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Thread: The Major League Baseball thread

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    The headlines from Boston news outlets:

    MassLive: Mookie Betts trade: Boston Red Sox will forever regret not keeping superstar in his prime

    Boston Globe: Trading Mookie Betts means the Red Sox have given up on 2020 season

    Boston Globe: Not keeping Mookie Betts has to be considered an organizational failure

    Boston Herald: Trading Mookie Betts sends Red Sox back to zero

    Boston.com: Trading Mookie Betts marks one of the worst days in recent Red Sox history

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    Even a women's college hockey team is taking shots at the Sox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonGeminiX View Post
    I'll take your word for it. I really don't know a whole lot about the baseball culture in Boston.
    From an article in the Boston Globe about 6 weeks ago:

    Fenway Sports Group ranks third among richest sports conglomerates

    From a $700 million purchase of the local baseball team 18 years ago, the ownership group of the Red Sox has mushroomed into a sports business worth $6.6 billion, according to a list compiled by Forbes.

    Fenway Sports Group’s holdings place them third — globally — on the list of sports conglomerates, behind only Kroenke Sports ($8.4 billion) and Jerry Jones ($6.9 billion).

    The bulk of FSG’s holdings center around the Red Sox, estimated by Forbes to be worth some $3.2 billion, and the Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club, which FSG purchased in 2010 for $487 million and is now estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.2 billion.

    The other FSG properties that have contributed to the 843 percent increase in value include NESN, Roush Racing (NASCAR), and Fenway Sports Management.

    John Henry, principal owner of FSG, also owns the Boston Globe.

    Fenway Sports Group placed one ranking ahead of the Yankees’ group, Yankee Global Enterprises, which is tabbed at $6.1 billion.

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    What baseball experts are saying about the Mookie Betts trade

    Joon Lee, ESPN: “John Henry signed off on Dave Dombrowski’s contracts for Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, putting the team into its luxury tax situation, and then fired Dombrowski less than a year later. Reality: Boston put itself in a position where they felt like they had to trade Mookie Betts.”

    Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic: “The Sox, even if they felt compelled to make this move rather than lose Betts for only a draft pick at the end of the season, are just going to have to wear it.

    “But here’s the thing about this unfortunate separation: Betts is going to have to wear it, too. The pressure of playing with a new team as he approaches free agency. The expectations of Dodgers fans who will expect him to be the missing piece for a team trying to win its first World Series since 1988. The nonstop chatter about his next contract that will only intensify now that his motives are clear.”

    Michael Baumann, The Ringer: “This trade is a disgrace for the Red Sox and for the league. I don’t understand why the owner of such a prestigious ball club—a de facto public institution—would charge his baseball operations department with ridding the team of a once-in-a-generation player when he could keep that player and continue to rake in unspendable profits. It’s such a mind-bogglingly greedy and self-defeating move that I resent being made to try to understand it.

    “It’s been 100 seasons since the Red Sox sold their best player in such a transparent cash grab. If there’s any justice, they’ll have another 86 years to regret it.”

    Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe: “The Red Sox just traded one of the best players in franchise history because they were unwilling to pay the hefty price for his future services….They did not think he was worthy of being the second-highest-paid player in baseball (Mike Trout will rightfully remain No. 1). They elected not to compete financially for their best player. It’s a dubious narrative when you play to a full house every night, charge the highest ticket prices in baseball, and bombard fans with promotions and sales pitches.

    So you have a team with not enough pitching, no manager, a depleted farm system, and potential sanctions coming when Major League Baseball rules of cheating allegations from the 2018 season.”

    Mike Axisa, CBS Sports: “Gotta feel for Red Sox, who had no choice but to trade their franchise player one year before free agency because they probably wouldn’t be able to keep him long-term.”

    Steve Buckley, The Athletic: “I am here to state, in no uncertain terms, that the Red Sox will one day be haunted by this trade — even if it’s later disclosed that Betts planned all along to play it out in Boston, file for free agency and then move on.

