Results tagged ‘ Atlanta Braves ’
There has been more than a few whispers and discussion lately about the possibility of forming a “mega- payroll” division staking the big money payroll of mega competitors’ Boston and New York and maybe infuse them with 3 other high threshold salary ceiling squads to form a prestigious “diamond” division.
Sure putting the high dollar darlings in a central division will make it more difficult for them to realistically step over the carcasses of low payroll squads, or teams that rely on their farm systems instead of the Free Agent market. But that also opens a second concern. Could such a maneuver bring about a reversal of the recent parity within the M L B and again pay homage to the league’s “elite”.
We all know that within the upcoming MLB/MLBPA Labor Pow Wow there will be chatter about expanding the post season, but there will be more heated discussion about a more balanced schedule and a possible realignment of the whole enchilada.
Football fans were enraged and bewildered the N F L decided to conjure up another division situated almost exclusively within the Southeastern region of the country. From the moment this region was considered for realignment, people began to refer to it as the “NASCAR Division“.
Some might think with my high Southern posturing I might take offense to this connotation, but I really do not have a problem with it at all. Even though that statement was further stereotyping this region, NASCAR is a symbol of the South.
So it was a bit of a backhanded compliment to Southerner’s like myself. And, yes, I have been known to attend the Daytona or even Talladega NASCAR races, and I do glance at the television sometimes on Sunday to glance at the boys going around with constant left turns.
The formation of this Southeastern division helped the NFL get closer to a level of league-wide parity, which baseball will need to comprehend and address if it expects every M L B team to flourish and grow fiscally as well as physically. This action by another of America’s premier sports might be the successful course of action if MLB brass do not want to see a revolving door of top money payroll teams sprinting towards the Playoffs finish line every October in the near future.
Sure there have been odd twist of fate in the last few years, including the match-up of the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants making it to the World Series after eliminating 2 of those payroll bastions (Philly/NY) . The usual M L B pattern has been that spent dollars have bought more Championships instead of heart, homegrown talent and determination.
Maybe a fourth division in the American or National League would seem to throw the whole globe off its axis and we go wobbling through our orbits tumbling like a deflated ball among the Milk Way. I think we have already started that dizzying journey and have not recognized it yet.
So what did I have in mind to maybe change this?
First off, I would like to introduce the idea of taking one team from every division in both the AL and NL, excluding the AL West, which is already lopsided with 4 teams. You might ask why I would want to dissect a team from each division? To be completely honest, it would then make most of the other divisions a four-team division, with the NL Central lowered to five teams.
You had to already gandered that I would like the Tampa Bay Rays to be included in this new division, and with this new collection in the AL, we hold on tightly to the Designated Hitter rule. The Rays are prefect for this new division because the new division will be rooted in the SE, and only the new abode to open in 2012 in Miami,Florida is further South than St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Rays are already well versed in the ways and means of being a small market team, this division’s formulation can effectively give them the payroll flexibility of knowing that they will not have to adjust and implode their own cash box every year to keep up with the Epstein’s and Cashman’s upgrades via the money pot to survive.
The second team in this division would come out of the National League East and could instantly establish a great Southern rivalry like the annual Florida-Georgia Football game in Jacksonville. I would enjoy seeing the famous Atlanta Brave’s Tomahawk Chop going on right next to the deafening sound of the Rays Republic’s Cowbells.
This expected rivalry could replace some of the expected lost revenues of Boston or New York based on previous sell out crowds during the last time these 2 teams faced off in InterLeague at Tropicana Field. Flights are affordable between the 2 cities, and could muster up a second caravan of road trips for Rays fans to see away games. The Braveswould be the perfect new nemesis of the Rays.
You might question why I did not take the Florida (Miami) Marlins place them in this division instead of Atlanta. I consider the Fish to be perfect InterLeague foes for the Rays, and did not want to split up a AL and NL presence in the state of Florida. I think this state is better for a presence in both the A L and N L , and want to preserve that Citrus Series relationship as it is right now.
Third squad to be added would come out of the AL Central. I did not have to take long to think about this because it came to me the moment I looked at the division. The Kansas City Royals would be my choice based on the simple fact they are a small market squad and would benefit extremely by being in the same division as the Rays.
