. But the biggest benefit might come from where he’ll bat in the order. If the Rockies decide to bat Scutaro second, as they did many of their second basemen in 2011, he would see a big increase in runs from batting eighth or ninth for the Red Sox. In NL-only leagues, Scutaro could be a very nice, under-the-radar pickup.
The move severely hurts the value of Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, and D.J. LeMahieu, who were set to battle it out for the starting spot prior to Scutaro’s arrival. In Boston, the move opens up shortstop for a potential Mike Aviles/Nick Punto platoon. Whether that’s a strict platoon will have a large effect on each player’s value. Aviles is the better fantasy option, but he’s right-handed, so it’s possible he only faces lefties. If the split is more 50-50, or if Aviles gets the majority of starts, we’d need to remember that we’re just one year removed from a lot of analysts calling this guy a fantasy sleeper. He had an up-and-down 2011, but he still has some potential across-the-board skills that could be useful to an AL-only owner. Value Change: Gain for Marco Scutaro; Loss for Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, and D.J. LeMahieu; Gain for Mike Aviles; Gain for Nick Punto
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Checking in on C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Mat Latos, and more
One of the most exciting parts of the fantasy offseason is the rumor mill, hearing about who could be headed where and trying to figure out the ramifications of the rumored moves. For those in keeper leagues who are trying to sort out who deserves a spot on their roster for next season, speculating on what will happen to players and how different scenarios could play out can be a valuable exercise, especially in leagues where keeper decisions are due before spring training begins.
To that end, inspired by reader sgtvane's comment on Michael Street's article on Friday, I thought I'd make a habit of examining various rumors each week and what they would mean for the fantasy value of the player in question, as well as for the players who would be indirectly impacted. While I won't be able to tackle every rumor that makes its way onto our radar, if there's a particular one you're interested in that I haven't taken note of, feel free to let me know. I'm always open to suggestions.
Baseball might be an unfair game, but not just for the reasons the movie would have you believe.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Kevin Baker is a novelist and historian who is currently at work on a social history of New York City baseball, to be published by Pantheon.
The Blue Jays' GM discusses his organizational philosophy, his love of scouting and how it plays a role in his work, and competing in the AL East.
He’s too humble to admit it, but Alex Anthopoulos has done an outstanding job since replacing J.P. Ricciardi as the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in October 2009. He has orchestrated high-impact trades, most notably deals involving Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells, as well as prudent, if not as newsworthy, free-agent signings. Just as importantly, he has been placing a huge emphasis on scouting and player development, which should come as no surprise given his background as a scouting coordinator. A 33-year-old native of Montreal, Anthopoulos has an economics degree from McMaster University.
Some big-league themes deserve big-screen treatment.
So, last night was Oscar time, and no doubt many of you watched intently. Maybe it's because we're in the opening weeks of spring training, and maybe it's because we've come up short on the great baseball movie front for several years now, but my mind immediately turned to the films we'd like to see, not the ones that are getting made.
We already know that the concept of doing a movie about Mike Kekich, Fritz Peterson, and baseball's most infamous challenge trade is a concept already associated with names like Affleck and Damon—not Johnny—in an attempt to try and beat the story into shape. Somehow, I expect there won't be a lot of baseball in what's supposed to be a baseball movie—not least because Kekich's career didn't have a lot longer to go by the time the two men swapped wives and lives. To my way of thinking, that's exactly what I don't want from a sports movie—a film short on actual sports, because without that, why shoot it?
A toolsy, twice-traded talent tries to put things together in Toronto.
Anthony Gose wants to be a star, and that‘s exactly what Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays are hoping he becomes. For now, he'll have to be content with being rated as the ninth-best prospect in the Toronto system by Kevin Goldstein; ESPN’s Keith Law has him at number eight, while Baseball America confidently deemed him number four.
A look back at some of the top quotes from the 2010 season.
It was a busy year for the Prospectus Q&A series in 2010. Over 100 full-length interviews graced these pages from January through December, and I hope that most were entertaining and/or informative. As always, it was a pleasure to bring them to the BP community. Here is a selection of the best quotes from the interviews:
The Toy Cannon discusses baseball in the 1960s, hitting home runs in a big ballpark and some Hall of Fame teammates.
Jimmy Wynn is a humble man, and he is also one of the most underrated players in baseball history. Known throughout his big-league career (1963-77) as “The Toy Cannon,” the 5-foot-9, 170 pound outfielder was not only a prodigious power hitter in one of baseball’s worst hitting environments, he was an on-base machine who could run. Originally drafted by Cincinnati, he spent most of his career playing in the Houston Astrodome and finished with 291 home runs, 225 stolen bases, a .366 OBP, and a 128 OPS+.
The Tigers have been extremely aggressive in free agency, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
The story was a potentially good one, and the members of the media who were on a conference call announcing the Tigers' signing of free agent Victor Martinez over the holiday weekend tried their best to get the catcher to help make it so. Everyone wanted to know what role Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera had in wooing his fellow Venezuelan to Detroit. It makes for a good story, considering that at the end of the 2009 season it seemed Cabrera would be persona non grata with the Tigers after getting into a drunken altercation with his wife on the penultimate day of the regular season while his team was in the process of blowing the last of what had been a seven-game lead in early September to the Twins in the American League Central.
With the Fall Classic now upon us, the staff at Baseball Prospectus shares their most memorable World Series moments.
Every baseball fan has a special World Series memory, whether it's Willie Mays' catch, Bill Mazeroski's home run, Brooks Robinson's defense, Kirk Gibson's limp around the bases, or Derek Jeter becoming the first-ever Mr. November. With the World Series opening tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco with the Giants facing the Texas Rangers, many of our writers, editors, and interns share their favorite memories of the Fall Classic.