    “There’s a short-term reason and a long-term reason it’s truly bad news the Red Sox traded Betts. The short-term reason is easily explained: With Betts in the lineup and Chris Sale and Price back to full health, the 2020 Red Sox could have been pretty good. The Yankees do look stacked, but this is baseball. Things happen.”

    Jon Heyman, MLB Networks: “Dodgers will try to keep Mookie Betts longterm. Talks may not start immediately but they hope this isn’t a one-year thing. They love Mookie, who was unable to come to a multiyear agreement with Boston despite its many tries.”

    Chad Finn, Boston.com “At least they found him a good home. The Dodgers won 106 games last year, have a loaded roster, a deep farm system, no foolish Eovaldian financial commitments, the great Dave Roberts as their manager, and the deep desire to end a 32-year title drought.

    “And now they have Mookie, the most complete player developed since . . . well, you know. It’s been awhile. What a lousy day to root for the Red Sox. Around here, we used to chant to beat LA. After Tuesday’s news that Betts is headed west, it’s a whole lot more appealing to want to be LA.”

    Gabe Lacques, USA Today: “These are the Boston Red Sox. That “getting something for Betts” and “bundling him with a toxic asset” like David Price — another 2018 hero turned fungible commodity — took on far more urgency than actually retaining the superstar is depressing. The franchise is more than capable of delivering what Betts will command — somewhere between Bryce Harper’s $330 million and Trout’s $426 million.

    “All we know is it’s over in Boston, where Betts and the Red Sox amplifies the game’s significant beauty.”

    Eric Stephen, SB Nation: “Boston, according to this defense, simply had to trade Betts in order to get something for him. Can’t let him walk away for nothing, after all. But the argument here ignores just what the Red Sox gave up. For one, if Betts walked away as a free agent, the Red Sox would have received a first-round draft pick as compensation. The other, more compelling factor is a very good Red Sox team’s best chance to compete in 2020 is to have one of the very best players in the game on their roster. That’s not nothing.

    “The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth for cash to the Yankees 100 years ago, and it’s not hyperbole to put Betts in the same category.”

    Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated: “It’s bad enough when a club that just lost 100 games tries to start over. This is a championship-level collection of players that is being dismantled because its absurdly wealthy owner doesn’t feel like paying it.

    “When the Red Sox traded Betts, they said two things to their fans: Maybe next year. And: Screw you.”

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    Stupid Report: MLB 'Seriously' Considering Expanded Playoff Field Starting in 2022

    SCOTT POLACEK - Bleacher Report




    Major League Baseball's playoff field may be expanding as soon as 2022.

    According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the league is "seriously weighing" increasing the number of teams from each league that reaches the postseason from five to seven starting with the 2022 campaign.

    In such a system, the team with the best record in the National and American League would receive a bye in the Wild Card Round. That would leave two other division winners and four wild-card teams in each league, and the two division winners and wild-card team with the best record would host every game of a best-of-three series.

    Whichever division winner with the best record of the two that have to play in the Wild Card Round would get to pick its opponent from the three lower wild-card teams. The other division winner would get second pick, and the remaining two wild cards would face each other.

    In addition to giving more teams the chance to win a championship, this would lead to plenty of bulletin-board material heading into the postseason.

    Sherman noted there would be a televised show on the final night of the regular season that would broadcast the selection process for the Wild Card Round. It isn't difficult to envision a scenario in which a team would feel slighted that a division winner chose to play it as an easier opponent and use that as additional motivation heading into the series.

    There cannot be any playoff changes without bargaining with the Players Association, but Sherman pointed to factors both sides can support, including potential increases in attendance with more important games late in the season as division winners fight for byes, less incentive to tank because of more playoff openings and a willingness to spend more because of those openings.

    More playoff games and higher stakes in late-season games can also be used as a bargaining chip from the league's perspective when it comes to new television deals.

    MLB's deals with Turner and ESPN expire after the 2021 campaign, as does the current collective bargaining agreement.

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    The over/under for total wins for the Orioles this year is 56-1/2

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    Spring training has started.


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