The relationship between these two AL teams is already formed, and the cities are close enough within the geographical region of the Southern part of the country to make same day flights and televised games a viable options for both teams.
Fourth team to be added would come out of the NL Central division and take their division down to four teams. I thought long and hard as to if I wanted to realign the entire MLB a bit, or just select this one team and end the debate fast and furious on which Texas teams would get an invite to the NASCAR division.
I thought the team that would get the most out of the move would be the Houston Astros. Not only would they be able to convert to the D H system easily, they have the talent in-house already to pop a great DH in the line-up as early as 2012.
I think that the teams on this division “wish list” have great stadiums with a awesome home team presence, and would be totally conducive to building a rivalry and expanding their team concepts without minimal changes.
Realignment is on the horizon. It will be talked, debated, then instituted. This is just my idea of what could effectively comprise a movement towards giving the high dollar and low budget teams a breather and a chance to compete yearly in the post season.
I like the concept and potential of this NASCAR division. It will have great speed, solid defense and a ton of raw young talent circulating throughout the years. Several of the teams that would comprise this division have been hotbeds of minor league talent. That new talent would bring excitement along with value to these teams.
It is a division I not only would pay money to see at Tropicana Field, but would definitely travel to other cities to see play against our Rays. In turn, that would help these small market teams keep their coffers filled to pay their young players to stay with their teams past their arbitration years….It is a “win-win” proposition.
I am not a true fan of crossword puzzles or games like Chess. But I got to tell you, I am so psyched right now to try and figure out this word puzzle/mystery. You see, Jason Grilli aka Grillcheese49 on Twitter has been leaving small clues and a few hints recently about his pitching destination for 2010. And I have to admit it here, but trolling the web looking for answers can get my endorphines kicking it at about 120 mph right now. I forgot how much fun it used to be following a lead, or just a simple photo and finding an aswer within it all.
I have a lot of respect for the insider job that ESPN’s Buster Onley does every day right now during the Hot Stove season. I honestly have not worked this hard to nail down a team or a possible player’s new location since college. And I am not working with a safety net right now, and could basically get it all wrong with a flick of the fingers upon this keyboard.
I do not possess the savvy insider sources that people like Peter Gammons or Onley have at their disposal daily. I do most of my work down here in the darkest recesses of light, and ever so often a beam shines down and I grab ahold of it tightly. Right now I am going by what Grilli has tweeted to all of us over the last week and using them as definite clues to piece this puzzle with more clarity. But the reality of this dark situation is that this new form of social interweaving like Twitter and Facebook can also work in deflecting people and organizations far away from the truth.
@Grillcheese49:There were 8 teams interested. One clear choice. Details coming soon. Hope to share by Monday. ( 4:57 PM Nov 27,2009 from UberTwitter)
Well Jason, it is now early Monday, and only a few hours before you “officially” tell the cyber-world of your playing intentions for 2010. I am going to try and piece together some of the previous information given out by you,and try and make an educated guess on where you are going to be playing in 2010. Hope you do not mind, but I might have a lead on your future employer by reading through the lines a bit, and hope
I am at least within the ballpark when you announce it sometime during today. I may end up being totally wrong, and that is okay too because I am a blogger with no real connections who is just using his mind for more than a hatrack right now.
@Grillcheese49: The answer is coming people this week. I promise. Let’s play the Feud. There are 30 teams in MLB. The top 5 answers are on the board.
(9:27 AM Nov 27,2009 from UberTwitter)
I have to admit, I did not take all 30 MLB teams when I was trying to figure out which team you might have scooped you up come Monday. I did however remove your prior teams like the Colorado Rockies,Texas Rangers,Chicago White Sox,Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers. It was a bit hard to rule out the Marlins completely at first because you still have a home in Florida. But,I figure that for the most part, when a player leaves the Marlins, they are not too anxious to get back into the aqua blue uniforms.
