Listen, no matter what I write about here, you're still going to talk about Yoenis Cespedes, or the consolation prizes if the White Sox don't manage to land him. I know it. You know it. There's no sense in lying to each other. We've been together too long.
All that being said, the Mets privately insist it’s not about the money so much as a concern that Cespedes will be a headache, effort-wise and attitude-wise, if he gets a long-term deal for big money.
And, to be fair, they’re not the only ones with such concerns. On Saturday a source said that Buck Showalter was dead-set against bringing in Cespedes and wanted the Orioles to make an offer to Justin Upton instead, but was overruled by GM Dan Duquette.
Not that Cespedes is a bad guy, according to sources, so much as someone "who marches to his own drumbeat'" and apparently irritated the Mets at times by not taking batting practice, not hustling during games at times and constantly smoking cigarettes between innings.
Anybody with understanding of franchise history knows that this story actually makes him the perfect White Sox star, really.
The new faces in the farm system have some familiar names, including Willie Harris (Great Falls hitting coach), Matt Zaleski (Great Falls pitching coach) and Justin Jirschele (Kannapolis hitting coach).
Major League Baseball settled its class-action lawsuit before it was set to begin by loosening their grip slightly on broadcast dominance. Out-of-area fans will be able to order single-team MLB.tv subscriptions for $84.99 (as opposed to a $110 annual subscription), and those with a cable subscription won't be blacked out from road feeds for the same game. Not huge gains, but it's something.
Of course, the single-team subscription doesn't make a whole lot of sense in 2016, since it's Vin Scully's last season and all.
Hidden inside this interactive Pittsburgh Steelers feature is a candid interview with wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who is feeling football's toll on his body and mind at the age of 36. He played baseball at Thornton High School, and well enough to be selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 1997 draft. Now he wonders if he picked the wrong sport:
Randle El didn’t hesitate when asked if he regrets playing football.
"If I could go back, I wouldn’t," he said. "I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball."
That's Grant Brisbee talking, although that statement hinges on Justin Upton opting out after two years, which would spare the Tigers one of their many nine-figure obligations.
Speaking of Fagerstrom, he looks at the Tigers' extremely heavy right-handed lineup and doesn't see that being the Achilles heel.
Of course, an N of 1 proves nothing on its own, although team-wide platoon advantage has actually shown almost no correlation with winning. It’s an enjoyable comp, more than anything else, revealing a similarly constructed team that was largely successful doing what the Tigers will be doing. More recently, there’s the case of last year’s Diamondbacks, the most right-handed lineup in baseball after Detroit. They were also above-average against right-handed pitching, and scored the most runs in the National League by a team that doesn’t play 81 games in Coors Field. The next-most right-handed lineup was Toronto, and they were the best offense against righties in baseball. Granted, Toronto’s lineup was simply better than Detroit’s looks to be, even now, but that’s kind of the point — as long as the hitters are good enough and don’t possess drastic platoon splits, the handedness shouldn’t much be a problem.