I already used this format for a post last year, and the Cardinals didn’t listen to me, but this time, they’re going to do that, per Mike Shildt on Saturday. When asked why the Cardinals manager was going with the guy whose scorching-hot second half of 2019 put him in the Cy Young conversation, Shildt simply responded, “Really?” Which is correct. This is an obvious call. It’s possible we are overreacting to the second half of Flaherty’s 2019 and that we should merely expect him to be very good. It’s possible a resurgent Carlos Martinez, a new face in Kwang-hyun Kim, or a 2018 throwback version of Miles Mikolas is the team’s best pitcher in 2020. It is not possible that we will look back on this decision as a bad one. This is clearly the correct decision.
Hm, 135 words? That…doesn’t seem like a lot. I mostly just wanted to write a post that invites the same half-dozen people who reply to all the posts on Twitter with commentary despite clearly not having read the post to get mad. Hey, people who read the article–feel free to screenshot this part in replies to people who yell at me that the answer is yes and that it’s a dumb clickbait article. An article isn’t clickbait if it literally answers the question it asks in the first word of it. Trying to come up with topical headlines that get people to click on the article is, like, the entire point of writing on the internet.
I usually aim for 1000 words on these posts and usually go way over–back when I wrote at Viva El Birdos, I had an editor to tell me to keep things contained, and I still went way over. Now I write on a site I own, so this is why I just crossed into the three hundreds on a post I have no intention on editing. If you’re still reading this, I assume you will enjoy, or at least tolerate, my unhinged observations while I try to at least pad the post to a respectable, full length while turning into Millennial Andy Rooney.
Is anyone else sick of the Astros cheating scandal story? It is amusing to see baseball players actually talk about things, though I like it more when they talk about, like, minor league pay. That story about the New York Mets refurbishing their Spring Training facility and keeping it off-limits to minor leaguers lasted like a day while we spent every waking hour talking about unique ways to punish the Astros! MLB issued penalties that were basically the maximum that they are permitted–it is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement to punish the players for crimes which aren’t specifically codified. Like, I wouldn’t be personally sad for Alex Bregman if he missed a few games because of the Astros sign stealing in 2017, but a precedent where Rob Manfred could unilaterally issue punishments for things he feels are bad seems pretty bad. Maybe the players could concede this right in the next CBA in exchange for a higher share of MLB revenues. Maybe they could use that extra slice to keep minor leaguers above the poverty line. I’d like that!
Also, Pete Rose needs to go away. What the Astros did was bad, but I can’t possible oversell how much worse what Pete Rose did was. He bet on games in which he was directly involved. Let’s view this under the most generous hypothetical scenario which also conforms to what we know about Pete Rose’s gambling: that Rose, as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win all of the games. Well, Pete Rose doesn’t have a lifetime contract with the Reds, and thus he has further incentive to burn through his young players in ways that might be deconstructive to their long-term growth. In a way, this applies to every manager, but Rose is being provided with a direct financial incentive to work against the best interest of the Reds. And the more likely scenario is that Rose bet on his team to win every game that he bet, but that he didn’t bet on every single game. Seems like he probably wouldn’t be too inclined to give Eric Davis, his oft-injured superstar, an off-day when he bet. Also seems like he’d be more likely to use his top reliever, John Franco, more often. And of course the next level would be Pete Rose betting against the Reds, a thing that puts him in the Black Sox region, which is a completely unforgiveable baseball sin. I don’t really care if Pete Rose goes into the Hall of Fame, as I routinely advocate for scumbags to make it. I don’t want him anywhere near working for a baseball team on any level ever again.
Speaking of Pete Rose’s lifetime ban, did you know Paul Giamatti is the son of the MLB commissioner who banished Rose, Bart Giamatti? I’m going to assume that many of you are asking who doesn’t know that, while others among you are, like I was when I somehow just learned this fact last week, sitting in stunned silence. It seems absurd to me that Bennett Miller couldn’t find a role for Paul Giamatti in Moneyball as a general nod to baseball. Or maybe Paul doesn’t like baseball. I prefer a theory I just came up with, which was that Paul was offered the role of Art Howe (he doesn’t look like Art Howe, but neither did Philip Seymour Hoffman) but had to turn it down because he was too busy filming The Hangover Part II. Basically some “Burt Reynolds could’ve had the Jack Nicholson role in Terms of Endearment but did Stroker Ace instead” level buffoonery.
Hm, I’m near 1,000 words. Time to wrap this up. Where was I? Oh yeah, stay out of my booze!