@Grillcheese49: Longest drum roll ever…..I know. If it were up to me I would tell ya. Don’t want to be banned from Twitter like the NFL players do. Haha
( 3 hours ago from UberTwitter)
Do not worry Grilli, I am pretty sure there is nothing within the MLBPA union contract about social networks yet, but they probably will add it into the talks in 2011 when the MLBPA Union contract is up for renewal. I really wish I did have someone within a the MLB front offices that I could bounce this guess-timate off of at 1 AM on a Monday morning…..But I do not.
So I am out here in “Blog-ville” after 1 AM trying to piece the puzzle together considering you gave me an awesome clue with the Twitpic posted late on Sunday. And the wildest part of it all is going to be my own personal opinion on if you are seeking to play for a potential playoff team,or just a great opportunity to stay with a team’s Bullpen for a few years. That at first almost lead me to make the mistake of thinking you might be wearing a Tampa Bay Rays jersey in 2010, but something on your Twitpic tonight led me away from that conclusion quickly.
Someone trying to piece together puzzles like this need to have a keen eye for unobvious observations to sometimes notice things other leave behind as clues or even honest mistakes in their posts or comments. When you posted the picture tonight of your signature already on your 2010 contract, you left the biggest clue of them all. As most people can see now, the MLB authorized Club Representative signature might be the key to this entire puzzle.
So if I take that position of “Director of Baseball Administration” as a clue under the Club Reps signature, then I can quickly narrow it down to a total of six teams that have that position currently listed within their MLB front office. We have 3 clubs each in both the American League and the National League that employ a person in that present job title. But then again,it could just be an ambiguous job title that is printed on a standardized MLB/MLBPA contract for all I know. But a gut reaction has me really doubting that.
I could be wrong even about the title of the Club Representative, but I am going to roll the dice here on this one and hope Lady Luck is in my corner tonight/today. And for that simple reason, I am putting the following six MLB clubs could be your final destination for the 2010 MLB season:
Oakland Athletics: The A’s currently have Pam Pitts as the Director of Baseball administration for their club. I think you have more of a inclination right now to be looking for a team that is going to be fighting for a potential playoff spot in 2010. For that reason, I am eliminating the A’s from contention for your services. (75-1 chance)
Kansas City Royals: Jin Wong is posted as the active Director of Baseball Administration for the Royals on their MLB website. This is a team that I feel is more in the rebuilding stage than ready to take center stage right now. They could probably make some no
ise,but might not have the overall staying power in 2010 to get you closer towards a playoff chance. (50-1 chance)
Cleveland Indians: The Director of Baseball Administration for the Indians is Wendy Hoppel. For some reason I think this is the AL club that might make you salivate the most right now. With the young talent they have accumulated the last two seasons with trades involving CC Sabathia,Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, the Indians could be a nice dark horse contender in the AL Central as early as 2010. (4-3 chance)
Out of the National League, I am considering these three clubs as your possible destination for the 2010 season:
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs, even if they are going through a ownership transition,still currently list Scott Nelson as their Director of Baseball Administration. But even with the dust settling in the front office after the final sale approval by MLB owners just recently, this club is a bit more fragile within their 25-man roster. Might not be a great fit, but could be a dark horse player for your services. (12-1 chance)
Atlanta Braves: This is the closest MLB team to your home now in Florida that has a person with the title of Director of Baseball Administration in their club’s front office. John Coppolella currently holds that post. Might be a location favorite, but also has a division you have pitched in before with the Marlins. ( 15-1 chance)
Philadelphia Phillies: This club is the last one to have a club representative with the title of Director of Baseball Administration in the MLB. With Susan Ingersoll Papaneri at the controls. I am going to go with a wild hunch that you are seeking a solid position on a team that could grow into an extended contract. With the Phillies, you may have a spot in their Bullpen renovation. If you do seek a good chance for a possible 2010 playoff scenario, then this just might be a great destination on a possible playoff team. ( 5-1 chance)
This is where the whole shebang of guessing can get a little more difficult for me. I think you can strive for more in both Cleveland and Philly without a major problem. And even if your 2009 salary was only $ 800,000, I can see you going maybe over $1 million with incentives without a real contract problem. Put that all together with the photo above and look at the possible first name lower loop in the signature, and I have to say the name seems to point towards Cleveland (Wendy Hoppel).
