This post has been a bit overdue, but I think it’s important to mention it.
I will no longer be writing or updating this blog. I unfortunately do not have the time and desire to continue to run all things here and write. You can still find my writings over at Fake Teams and now also at MLB Daily Dish, but I will no longer be writing here. You can also find me on Twitter at @jasonsbaseball. Thanks to everyone who checked out the writing, and helped me to hone my writing style.
Some interesting stats:
- Over 47,000 page views
- Busiest Day was December 6, 2010 – 1,015 views
- 371 posts
One of my favorite topics, which I actually haven’t really discussed to this point, is the potential for either new expansion teams in the majors, or teams relocating to new markets. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I watched as the Giants nearly left for Tampa back in the early 1990s, and now as the Athletics appear poised to relocate either to San Jose, or possibly elsewhere even. As we have now seen the Expos move as well, it is clear that both are always a possibility. But what are the realistic chances for some of the markets out there?
Since division play started in 1969, MLB has expanded from 22 teams up to 30, adding teams in Milwaukee, Montreal/Washington, Toronto, Seattle, Phoenix, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Denver, and Miami. According to Wikipedia, cities which placed bids during the most recent expansion, but were not selected, were:
- Buffalo, NY
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Monterrey, Mexico
- Nashville, TN
- Northern Virginia
- Orlando, FL
- Vancouver, Canada
In my opinion, a city/metro area probably needs at least the following to have a reasonable chance of success in a market:
- Large population in the metro area – According to Wikipedia, MLB is in 25 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas in the US. In Canada, MLB is in 1 of the top 3 largest metropolitan areas (only 3 are larger than the #40 in the US). As a result, any team placed in a market is going to need to be a decent size to draw fans’ revenue. I am not going to look into any of the cities in Latin America at this time, simply because I do not have the knowledge to speak about their viability due to differences in culture, economy, and language, among other things. So who does this criteria leave us with as at least possibilities?
- Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, CA
- Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA
- Sacramento, CA
- Orlando, FL
- San Antonio, TX
- Las Vegas, NV
- San Jose, CA
- Columbus, OH
- Charlotte, NC
- Indianapolis, IN
- Austin, TX
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Providence, RI
- Nashville, TN
- Jacksonville, FL
- Montreal, Canada
- Vancouver, Canada
To this list, I am going to add a couple of markets that I think have at least a slight possibility of sustaining a MLB franchise:
- Memphis, TN
- New Orleans, LA
- New York City, NY
2. The next thing I would be looking for out of a market for a MLB franchise would be whether or not there has been a history of organized baseball. Here’s how the cities break down with regard to this:
- MLB: New York City
- AAA: Sacramento, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Columbus, OH; Nashville, TN; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Indianapolis, IN; Charlotte, NC; Providence, RI (Pawtucket); Virginia Beach, VA (Norfolk); Austin, TX (Round Rock);
- AA: San Antonio, TX; Jacksonville, FL
- High-A: Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, CA (Lake Elsinore/Inland Empire/Rancho Cucamonga); San Jose, CA
- Short Season: Vancouver, Canada
- Rookie League: Orlando, FL (GCL Braves in Kissimmee)
- MLB: Montreal, Canada
- AAA: Portland, OR
There are more criteria that should be addressed to be sure, but I’m going to open it up to discussion here. What do you think about this list of sites, and is there somewhere that should be included on this list that I haven’t mentioned? Do you think some of these should be eliminated immediately? Leave some comments with your thoughts on what else a market should have in order to support a Major League franchise.
The next prospect up to be reviewed is Michael Choice of the Oakland Athletics.
How Acquired: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics out of the University of Texas at Arlington in the 1st round (10th overall) of the 2010 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21
Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube
Hardball Times: #1 (OAK – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #7 (Outfielders– 2011), #52 (Overall – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #5 (Center Fielders – 12/2010)
Baseball America: #2 (Northwest League – 10/2010), #3 (OAK – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (OAK – 2011) B
Baseball Prospectus: 2011 Team Rankings Not Released Yet
Scouting Book: #28 (Outfielders – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #3 (OAK – 2011)
The top draft pick in the 2010 class for the Athletics, Choice had previously been placed at the same pick by Keith Law in his final mock prior to the draft. Coming out of college, Choice had posted solid numbers across all categories on offense. His junior season was his best as a hitter, hitting .383/.572/.704 with 16 homers, 59 runs batted in, 67 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases. He then had an impressive performance in the Northwest League last year after signing, hitting 7 homers in just 27 games and posting a .627 slugging percentage.
I think that until the end of the season, trade retrospectives will be moving to Saturdays, and potentially could be there permanently. Either way, for sure this week the post will not be up until sometime Saturday.
