Yup. They had a big campaign a few years ago called “Let The Kids Play”. It focused on the young stars in the game, hoping that they’d have a chance for their personalities to show. They then allowed one of the major stories last year be “should Fernando Tatis Jr. apologize for hitting a homerun?”.
That sort of unwritten rule stuff and not letting players show too emotion has consistently killed them. I mean, I get that it can be frustrating and don’t blame them when their biggest star (and someone poised to be one of the best players of all time) just isn’t interested in marketing himself, but there are a ton of young stars who could be a great face of baseball for young fans if you just let them express themselves and not try to tear them down every 5 seconds.
You have a point about over-emphasizing Red Sox-Yankees, especially since Boston isn’t playing very good baseball these days. ESPN’s Sunday night schedule tends to favor “storied rivalries” in general, and it’s tough to think of one involving the Nationals other than when they play the Orioles, which doesn’t happen all that often on a Sunday night.
The Padres might actually save money on this deal. Or they could lose a ton. Who knows?
As a Padres fan since the 80s, I think I can add some useful thoughts to the Tatis deal.
As long as this deal is, it only takes him through his age 35 season. This isn’t like the deal the Angels gave to Pujols, where they expected all along to be on the hook for four or five crappy seasons by the end of the deal. Tatis, if all goes well (big if, of course) will still be looking for another multi-year deal after this.
Is there a real risk here? Yes. Could be an albatross, could be pennies on the dollar. However…
This deal means something different in San Diego than it would basically anywhere else. For the Yankees or the Dodgers he’s “just” a really great player. In San Diego he’s potentially an icon on par with Tony Gwynn and Junior Seau, but neither of those truly beloved superstars ever won a title, neither of those legends is still alive, and the Chargers aren’t even in San Diego anymore. Hell, they’re tearing down The Murph as we speak. It’s not my money, of course, but this deal makes sense for the potential it has to change the entire landscape of San Diego sports history. Just making the playoffs with some regularity would get the Pads on national tv, sell merch, and put butts in the seats. Actually winning a World Series would be worth millions. And the naming rights to Petco Park come up in a few years too. Tatis has the chance to be the face of all of that.
tl;dr - if this works (and that’s a big if) it has the chance to make the Padres A LOT of money
Hell Tatis is already the face of the MLB The Show 21 video game. He can easily be the most marketable star in the game.
Or it can drive someone to work even harder to justify such a contract. Is there any evidence (either way)?
Lots of big contracts haven’t worked out, but it’s usually been due to injury, decline, or other loss of ability. Offhand I can’t think of big long-term contracts where the decline was attributed to lack of motivation. At that level, most players are working due to pride and competitiveness rather than the $$$.
Or, in some cases, a guy gets a big contract thanks to a good year or two, which turns out to have been him playing over his head, and when he “regresses to the mean,” it winds up being a bad contract.
Jake Arrieta back to the Cubs on a one year deal
Great article yesterday about the asshole CEO for the Mariners. There will certainly be a strike coming and this is just fuel for the fire with the players getting to see what management really thinks about them.
He resigned this morning.
It’s terrible to think that there may be 29 other people just like this, but have been smart enough to not say the bad thing out loud. I honestly can’t imagine how dumb you have to be to say these things. The Mariners have one of the largest asian fanbases in MLB, in thanks in no small part to Ichiro, who was famous for using an interpreter even though his English was known to be impeccable. And he seems to be completely wrong regarding Julio Rodriguez’s english as well - all reports are that he busted his ass to learn very passable english the moment he signed a contract - and the kid is just 20 years old.
I’ll also point out that this asshole doesn’t need to be right about players who have poor english skills - I don’t fault any player coming here from another country to play a highly specialized sport at a high level for not having time to learn a second language.
MLB hired Ken Griffey Jr. a few weeks ago to spearhead diversity issues and youth leagues, to try to regrow the brand. The Kid has a lot of work ahead of him.
No kidding. I suck at English let alone when I’ve tried to learn other languages. Even with the deep immersion these guys are undergoing I can’t imagine how hard it would be to pick up a second language while also dealing with the actual job.
I’d like to think this thinking isn’t prevalent throughout MLB executives but I’m sure there is a percentage close to general society of 20-30%. Even aside from the racism issues the comments about their prospect being kept in the minors due to not signing a contract is just straight fuel for the strike.
The other thing that gets me is just how stupid it is to maintain that mindset. The counter-example to me is the Royals. I’m a fan, so I’m probably pretty biased, but it’s something that really stuck out to me the last year. When all the teams were cutting payrolls in the minors, saving money anywhere they could because COVID was eating their pocketbooks away, the Royals continued to pay every single minor league player in their system, and didn’t release anyone. GM Dayton Moore made a statement that the minor leagues is critical to the success of the sport. It apparently left a lasting impression on a lot of people, because after the shortened draft last year, the Royals were able to sign not only all their draft picks, but also 7 more who went undrafted.
I looked up what Seattle did last year - they cut 44 minor leaguers. If they all had been making AAA salaries, the Mariners would have managed to save less than $650,000. What a short-sighted, idiotic decision to make.
You simply have to believe that “everybody” thinks like you do. Certainly that all the Rotarians in teh audience do. Which a heck of a lot of managers at all levels of all businesses actually do do.
And how is it that those folks think? That labor is just an expense and that non-white people are more trouble than they’re worth. Easy peasy; “everybody” knows that. Or at least everyone I eat lunch with at the country club does.
That is what folks like that are thinking.