But that is the fun with guessing right? I think the perfect 2010 scenario might be with the Phillies to expand your career and get into a possible playoff situation in 2010. But it might also could be beneficial as a veteran on a young club to be with a team like Cleveland who could shock the AL like the Rays did in 2008 with their developing players leading the way coupled with experienced pitching behind them.
So I am going to guess that the Chief Wahoo will be proud you are with the Cleveland Indians in 2010. And even if I am wrong about all of this, I think it has been a great chance for me to practice some skills I have not used in a long, long time. It has been a lot of fun Jason.
I truly wish you the best of luck and hope you stay injury free in 2010. If you play for a team that does head into Tropicana Field, I will look for number 49 and introduce myself to you. And if you do become an Indian on Monday, get your player uniform number negotiation skills ready, because leftie pitcher Tony Sipp currently hold your number 49 on the Indians active roster. But then again, no one on the Phillies 40-man roster currently sports a “49″ on their back.
Okay, we are about eight hours away from the first “real” pitch of 2009. I find it kind of exciting that the current World Champions will debut on the first ESPN telecast trying to again go 162 games and then through the playoffs to regain a spot where they can defend their title. So here we are at the perfect 0-0 record that will forever change in our hearts and minds after tonight. It really doesn’t matter to me who wins this contest, because we all win just by having baseball “live” on the television, radio and on MLB.TV again this year. But there is also sorrow involved in this day. For by 3 pm today, some Major League dreams will be realized, and some will have a last second free fall back into the minor league system of their teams or back home to rethink their baseball futures.
I remember once reading a quote by newly inducted Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson on Spring Training. He said, “This S### don’t count, This S### doesn’t go on their bubble gum card.” And that is so true of what today truly means. We are finally over with the pretend games, and are about to embark on the quest for greatness that all 30 MLB teams strive for when we report in February each season. I always look forward to this time of the year for many reasons. Be it the time to purchase that new Rays cap, or uniform top, or to know that I will again be in my second home for the next several months enjoying the sights and sounds of Tampa Bay Rays baseball.
But I know that everyone enjoys this time of the year for different reasons. It can be a time of renewal and anxious anticipation for some, and also could be the dark cloud precursor to impending doom and gloom for the people who have doubts and fears about their team. But the first day should always be a day of pure hope and joy. It is the time when the record is clean, and you have endless possibilities in front of you for the coming year. But with this game tonight also come a level of peril and uncertainty to the season. We are now going to have to came to the realization that some of our team’s goals and aspirations might falter after today. We will lose games, I do not think any of us has a dream of 162-0 for the year. Well, people outside of New York do not think like that. But will the joy of April become dismal in May or June, or can we keep this train running all the way to late October?
But that is what today is all about people. Plain and simple and with no sugar-coating, tonight’s game is about rebirth and renewal of expectations for all of our teams. Be it the rookie starting the third and second for the San Francisco Giants, or the unproven starters at the bottom of the Oakland A’s rotation. There are hopes and dreams of success and the failures of our rivals. Will the experiment work out in New York by both the Mets and Yankees, or is the swapping of left fielders in Philadelphia a plus or minus in the long run. Questions will be answered, and not all of them will have the results we want to hear this season. Everyone knows who is favored, and who is considered the also-rans.
But every year and also-ran take the reins and runs wild for a period of time shocking not only baseball, but the world with their unity and chemistry. I love that the media has exploded the phrase “This year’s Rays” out to the masses like the team might not be as good, or better in 2009? I remember Mark Newman, our guru talking about predictions yesterday in my blog entry. In it he stated, ” Actually no one knows anything and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. We all have theories based on various data and intangibles and sentiments, but at the end of the day this is the most competitive balance in Major League history and any of 30 teams can go to the World Series. I should know, I have spent eight years now writing the words “shock the world” over and over on MLB.com. It’s why everyone is fired up this year.”
