Monday, November 29, 2010

The Mistress

It's Monday. Just like every other Monday, you come stumbling over here to me and remember your true love of baseball. But you spent the weekend with her, didn't you? In the arms of football, telling her how much you loved her and would never leave. Yet here we are, once again, and I take you back one more time. This is getting old. Why don't you love me?

You want a story? You want the National Pastime to keep you warm now? You want to know about the past? Fine. Seriously, though, I'm worth more than this. Sit down and listen...

Two All Star Games

During the off-season of 1958, the players union and the league reached an agreement to help fund the struggling Players' Pension Fund. The fund had largely been ignored previously, so the owners agreed to give the Pension Fund 60% of the revenue from the All Star Game and the players agreed to stage two Mid-Summer Classics.

Beginning in 1959, the league would convene on two separate dates at two different fields for the All Star Game. On July 7, the tradition All Star Game was played at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. A month later, the second All Star Game of the season would break all traditions and be the first such exhibition to be played on the West Coast at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

The new tradition of two games would carry on for a very short four year time span. On July 30, 1962, Wrigley Field would host the second game of that season, a game won by the American League by a score of 9-4.

That winter, the players and owners reached a new agreement, giving the Player's Pension Fund 95% of the proceeds for the single All Star Game. The traditional one game per season would remain honored from then on.

Many experts have debated whether the two all star game format was a success or a failure. Some have debated that the game should attempt to return to something of this nature, while others question the legitimacy of the Mid Summer Classic all together.

What do you think? Leave a comment, tell me your opinion.

I will be here again next week, helping you recover from your pigskin hangover. I know just the cure for it. More Hardball.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with a Dash of Baseball

From all of us here at More Hardball, we wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Adam Sandler- The Thanksgiving Song

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rule 5

Well, folks, it's Monday. While the guys here at More Harball will keep you entertained with thoughts of players being pimped out and some hot chick wearing your favorite team's gear, I'm a bit more of a purist that thinks you actually come here to talk baseball.

Teams made transactions within their organizations this past week to prepare for the "Rule 5 Draft". I have had many emails, texts, IMs and conversations this week about what exactly that means. Here, let me drop some knowledge...

Let's start with the name. This one is fairly simple, the document known as The Professional Baseball Agreement lays out the rules the teams must abide by. Rule 4 is the Amateur Draft. Rule 5 is the minor league draft. Still with me? Good.

The basic premise is based on Minor League Free Agency. When a minor leaguer has been with a franchise for six years, he has the right to file for free agency. In an effort to help players move along faster, the Rule 5 draft was created. When a player signs his first contract with a team, the Rule 5 timetable begins. If the player is older than 18 on June 5 of the year he signed the contract, he becomes draft eligible in three years. Should the player be younger than 18 on June 5 of the year he signed, he becomes eligible in four years. Got that part of it? Perfect, we are almost there...

As the Winter Meetings roll around, the major league teams will participate in the Rule 5 draft. Teams will be allowed to pick, but not required to, in reverse order from the previous season's standings. If a player is chosen, he is placed on the receiving team's 25-man, major league roster. The team that loses the player is provided with $50,000 in exchange for the player. During the course of the following season, if the new team wishes to send the player to the minor leagues, he must first be offered back to the original team for $25,000.

And there it is, the Rule 5 Draft in a nutshell. Do you have any more questions? Is there something out there that just doesn't make sense to you? Well post it here or drop it in an email to me and I will cover it in a future article.

Until then, remember, there may be girls and players being pimped out, but when it comes down to it, there will always be More Hardball.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Offseason

As this offseason swings into full gear, we fans have to put up with another year of Padres 1st Baseman Adrian Gonzalez being pimped out like a $2 hooker by Jed Hoyer, San Diego's GM. In this case, literally.

While I am aware that the club exercised their option to keep Gonzalez, I have reason to believe that he won't be there by the time the 2011 season is over. For all I know, Hoyer is calling teams behind closed doors to cut a deal for when he can get rid of his most productive player. Where he'll send Gonzalez, I don't know.

Have a laugh and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Babes of Baseball

Do you like baseball? Yes! Do you like hot women? Yes. Do you like hot women sporting your favorite baseball team's gear? Oh, hell yes!!! These titillating tasties are just what the offseason ordered. Brace yo'self...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Be Careful Not To Get Sick

Baseball has moved full force into the Hot Stove season. With the GM conferences right around the corner and the influx of ways that members of traditional and New Media can get information to you quickly, it is going to get a bit crazy out here.

We have all been there, players demand trades, general managers announce they will listen to offers about a superstar, or managers express their dislike of a player on the team. With the addition of websites like Twitter to the world of the media, it becomes increasingly hard to ensure that a reporter gets "the scoop" before anyone else. What it ends up leading to is a confusing dervish of information that can leave you looking either foolish or brilliant at the water cooler.

If you are going to follow the hot stove and use it to look like an expert in front of your group of coworkers and friends, you have to be careful. News moves quick at these meetings, even before the addition of social media sites. Players can go from on their way out, to being traded, to signing an extension with their original team within hours. Case in point right now: Dan Uggla.

The Marlins second baseman has been the subject of rumors around the Internet. This week alone, Uggla rumors have stated that he and the Marlins are working on an extension, that he refused the extension, that the Marlins have refused to continue negotiations with him, and that he is actively being shopped to multiple teams. Marlins fans must be going nuts right now.

