Not sure if this baseball season feels like it just started or if it has taken forever. Both, I guess, at various times. But as you read this, the Angels are down to three and a half weeks of baseball.
Last week I wrote about the joys of being back at the ballpark. The Angels are middle of the pack both record wise and in attendance. Keep in mind overall attendance numbers throughout most of MLB will be lower than usual due to limited seating early in the season in most markets.
What I do find rather odd is the Angels ranking only 23rd in road attendance. Shohei Ohtani is the biggest thing in baseball and both Texas teams are high up on the average home attendance rankings. You’d think the Angels would sell better on the road.
These attendance figures, along with last year’s revenue losses, will certainly be cited in negotiations for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. As we head towards another possible (I’d say almost certain) labor stoppage, keep in mind a few things: 1. the current CBA expires on December 1st so all the post World Series roster moves and Qualifying Offers will go ahead as normal; 2. transactions can still take place without a CBA.
I’m willing to bet there won’t be many transactions taking place, however. Owners aren’t going to want to pony up for free agents without knowing the new luxury tax limits or amounts. Conversely, tight wads like Bob Nutting won’t pay for talent unless the new CBA makes them.
Taking a look at 2021 MLB payrolls, the discussed salary floor of $100 million would add $293 million to players pockets. This should be doable with no change to the luxury tax, based on a study of the existing CBA by baseball-reference.com:
“In Major League Baseball, 48% of local revenues are subject to revenue sharing and are distributed equally among all 30 teams, with each team receiving 3.3% of the total sum generated. As a result, in 2018, each team received $118 million from this pot.”
The question, if I’m an MLBPA rep or the owner of a big market team, is what keeps happening with that $118 million when teams fail to spend it on payroll year after year?
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s enjoy what there is to enjoy about 2021.
Shohei Ohtani is having the greatest season of all time per a guy smart enough to get into John Hopkins.
And he’s giving Japanese baseball a moment to savor. Nah, he’s giving Japanese baseball a summer to celebrate. That’s a really great piece there with some cool old pics. Probably my favorite link. Please read it.
Perry Minasian is letting the kids play and continues to add talent to the organization. This week the Angels signed 19 year old Cuban pitcher Jorge Marcheco. The kid has a 93 MPH fastball. Here’s some reggaeton and grainy footage of him from a couple years back.
He also signed a Cuban kid with some great bloodlines.
Elsewhere around baseball, as the Angels wrap up a short series against a disappointing Padres squad, just think of the disappointment in NY where 2021 was supposed to be the best Mets season in years. And the future doesn’t look all that bright, either.
And while we love to give Dodgers fans crap (and deservedly so a lot of the time) credit to the fans in blue who stepped in to protect Giants beat writer Susan Slusser last weekend.
Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldmen got caught in the downpour following Hurricane Ida and had to be rescued by some colleagues. She had just wrapped up calling the Yankees game here in Anaheim.
Last year I watched quite a bit of Korean Baseball Organization games before MLB ramped up. It is a fun brand of baseball with lots of balls in play and motion on the base paths.
Hopefully the KBO doesn’t give Manfred any ideas, but they’ve eliminated extra innings for the rest of the year. Games tied after 9 innings are considered ties.
Of course the most important thing this weekend is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I know I’ll always remember exactly where I was when I watched that second plane hit. 20 years. Wow.
Baseball will mark the anniversary with ceremonies across our nation. None will be as close to home as the Mets, and some details on their ceremony are out.
For many Americans, the return of baseball was a pivotal moment in 2001. I remember tearing up as Jack Buck spoke to bring the game back. And the biggest moment was Mike Piazza’s home run. A moment that lives on 20 years later.
I’ve spent many 9/11 anniversaries at the ballpark and wish I could this year too. No matter how you commemorate the event, please be safe.
15-7 makes $8M a year. 😫 😭
0 point, he’s a Cardinal for life
And all we had to do is follow my off season plan of sending thugs with shiny suits and neck tattoos to his family home and letting him know he wants to be an Angel instead of signing with the team he said he’d rather retire than leave and we could have had him.
Can He Pitch? cuz I Betcha the umpire wouldn’t try to shaft him
The International Umpire Conspiracy to Only Screw the Angels trumps all. Ask anyone here.
one bright spot this year is the possible collapse of the Skankees. Even a week ago East Coast writers apparently believed the Skanks could catch the Rays and win the AL East. Now the Skanks are 10 down with 22 left to play. Toronto is a half game behind NYS (New York Skankees) and the Skanks might not make the wild card game. That would be funny!
For those clamoring to see The Plumber in MLB, you might have to temper your expectations. Looks like his defense has him backed up. And until he can unclog himself from this position, he won’t be booking his ticket to Anaheim anytime soon.
How ironic that his defense would be the one thing holding him back after winning like 5 NAIA gold gloves in college. But after witnessing the stark realization of an overrated collegiate defensive assessment of gold glove catcher & first round draft pick Taylor Ward there would appear to be a large disconnect coming out of the college ranks.
