March 4, 2013

Talkin' Baseball: WBC, Arbitration, & Strikeouts

49er16: You read this article on the World Baseball Classic? What a disaster this sounds like it's going to be. Games can't be streamed unless you're a certain cable subscriber and then some of these games are on at weird hours of the night and are not replayed during the day. Disaster.

The Colonel: Moving the games exclusively to the MLB Network was idiotic. They still have to follow spring training so they don't replay the WBC games and then you might not get the channel at all if you don't subscribe to the sports package. This has Charles Montgomery Bud Selig Burns's name written all over it. "Hey I got an idea! Let's play the entire tournament on our network! Sure the games might not be replayed and you can only watch the archives if you're a certain cable subscriber, BUT BASEBALL ON THE MLB NETWORK!"

49er16: As that Awful Announcing article stated, the red herring will be that no "stars" played for the USA team, but how they're broadcasting these games is what the problem is.

The Colonel: Have you watched any of these games in Japan or Taiwan? I watched the Cuba-Brazil game, but found it a little too boring. It also didn't help that there were probably 100 people in the stands making that place look like a morgue instead of a baseball stadium.

49er16: Yeah I watched that game. Whoever thought it was a good idea to pair Rich Waltz and Buck Martinez together needs to be shot. What a clusterfuck grouping. Waltz talks over plays that are happening, sorry Rich but I don't care about the nets around the stands, while Buck is gonna Buck.

The Colonel: I can't even listen to Buck Martinez. His voice makes me want to pound my head into the side of a wall. Never mind the nonsense that comes out of his mouth.

49er16: My God, Mike Trout is only making half a million dollars this season. That might be the deal of the year so far. Even more of a steal than LeBron getting paid so little for how good he is.

The Colonel: If Trout was on the Royals, they would trade him in a couple of years because his arbitration will be through the roof*.

*Kidding. The Royals would wait until he's almost a free agent. 

49er16: I do like how baseball works. A team basically owns a player for 6 or 7 years until they become a true free agent. Yes they go through arbitration and get paid big money, but still none of these guys really become free agents until their late 20's early 30's. Kind of amazing to think about.

The Colonel: It really depends on when these guys come up. If they're like Trout and come up early, then they become free agents around the same time NBA players do. I do wish MLB had a system like basketball where they have rookie contracts then after 3 years teams can extend them for 5 years before they become true free agents.

49er16: It would make things a lot easier to understand. I still don't quite understand the arbitration process or when players are up for arb years or how much they're destined to make in those years. All very confusing.

The Colonel: This piece here by Fangraphs basically says what I've been thinking for a while. Batters are taking more pitches so they're striking out more. Depending on the situation this is a bad or a good thing. I know I don't want a player taking pitch after pitch if there's someone at 2nd base. There I want a hit. A walk does nothing.


The Colonel: You know what I mean. Taking pitches isn't always the smartest strategy. It's smart when you need to get a base runner, but you need to advance that runner home. They're not going to steal every base and a pitcher isn't going to walk every batter. You need someone to get hits, even if it's a single.

49er16: Well the other problem with players striking out is what situation are they striking out in? If there's runners on base, they're hurting the team. That's why baseball will always be more of a situation game than a full numbers game. Numbers are important, but situations during the game can mute the numbers.

The Colonel: That being said, WALK MORE PAGAN!


  1. We're going to have to talk about this next, but the strikeouts problem is also because of umpires actually getting better at their jobs.

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