That summarized it all up in one neat paragraph. We all want to be that psychic that can tell you the future by just following the numbers or the trends. But as Newman hinted at in his remarks, this year I think the facts and figures hide the more important aspect of baseball in 2009. We might not have the parity element that the NFL has been moving towards in the last 5 years, but the differences in the 30 teams beliefs for the season actually make each strong in their own sense of the word. This is the time of the year where the hype is set high, and the possibility of failure is reduced to almost zero. But that is true human nature. We are creatures of a society that craves winners. And for that reason, we have to be totally positive and ooze confidence vibes to survive the intial storm of the season.
I do not have all the answers. I always give my opinions on here and either you like them or hate them. I have been lucky to not attract a huge amount of negative comments and attacks, but they do come, and I do not shy from them. That is the greatest thing about being a baseball fan. You can love the fact that David Price is a budding superstar, and that he will control the mound for the coming years. That could be true, but in the same vein, we can disagree on his starting the season in the minors and both exist tog
ether in the stands and cheer for the team. But all that is moot for tonight. For tonight is the true essence of baseball. The first game will be held in the same stadium that saw its home team celebrate their World Series victory.
Emotions will be high in the stands in Philly. We will see a multitude of emotions in that first moments of the game. From tears to cheers, to the barrage of flash bulbs lighting up the night for a brief moment during that first pitch. Tonight is about the celebration of baseball………….pure and simple. And I know myself, like millions of fans watching from our collective living rooms around the country will all have a moment of true emotion during tonight’s game. But as the Rays showed on the wall of the Budweiser Brewhouse during February’s Fan Fest, The Playoff number is set at 162 tonight, it is the time for every team to start to take those first steps towards their own dreams of raising that trophy into the cool Fall night. For tonight we start another great chapter in our baseball lives…..version 2009, let’s hope that everyone can see the magic and the possibilities as endless, if not just for one night.
With Arbitration days starting on Monday December 1st, MLB’s GM’s have other things beyond the Holiday Season to think about on this date. Not out of their minds is the fact that several MLB free agents will be looking for their own types of Christmas presents either from their current clubs, or a new suitor for 2009.
On Monday, teams will be making major decisions regarding their Type “A” and Type “B” arbitration eligible free agents and/ or roster babies. These decisions will not be made lightly, and sometimes a teams’ June Draft can be effected by the results, both positively or negatively with their decisions.
The Tampa Bay Rays are lucky enough to not have a single member of their 40- man roster sitting in either of these categories in 2009. With Rocco Baldelli and Trever Miller being offered contract buy-outs before this period, the team is not responsible or can reap any advantages to them signing for another team. Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske also are free and clear free agents able to talk and sign with any team in the MLB they desire, with no compensation for the Rays.
Most MLB players tend to wait until December 1st to get a realistic view of if their 2008 team does in fact, have them in the team’s future by offering arbitration, or letting them go as free agents. There are many players’ throughout the majors this off season who are waiting anxiously to get the positive or negative word on their current teams’ desire for them for the upcoming season.
Some players like Chicago Cub’s ex-closer, Kerry Wood could be offered arbitration, but the team will have to gamble that he will not accept it. Wood has already been replaced as the Cubs closer by former set-up guy, Carlos Marmol.
So the chess game will begin, and the Cubs would offer, but they will need a solid statement that Wood will want to go elsewhere in 2009. But some of these players come with baggage. Not injury or even a agent like Scott Boras, but a Type “A” or “B” designation that will give their old squad a type of draft rebate if they are signed by another club.
For some teams this rebate system has helped them in the past get an extra prospect or two who could help in the long run for their franchise. The Type “A” guys are pretty easy to find this off season, they are the guy that are being tossed around for examination by almost every competing club in baseball. They are the top tier free agents that have been drawing the most attention, and will command the most in return for their services.
I am going to take an example from the list of Type “B” arbitration eligible players to try and illustrate the process. The list of potential Type “B” guys include such field players as: Milton Bradley, Ivan Rodriguez, Gregg Zaun, Paul Lo Duca, Casey Blake, Ken Griffey Junior, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, Garrett Anderson, Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta,Juan Uribe and Jeff Kent.