Unfortunately there are too many teams such as the Pirates, D backs or Orioles that wouldn’t draft this guy if he’s not placed on the 40 man roster before the December Rule 5 draft. So I’m fairly confident we will see him at the MLB level next year but it might be in another uniform.
I almost teared up reading this…..those poor children, trapped in a billionaire family.
Dude, you have no idea how it is to live with the fact that things could get so bad that you have to call the car service and drive, mid-day, to a private airport to get on your jet and fly off to your island estate like a common refuge because people are mean and they scare you and you just
Sit in traffic? Fly to a private island? That’s for suckers when you have a $100,000,000 Yacht.
BRING UP MICHAEL STEFANIC…!
Come on, Perry: the goose, captain jack, fletch are going to stay the rest of the season.
OK, we get that.
But, to allow Rengifo and Wong playing time without giving Stefanic a shot is totally messed up.
Perry deserves to have a flaming ball of cow dung for dinner every night until he frees MIchael Stefanic from the Bees…
Something Wong with Perry if he doesn’t……unless this is a 40 man roster issue that we aren’t considering.
Something Wong with Perry and if we can’t Rengifo it quickly, Mickey Stefanic is going to get goosed and walked the plank by captain jack…
FREE MICKEY STEFANIC….
We’ve only got bout 22 games left in the season.
I can’t think of another player in the farm system that deserves a call-up more than Stefanic.
The fans deserve to see him.
And, he deserves his shot.
These 22 games mean nothing in terms of making the playoffs. Perry already screwed the fans over with building the bullpen up last with rejects and low salary options.
If Stefanic doesn’t get called-up soon, It’s time to start writing nasty letters to Perry
The only person in the Angel organization who sucks eggs more than Perry is Arte Moreno….
I know. This f***ing sucks finally having a GM that drafted pitching, trades our garbage for semi-useful prospect arms, scouts and signs international prospects, hires away big brains from enviable orgs. Screw that guy, he won’t bring up the second baseman who can’t play second base all that well even though we have a cute nickname all set up for him. What a turdcicle.
All kidding aside, I think 1/2 the call ups we have now seen have almost as much to do with who to get rid of than who we will see in the future. The org will need roster spots and a bunch of these guys like Wong/Rengifo have a strong chance of being cut loose unless they show up this month. Stephanic is what he is, a guy who hits well in the PCL and fields meh. I still hope they keep him next year, but to do that they likely have to eject a Rengifo.
Rengifo isn’t a long term solution…heck, I wouldn’t call him a September solution. If we’re going to play someone who’s very questionable we might as well try the next guy, Stefanic…or Cecchini.
I think the feeling that the season has just started or taken forever has something to do with Trout. If he’s played 35 games or whatever then it’s just started. If it’s taken forever then that’s because we’ve waited forever for him to come back.
We were also legit out of it in like June. Usually that doesn’t happen until mid-to-late August where I lose hope.
And perhaps just getting back to 162. Last year I was so busy working I could barely breathe. The sprint season when by in the blink of an eye.
This year it has been so great to have a little more normal. Normal years feel both quick and long to me too.
Yes. 60 games go quickly and then it’s 80 and we’re halfway there. It seems like we’ve just begun, too. Plus we’re getting older and time goes quicker
Great links today Jeff. I’m enjoying them while recovering at home from ear surgery yesterday to repair a large hole in my ear drum. I’m supposed to end up with decent hearing again in my right ear! Of course with my loud kids this may not be all sunshine and roses. 🤣
Sounds painful……how did that happen?
Surfing accident in the mid 2000s Late take off, large wave, wave won. Eardrum blown out, the world was spinning. I crawled onto the beach and laid there bleeding from my ear with water draining too, for about 4 hours until I could stand up and make the walk to my truck and drive home. It sucked. I have surfed since but with ear plugs I keep losing and I’m tired of getting ear infections 3 or 4 times a year.
Can you pitch? Or hit? You sound more durable than several on this roster….heal up my friend.
I do throw a nasty 25 mph curve ball and a 15 mph knuckle ball . My heater probably touches 40 mph with movement. 🤣
Those can be very effective pitches that can also keep your pitch count down.
Thanks. Hope you heal.
Really nice fights on ESPN tonight. The co feature has serious Fight of the Year potential.
Adell Fangraphs: I’ll put it in Monday Links too
I wonder if Trout has been helping him with the strike zone before and after ABs. I would say Ohtani would be a good teacher, but I think there are only so many hours in his day.
I think that the MLBPA should push for the 100 m floor for roster spending, set a first luxury tax threshold at 230m , graduating as it does now, with yearly escalation of the 1st tax threshold. Also a 60k per yr salary for all players in AA and above. The players will still be hungry to get to the big leagues, just not starving on their way. Maybe lower it to 50k. All the teams could afford this.
Love all of those. I’d be fine with $1-2 million of the revenue sharing pot being spent on minor league talent and development. Salaries, rent, more catered meals at the ballparks. What is a round error at the big league level would substantially change lives down below.
Yah. I like those ideas. The only thing I’d add is make the 230M Lux tax penalty have more draft consequences. There should be something that makes it hard for the Doyers to happen, where the 3 teams in baseball that can afford it just patch up multiple 20M+ failures in their pitching staff by trading for another 25M pitcher.
