Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday Evening Hot Links

Feel free to skip past this next section, if you so wish:

I mentioned this on Twitter a couple of times in the last few weeks, but I've been struggling. Officially it's Depression and Social Anxiety. Not terribly surprising, actually. I've probably had it longer than I realized, but all the distractions sort of pushed it under the surface. Could explain why I'd get super-pissed if the Astros lost a game that I, a Knower of the Game, felt they shouldn't have lost. I am not on medication as of yet. I've tried a couple of other things just to see how it goes: I've been a vegetarian for almost five weeks, trying to eat one vegan meal a day. I quit drinking. I run a lot more. I set a goal with my dude Tyler to run the Houston Marathon, should it actually take place. If it doesn't, I'll run around for 26 miles on a Sunday morning in January here. Anyhow, I haven't been on Twitter as much lately (not so much, since the Cheatin'-Ass Yankees news broke last Saturday) but I've had to take a step back. Also, 30 billionaires holding the game of baseball hostage aided by the commissioner hasn't been a ton of fun. And honestly, what with everything happening in the USA (and I don't mean that as a catch-all, literally everything is happening) it didn't feel right to devote too much time to this blog. That said, I found that I need this blog. It gives me something on which to focus, even when it's not the original intended subject of the blog. The hiatus is over, for now.

Astros News

*An Astros player working out in West Palm Beach tested positive for COVID-19. Allegedly it was only the one positive test out of the 50-ish people who were there, exhibiting minor symptoms.

*Dusty Baker (as well as other leading African-Americans) spoke to USA Today about the meaning of Juneteenth.

*The Astros have agreed to terms with 2nd Round pick Alex Santos ($1.25m, well over the slot value of $870,700) and 5th Round pick Shay Whitcomb ($56,000, well under the slot value of $324,100). They had already signed their 3rd Round pick Ty Brown and 4th Round pick Zach Daniels.

While Whitcomb was the last official pick of this incredibly stupid draft, he's hardly Mr. Irrelevant. Whitcomb:
My wanting to get with (the Astros) was definitely high on the list. That was one of the teams we were targeting more, and I'm really happy it worked out.

Houston's bonus allotment (another owner ploy to keep costs down) was $2,202,600 and they spent $2,283,000 will pay a 75% tax on the overage of $80,400, or $60,300.

*The Astros also agreed to terms with a few undrafted free agents, notably Carlos Correa's brother JC. 'Litos, on his brother:
I'm very proud of his accomplishments. Now is when the real work starts. I know that with his work ethic and his talent, he will become a big leaguer someday.

Houston also signed: OF Justin Dirden, RHP Cesar Gomez, RHP Kyle Gruller, RHP Zack Matthews, and 1B/LF Peter Zimmermann

*The Athletic took a look at all 30 MLB owners, and the valuations of each team. Notably for the Astros, Jim Crane took his $680m investment and has already almost tripled it, with the team's estimated value at $1.85 billion.

*Alex Cora talked to the Boston Globe and expanded on last week's interview (which I completely missed) with ESPN's Marly Rivera.

Cora, to Rivera:
There has been a narrative out there of what happened. Ever since mid-November until the commissioner announced the results of the Red Sox investigation, I have read many things that are true and others that are not. Out of this whole process, if there is one thing that I completely reject and disagree with is people within the Astros organization singling me out, particularly Jeff Luhnow, as if I were the sole mastermind...If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show. We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible.

Now, Cora told the Boston Globe:
The reason I talked about the Houston thing the way that I did was because I know too many things about that investigation. For some reason, the information was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. I read that [Beltran] was a bully. The timing is right for me now to talk about that. I think I did a favor to the commissioner, telling him, 'We f***ed up.' I told Rob, 'You held me hostage for seven months. I stayed quiet. Now this is what I'm going to say.' I said what I said about the Houston thing because of what Jeff did. Everything I said, I meant. The whole thing that really bothered me was Jeff just saying 'the bench coach.' He should have just said 'Alex Cora.' That's why I said what I said.

I updated the How We Got Here page...

*ESPN's David Schoenfield: How current players and their MLB Dads of the 90s stack up.

Other Stuff

*Tony Kemp stays a good guy.

*MLB and ownership rejected the MLBPA's offer of a 70-game season and will not make a counter-offer. Apparently there is such a thing as Too Much Baseball, especially if you, you know, own a team. The owners are duplicitous cowards and we need a Guillotine Day.

*SI: Love, Loss, and Baseball: Letters From 1918.

That head is a bird head.

Non-Sports Things I've Read

*Drew Magary: The Gentlemanly Hater's Guide to Gone With The Wind.

*Men's Journal: The Great Whiskey Heist

*Mental Floss: 15 albums that cost a fortune to make.

*Outside: The business of building utopia.