Unfortunately, for reasons both understandable and not, it's not as all-access as it used to be, but most of that was before my time, and it sounds like it was before yours, too, so I'll say this: You will have a blast. More interaction. More lighthearted. More fan-focused. If taking kids, they will especially get a thrill out of it. The players do a great job with kids. Autograph hunters can usually coax a player or two out of the duguouts before games if you get there early.
I'm not sure I agree with your opinion that reaching free agency sooner would help star players and hurt non-star players. I guess it depends on how you define a star. Bryce Harper is going to make a ton of money -- in part -- because he was so good, he got to free agency at 26 years old. Same as Machado. They are clearly star players. But what about a guy like Jose Martinez, or Tommy Pham. They are not star players. They are going to reach free agency well beyond what baseball considers their prime. If they had fewer arbitration years, they would get better contract offers when they reached free agency, because their age would not be working against them as much as it will be when they get to FA.
They say they are confident in his ability to be right this year, but hey, they said the same thing entering last season. So, wait for proof. That comes at spring training, and everything else is just talk before that. Lots of eyes will be on how he looks -- playing, not physically -- come spring.
We can talk about a lot of guys. That's the point of the chat. You don't have to pump up Martinez to me. I'm on board.
You do know where Gyorko came from, right? He was once a prized young Padres infielder. I don't think the Padres' hunt for a new prized young infielder is going to be for the one that they traded away.
Goldschmidt should really give the Cardinals an upgrade in star power. Cubs have the youth advantage when it come to those corner infield spots, if you factor that into the equation. It looks much closer than it did not long ago, you're right. It might boil down to what kind of offensive production both get out of center and right field.
That's the plan, yep. If you have specific requests, shoot them our way. Can't promise anything but always on the lookout for what fans want to see
I do not. A small number of vocal managers have pushed for it, but a larger number have pushed back. Players are not stirring about it. I don't think it's happening any time soon. Maybe I'm wrong. It was not a hot topic among front office members during winter meetings. The big emphasis there was about ways to limit frowned upon use of video for sign-stealing purposes.
My guess is it will reach the point, maybe, where everyone involved -- players, agents, front offices -- get tired of this being an all-year grind. Similar to college football coaches who come to appreciate dead periods, baseball might eventually be interested in self-imposing some deadlines to actually have some time off. A partial deadline doesn't really do that, but the one you presented is interesting. I like the idea of creating a real finish line, though I'm sure it would be abused and taken advantage of. If the agents and front offices want to work around the clock, always, they will find ways to do it. But they should at least move winter meetings back, because it's starting to feel silly to go and sit around for a bunch of hot air and staring contests
Hey, now you're sounding like the Cardinals. But your point is fair.
Because I'm pro-DH? I referenced Merle Haggard in a column today. I get nothing for that?
Great question. And I don't have the answer.
There were questions about his toughness, and his eagerness to be in the spotlight. MPJ is an amazing talent, and he knew it and acted like it at times. Not always. He's not a bad kid. But he is a famous kid, and famous kids act in ways sometimes that make them less appealing to normal kids -- especially when that famous kid can be viewed as taking attention away from the normal kids who are playing, and playing pretty well. It's not hard to see why there would be friction between a bunch of competitive college-aged males in this setting. That's all it was.
That's Paige Sports Arena to you, pal.
I tend to agree with you on this one. I think Mikolas will get extended and I would be pretty shocked if they did not pick up Carpenter's option. We know they want to extend Goldschmidt. Do those things, and it's not as much of a complete shakeup as it once looked. There's no question the can do it and have given themselves the flexibility to do it. I'm just not sure they actually would. And i don't think this team will be bad enough to put them over that edge.