When it comes to the hot stove, be careful. Don't tempt fate, it may bite the hand that feeds it. The Hot Stove can reward you with a new bat, provide you with a stable arm, or make your brand new jersey obsolete before you get to wear it.

Head the More Hardball warning: Exposure to the Hot Stove may induce dizziness, fatigue, or nausea. Expose yourself in small doses. Watching the transaction wire may be a more productive passing of time.

And remember, only 91 more days until More Hardball.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Which free agent would you sign?

Time for you to play general manager. Which prized free agent would you sign?

Cliff Lee/SP- 31 years old, lefty, postseason master (7-2, 2.13/0.82), all star, 2008 Cy Young. 9 seasons with Indians, Phillies, Mariners, and Rangers, 102-61 record, 3.85 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 1409 IP, 1085 K. Contract prediction- 6 years/$130M.

Jayson Werth/OF- 31 years old, great power/speed combo, solid defense, all star, postseason masher (.987 OPS). 8 seasons with Dodgers and Phillies, .272/.848, 433 R, 120 HR, 406 RBI, 77 SB. Contract prediction- 5 years/$86M.

Carl Crawford/OF- 29 years old, speed demon, tremendous defense, all star. 9 seasons with the Rays, .296/.781, 765 R, 215 2B, 105 3B, 104 HR, 592 RBI, 409 SB. Contract prediction- 6 years/$110M.

Adrian Beltre/3B- 31 years old, Gold Glove defense, all star, consistent power bat from the hot corner. 13 seasons with Dodgers, Mariners, and Red Sox, .275/.791, 912 R, 397 2B, 278 HR, 1008 RBI, 113 SB. Contract prediction- 4 years/$66M.

Adam Dunn/1B- 31 years old, premium power, poor defense, all star. 10 seasons with Reds, Diamondbacks, and Nationals, .250/.902, 865 R, 266 2B, 354 HR, 880 RBI. Contract prediction- 4 years/$60M.

Other- Rafael Soriano/CL, Victor Martinez/C, Manny Ramirez/OF, Jim Thome/DH, Paul Konerko/1B.

*Mariano Rivera/CL, Derek Jeter/SS, and Andy Pettitte/P not included because it's a foregone conclusion that they're Yankees.

Which free agent would you sign?
Cliff Lee
Jayson Werth
Carl Crawford
Adrian Beltre
Adam Dunn
Other free polls

Monday, November 08, 2010

Time To Bail

From the moment the words "The Giants are World Champions" escaped Joe Buck's mouth, fans made a mass exodus to the virtual gates of baseball. This season is over and it is time to focus attentions elsewhere. The NFL is in full swing, the NBA and NHL seasons have started, and the holidays are quickly approaching. No need to worry about baseball until April.

Sound familiar? How do you ever exist without me to guide you?

Baseball does not stop. Just because the game leaves the field does not mean that there is nothing to pay attention to. There are plenty of things to focus on for the next 98 days until pitchers and catchers report. Please, of course I know how long until they report.

Arizona Fall League

A combination of players working their way up the organizational ladder and those that are trying to convince their organization that they deserve another look, the Arizona Fall League will run through November 20 and features some of the best talent the minor league system has to offer. MLB Network has announced a few games to be televised and is doing a great job bringing commentary to the world.

Free Agency
Teams were officially allowed to contact individual players as of November 7. The "Hot Stove" league immediately started heating up with teams developing their off-season shopping list and comparing their needs to the available players on the market. If you have not discovered, you either don't care or you live under a rock.

Winter Meetings/General Manager Meetings
Baseball's General Managers meet every year to discuss business and plant some trade seeds and see what grows. This year, they meet in Orlando on November 16th - 17th. In December, from the 6th - 9th, Baseball's annual Winter Meetings take place. Again in Florida, this time in Vista, deals will be made to trade players, sign free agents, and complete transactions. Twitter will have frequent updates from every major sports writer in the country trying to ensure that he or she gets the scoop before any of their counterparts.

Finally, don't forget all the great websites out there that will bring you historical coverage and walks down memory lane, their choices for great players of the past and present, and breakdowns of player signings and acquisitions. If there is any information you want to know, any thing you might have forgotten, or any statistics that will unveil the future of your favorite team, the various blogs and new media sites will keep you well informed.

Because, let's face it, there is always More Hardball.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Giants Cartoon

We here at More Hardball would like to congratulate the San Francisco Giants on their World Series win this past week, snapping a 50+-year drought.

And here's the cartoon in honor of this monumental feat.

(L-R: Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Peace Out Sparky

The legendary Sparky Anderson passed away today. He was 76 years old.

George "Sparky" Anderson never really amounted to much as a player. In fact, his lone season in the majors was with the Phillies in 1959 batting a lowly .218 in 152 games at secondbase. What Sparky lacked in talent on the playing field he more than made up for in the dugout, where he gained fame. Anderson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 as a manager for steering the Big Red Machine to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976 and then the Tigers in 1984. In 26 years of managing he racked up a 2194-1834 record with 5 pennants and 3 championships for Cincinnati and Detroit. Holds the distinction as the only MLB player to be born in South Dakota and be a Hall of Famer. Also had his #10 jersey retired by the Reds.

*Courtesy of WSBGMs