I don’t generally do a whole lot of research about the amateur draft, mostly because with the exception of the very top picks, there are rarely players who have an immediate impact at the Major League level. That said, it is nice to see what the experts are saying. The information is usually good to have for fantasy keeper leagues, and to find out what your own team is doing. So here’s some articles from some well-respected authors regarding their predictions for the draft.
The draft is next week, and for those not familiar, is for amateur players from the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. High school seniors, and generally 4-year college players who have played through their junior year are eligible to be drafted. There are some more rules that help to define it further, but that’s the basics of it. I do also know that Junior College players are eligible in some shape or form, as the widely viewed top pick this season will be Bryce Harper, a freshman from the College of Southern Nevada.
AOL Fanhouse writer Frankie Piliere was a scout for the Rangers prior to writing for AOL, and has his most recent version of the first round mocked here.
Keith Law is ESPN’s expert on all things draft and minor leagues (among others), and has his most recent version of the first round here (Insider required)
MLB.com has quite a bit of coverage, which you can find here. They also have breakdowns of draft prospects by position group, and also writer Jonathan Mayo wrote up his top 20 picks prediction last week.
Interestingly, my A’s have the 10th pick, and all 3 of these mock drafts have a different player going there. I will be interested to see where each of those 3 players end up, as the A’s are only going to get one at most.
I will leave you with one more, if you’re looking for a lot more information. Andy Seiler was recently brought to SBNation.com to provide blog coverage of the MLB Draft year round. As someone who was reading his blog from time to time prior to his moving, I have to say I’m extremely impressed with the coverage he provides. Extremely in-depth. You can find his writing here.
Well, the first set of All Star votes have been released, and I figured now was a good time to go over them and some of my thoughts on the whole process.
You can find the AL voting here, and the NL voting here, but here’s who they have listed as the starters as of Monday:
Well, as seems to be the standard, there are a lot of Yankees. What is interesting to see is how many Phillies there are as well. I’m not sure if they have been doing any specific campaigns in Philadelphia to push their guys for the All-Star game, but something seems to be causing all those votes. Realistically, the only players who stand out to me right now as not really playing well enough to earn this honor are Teixeira and Rollins. Teixeira is still hitting only .207/.324/.374, and appears to be off to his worst start ever.
The issue I have with the All-Star game is that you have two concerns here: The voting, which is a popularity contest essentially, and the fact that the game decides who gets home-field advantage in the World Series. First, the voting. It seems like recently that there have been players getting voted to start in the All-Star game that done very little in this season to earn this honor. As a result, there ends up being some player that is left off of the roster because a player was voted in that probably doesn’t belong. Generally it seems like these players end up getting taken care of due to either injuries or players opting out for any number of reasons. However, it seems to me that most years there is some player who is a gross oversight for the roster.
The second problem started when the 2002 All-Star Game ended in a tie. Ever since, it seems like MLB has been trying to find a way to make the game more compelling. As a result of this thinking, they now give home field advantage in the World Series to whichever league wins the game. To me, they are trying to make this game important to the rest of the season, which it really should not be. The game is not managed the same way, the players don’t play it the same way as a regular season game, and at this point it seems really unfair to ask a manager to manage it like it were a regular season game.
To me, the All Star game really should be about showcasing the top players of the game. It really should have a similar role to the way the NBA All-Star Game is, where the game is kind of this free-for-all where the players are having fun, and that while who wins the game is important, it’s not all that important. One of the things I enjoy the most is seeing all the pomp and circumstance related to the start of the game, watching the players get introduced to either the adoration or scorn of the local fans. It is an exhibition, and really should continue to be one. Hopefully at some point MLB will figure out that the team that plays the best during the regular season should get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But I will watch the game and enjoy it until they do all the same.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Carl Crawford, Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Ichiro, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Vladimir Guerrero
I’ve finished up all of my team previews for the American League, and here’s how I see it shaking out:
West: Seattle Mariners
Central: Minnesota Twins
East: New York Yankees
Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
Overall, I think that the AL East remains the toughest division in the sport, and I’m really wondering if something will need to be done eventually to help with the competitive balance of that division. It would be hard for me (if I were an Orioles or Blue Jays fan) to see the light at the end of the tunnel knowing that the Yankees and Red Sox are always going to be at or near the top of the division they are in. Of some other concern to me is the fact that the AL East appears to have a serious lock on the wild card spot as well. I’m not entirely sure what the answer to these problems would be though. It would be hard to see how the league could make the rules work such that would help to alleviate some of these problems without taking it out on the Yankees and Red Sox specifically.
I won’t be going into how I think the AL playoffs will play out until I finish all the reviews the first week of April.
Saturday – The second half of my starting pitcher fantasy rankings
Sunday – Reliever fantasy rankings
Next week: NL East Team Previews
Thanks to everyone who is reading and providing commentary!