by Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk
When I was a teenager working at the radio station, I made $3.35 an hour. That was a the minimum wage back then, and my employer was smart enough to realize that lots of kids would love my job, so there was no incentive to pay me any more than the minimum wage.
But then, one day, in early 1991, my boss came into the control room with a big smile on his face and said “Craig, I’m giving you a raise.” I was ecstatic. It was almost a whole dollar an hour more! I’d be making $4.25! When I got home after my shift and told my dad about it, he got a look on his face that was kind of like this, and said that they had to give me that raise because the minimum wage was going up to $4.25. I suddenly felt less special.
I’m guessing that many of the Miami Marlins who are not yet arbitration-eligible feel the same way right about now. Why? Ask Rosenthal and Morosi:
The minimum salary in the new collective-bargaining agreement increased from $414,000 to $480,000, giving even the lowest-paid players a handsome wage. Baseball’s economic system, however, allows clubs to otherwise determine the salaries of players in the 0-to-3-year service class almost unilaterally. The Miami Marlins, a team that spent lavishly on free agents this past offseason, are taking a particularly firm stand with those players, according to major-league sources.
The Marlins intend to automatically “renew” the contracts of virtually all their 0-to-3s at the new minimum, a move that might prompt the players’ union to file a grievance, contending that the team did not operate in good faith, sources say.
Typically, teams give moderate raises to those 0-3 players, putting them over the minimum salary. Do they have to? No. But so much in baseball is about respecting service time and seniority. Where your locker is. When you take your cuts in the cage. Where you sit on the plane or the bus. There’s an implicit understanding in baseball that, if you’re not a rookie, you get slightly better treatment than the rookies do.
That should, and typically does, extend to salaries too. A few thousand here or there is nothing to the Marlins. Giving their pre-arb players “raises” that only keep up with the minimum wage is treating them like they’re nothing as well. It’s bad form and I hope those cheapskates either change their mind about it or get all kinds of hell thrown at them by the union and the league.
UPDATE: Rosenthal has updated his story with a quote from former Marlin Cody Ross. He notes that this cheapskatery has a negative impact on the Marlins:
“That’s one of the main reasons I went to a hearing against them in my second year of arb,” said Boston Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross, who beat the Marlins in arbitration in 2010, receiving $4.45 million after the team offered $4.2 million.
“I never forgot about them not giving me a raise ever as a 0-to-3 player. I didn’t think it was fair for me to make the same as a guy who comes up from minor league camp and makes the team.”
So, sure, if you want to litigate arbitration cases because your players hate you, by all means Mr. Loria, continue this practice.
Source: Hardball Talk
by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff
The New York Times’s Tyler Kepner doesn’t hold back much in questioning Many Ramirez’s return to the majors, but it’s a quote from former Red Sox manager Terry Francona that is the most explosive portion of the piece.
Ramirez, who will be 40 by the time he can play again, is a ghostly reminder of a tainted era with a long history of roguish behavior. Terry Francona, his nice-guy manager in Boston, once said this to Peter Gammons, “Manny Ramirez is the worst human being I’ve ever met.” That might say it all.
It is indeed a loaded statement, one somewhat balanced by more genial comments made by Rays Joe Maddon and Evan Longoria, both of whom knew Ramirez for a whole two months. Francona, of course, toiled with the hopeful Oakland Athletic for four-plus years. According to Gammons’s MLB.com column from last November, Francona made the comment in 2008, not long before Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers in a deadline deal.
Ramirez, of course, still needs to serve a reduced suspension of 50 games before he can play in the majors again, but he also has to make the club.
If you are one who regularly visits ESPNNewYork.com you are probably familiar with the work of Wallace Matthews.
Just in case you haven’t been unfortunate enough to run across the drivel he passes off as objective journalism here is a great link to a piece appropriately titled “Wallace Matthews Will Not Rest Until All Yankee Fans are Miserable“.
The guy is a tool. He was pretty much tossed out on his ass from Newsday and only got a job at ESPNNewYork because he tries to push every emotional button on Yankees fans.
He is a so-called “Yankees beat writer” yet every Yankees fan who knows of him would tell you he is an unofficial employee of the Boston Red Sox (which technically since he work for NESN West, i.e. ESPN he kind of is lol.)
But anyways. I digress.
Yesterday I stumbled across this little tidbit from the fore-mentioned curmudgeon.
The man who succeeds Mariano Rivera is going to have a tougher job than Bobby Murcer trying to replace Mickey Mantle, Tino Martineztrying to replace Don Mattingly, or Joe Girardi trying to replace Joe Torre.
That’s because he won’t just be following a great, he will be following the greatest ever. Think Larry Holmes trying to follow Muhammad Ali.
By definition, it is impossible to replace the irreplaceable, and assuming Rivera is entering the final season of his unparalleled career as the Yankees’ closer, anyone who tries will be set up to fail. The position doesn’t call for a pitcher so much as a sacrificial lamb.
I completely agree with him.
Aw, man. Just saying that made me throw up in my mouth.
But I completely agree with him.
S***, I did it again.
Statistically it’s a no-brainer. DRob is the guy. The dude tossed 66 IP of ball with a microscopic ERA of 1.08, striking out 13.5 batters per 9 innings.
The big blemish on his record was a high walk rate, which created some “jams” he had to wiggle out of earning the nickname Houdini along the way. This could be problematic as a closer.
Without being too obvious, as closer there is nobody behind you to put out your fires. You are truly a man on an island, left to his own devices.
But we aren’t talking merely about statistics when we are talking about replacing Mo.
We are talking about replacing freakin’ Mo.
Bruce Sutter and Dennis Eckersly could have secretly spawned a cybernetically enhanced love child who was schooled in the ways of closing like he was a Jedi Knight and that could would have ZERO chance of replacing Mariano Rivera in the hearts of Yankees fans.
Whomever follows Mo is going to be dissected in ways no other human being, let alone professional baseball player, has ever been.
So why on Earth would you want to sacrifice your young, promising star of the future when you have a well-compensated former closer on your roster already?
You wouldn’t and you shouldn’t.
Sorry Mr. Soriano, you are the one drawing the short straw on this one. Best of luck!!