I really want that salary floor. I also think that current owners should just freshen up their balls and get comfortable telling their fanbases that they aren’t going to be close to the threshold. I mean, they basically already do that. How many owners are all that close now? Obviously all the teams have a payroll limit and less than 5 have that limit at near the current threshold. If it makes the players happy, raise it. You don’t have to approach it.
I’d say pay the AA+ minimum at 30K but also feed and house them well. Build em good gyms, etc. Invest in their advancement. These are 20-25 year olds, mostly without kids. You’d be paying for most of their lives 1/2 the year. 30K “winter” money and walk around cash is enough. This issue does basically apply to guys who did not receive a signing bonus. Sure, we all want to white knight for the little guy, but we also have to keep in mind these are guys who GET TO keep playing. Most of them will not be sticking around for years and years because they have “a shot”. If they did they’d have been drafted and signed with a bonus which they then live off of while in MiLB.
Sounds reasonable. This is going to make for an interesting off season for sure.
Interesting article behind The Athletic paywall about Victor Rojas. Among other digs, he talks about how pissed he was with the Angels approach and the lack of quality team they have been putting on the field year after year. Sorry I don’t have the tech chops to post the link.
I’m likely alone in this view, but I’d prefer ties to the dude on second in the 10th.
You are not alone. I hate the runner on 2nd to start extra innings.
I’m ok with the runner starting on second, as long as we can have guard dogs patrolling the 90 feet between 3rd and home.
That might be as cool as Mad Magazine’s Basebrawl.
I would too! Hopefully those are not the only two options, though =)
Definitely not alone.
In fact, I think ties in the regular season after somewhere between 10 and 13 innings would be a good system. Playoffs, however, need unlimited extra innings. And there should never be special rules for extra innings. Either play the game or don’t.
I don’t have a problem with it…you’re equals in 9 innings, end it as quickly as possible. Games are long enough.
Also, get rid of the f***ing 7 inning rule for doubleheaders.
Agree……not necessary. Unless the Angels are winning after 7
That is gone next year right?
You never know with Manfred.
Did I just read that 8 teams (nearly nine with the Padres) paid more for people on the DL than the Orioles paid for their active roster (at the start of the 2021 season), including Baltimore themselves?
That seems outrageous.
Under the 100M salary floor, that means more that quintupling the Orioles payroll next season.
For luxury tax calculations they spent $45 million. Actual payroll less (Davis was injured so some of that was covered by insurance).
Yet the team received far more than that in revenue sharing.
So Angelos pockets other owners money and then rolls out a crappy team nobody wants to see. Imagine being Arte looking at a 75% empty stadium while hosting Baltimore, knowing the owner kept his cash.
This should be easy to install.
However he has two of MLB’s top 3 marketable faces on his team ( Trout when he’s healthy and Shohei Ohtani sans Stephen A Smith’s dumb comment. The other being Aaron Judge ). Even if the rest of the team sucks, also since were in SoCal there’s enough bandwagon fans or transplant fans of other teams in our area to carry the team.
Seems smarter than paying $60 millionish this year for Upton and Rendon, although I know many here love the $245 million for Anthony.
I’ve never paid ticket money to see an owner. I have paid to see a healthy Rendon.
Bottom line is this is money that’s already in the pot. Why should owners pocket other teams money instead of spending it on players?
What is this “healthy Rendon” you mention? I’d like to learn more…..
Exactly. And he ain’t getting any younger while we wait around for it.
If I join this cult you can’t stop talking about will I get a cool robe? Also, will the dreams about overly aggressive possums stop?
To learn more, look at 2020 and June 1 – July 4, 2021.
To be fair, he probably wasn’t entirely healthy in June/July, but he was certainly healthier and playing better until the hamstring injury.
To be clear, you would rather Arte just take $245M to do whatever he likes instead of pay Rendon $245M?
Interesting, I guess, but whatever floats your boat.
I’d rather he stop signing bad contracts and use his money wisely. Address pitching. That floats my boat.
Then that’s not really a direct response to the Orioles payroll comment at all.
Just seems like you want to push your anti-Rendon agenda whenever it’s tangentially possible, which is getting extremely frustrating.
If you join a cult, or a movement or what ever, then EVERYTHING goes back to it. High gas prices? Ugly car colors? You name it, it can eventually be brought back around to how much it sucks to have Rendon on the team.
I would rather have an owner that pays players, even if they don’t pan out. An owner that pays 20M for his active roster, while getting 118M from the rest of the league? That is so very much worse.
You might not like the Rendon signing, but it was done with an attempt to win. Arte spends money to win.
It’s not like we needed a 3B or that Rendon is a good 3B or anything.
Bro, it’s EVERYDAY with this shit. Did Rendon refuse to sign your mitt or take a selfie with you? I don’t know who’s in this Rendon Fanclub you keep imagining, but i promise you it’s all in your head.
Most people here are somewhere in between apathetic or neutral on the guy. He was good last season and injured this season. Not even a full season’s worth of games to comment on, really.