Not to outdone is the list of potential pitchers also eligible for arbitration: John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Jon Garlend, Randy Wolf, Paul Byrd, Alan Embree,Randy Johnson, Brian Shouse, Brendan Looper, Dave Weathers, Jason Isringhausen,Brandon Lyon, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, Denny Reyes, Rudy Seanez, Luis Ayala and Eric Gagne.
You might notice that I left 2 people off this list because it is generally thought that they will retire quietly before Spring Training in 2009. Former Mets outfielder Moises Alou and outstanding pitcher Greg Maddux are considered by many to take a bow out this off season and pursue other avenues in life.
Okay, for the sake of arguing, let me take one Type “A” Arbitration player to put him through a series of possible arbitration events to see what might happen starting tomorrow morning. I will select currently LA Angels first baseman Mark Teixiera as my example of an Type “A” candidates. He is one of the diamond being shined bright by his agents and fellow MLB teams as a cornerstone to a lineup and a star for years.
To start off, let’s consider that the Angels do want to retain his services in 2009, they would start by offering him arbitration after the December 1st date. If Teixiera accepts the arbitration offer, he will get his 2009 salary determined by the arbitration process. He earned a salary of $ 12.5 million dollars for 2008, and had a typical year at the plate and in the field. This would result in a higher salary for 2009. Now, he can still sign with the Angels before his hearing and would be the property of the Angels for 2009, thus ending his other suitors’ pursuit of him.
Typically, a team will sometime offer arbitration to a player thinking they might not even respond. This was not the case in 2002 when the Atlanta Braves tried to fake their interest in Gregg Maddux as a front for a trade. Maddux accepted their offer and went on to post a huge 2002 salary.
So with that in mind, if the Angels do not offer any arbitration to Teixiera, it he becomes a free agent with the Angels not getting any compensation for him. Players are considered for their status as “A” or “B” type arbitration candidates based on their statistics the prior 2 seasons.
Teixiera would fall into the “A” category based on his Plate Appearances, Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Home Runs, Runs Batted In for all players in his position classification. Since he played mostly first base this year, his arbitration ranking will come from the final statistics of every player in the MLB who played first base in 2009.
If the Angels offer arbitration, but Teixiera would rather play somewhere else and decides to sign with another franchise, the Angels would receive 2 picks in the 2009 Amateur Draft in June for Teixiera’s signing elsewhere. And so the chess match will begin on Monday as to the desires of the MLB’s clubs and their players for 2009.
Okay, let’s spell this completely out so there is no misunderstanding here. Let’s say his old team, the Atlanta Braves want to get Teixiera back into a Braves’ jersey for 2009. The Angels will then receive 1 draft pick from the Braves’ 2009 Amateur Draft selection. Let’s say they have the 22nd pick of the 2009 draft. The Angels would get that draft pick and also another additional pick as compensation for the Braves taking back Teixiera into their organization.
The Angels would also get another draft pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds if he was a Type “A” eligible candidate. The Angels can only get the First Round pick of the team signing Teixiera if it falls between pick number 16-30. If the Braves had one of the first 15 picks, they are protected and it can not be taken from them for arbitration supplemental picks.
If the Baltimore Orioles’ decide to take Teixiera, they would not have to give up their high First Round draft pick to compensate the Angels for the Teixiera signing. Instead, the Angels would be rewarded the Orioles’ second round pick and a “sandwich pick’ between the first 2 rounds of the draft.
Now onto the second case in point. Let’s say that the L A Dodgers offered current third baseman Casey Blake arbitration and he turned them down and signed somewhere else. The Dodgers would not get that team’s First Round pick as compensation, but the Dodgers would get a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that the “losing” team can receive draft pick compensation without arbitration if their free agent is signed before December 1st.
If a player is not offered or even offered arbitration, the cycle of draft picks ends and the team will not receive any other compensation if he leaves his 2008 club for another team in 2009. I know all of this sounds confusing and might be better suited for an advanced Algebra class, but in the next few days we will be hearing these senario and phrase more and more.
I thought this might be a nice way to show the possible results of players switching clubs after the December 1st arbitration starting period. Hope this helps dissect the madness and makes the whole process seems bit easier to digest and understand……………So where is Teixiera going, and what will it cost the team signing him?