As it did a year ago, it seems quiet on the minor-league front, like January before the prospect books arrive. The two major Top 10 lists — Baseball America and John Sickels — haven’t been published yet and most of the online stories center on the exploits of the AFL contingent.
Yesterday, the first salvo in the PR war for the new CBA was fired, with MLB threatening a lockout if a deal’s not agreed to by next Thursday. Who shot first is telling because ownership knows it has a built-in advantage — casual/uninformed fans will favor them over the players because the former is jealous of the latter — but I sincerely doubt we’ll see an international draft rather than some changes in the new rules regarding IFAs.
This may explain some of the quiet, of course, so I’ll let this lie here — especially since some of the national writers who actually understand law and labor negotiations haven’t weighted in yet.
Back to the original purpose of the post...
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I’m nine days removed from stomach surgery. I’ll be stuffing nothing, just eating sides and in small portions. But we’ll be celebrating my oldest son’s 17th birthday, and not out on the roads in any way, shape, or form.
This is by no means the worst Thanksgiving I will have ever had because I’ll be home and with family; 20 years ago, as I was finishing up my master’s degree in Oregon, I was neither.
So with that, I’ll dispense with the usual Thanksgiving instructions:
• Stay safe
• Show some plate discipline
• Call your mother
It’s hard to tell whether this is a slow offseason so far or if my offline life has pushed this little hobby of mine to the backburner, as the expression goes. Probably both.
The chatter in the comments is centered on the big club, and while sometimes that bothers me, if there were an alternative topic to discuss… I would chime in to direct traffic, but there isn’t. My default position is that we’re more likely to see prospects be dealt away to shore up big club, so the conversation isn’t really all that far off.
Besides, the prospect writers haven’t written much about the Nats thus far, which isn’t really all that unusual since the cheerleaders at Baseball America are focused on producing the 2016 Handbook when they’re not straining for a new angle to produce pageviews (Yes, I’m aware of the irony/hypocrisy of both mocking them and helping them).
Shifting gears to the headline…
Today is Thanksgiving and it’s the first one in a few years that I’ll be home all day, and you’d better believe I am thankful for that. It’s just the Mrs. and I along with the four kids — two with two legs, two with four legs — and we’re staying put in our little enclave in Western Fairfax County.
As I’ve done for the past six Novembers, I’d like to express my gratitude for this community of fans who come here on a regular basis — even as the site has changed over the past 14 months. It’ll never be what it once was (and for that I’m thankful, too; it’s nice to be doing what I used to do before the site came along) but I appreciate the chance to pass along news and information the way that I want to.
And now for the annual reminders…
- Travel safe
- Show some plate discipline
- Call your mother
OK, so I’m a day early… but in this new world order, I post what I can when I can.
Folks in Hagerstown are rejoicing — as predicted here previously — that the deal for the Suns to move to Fredericksburg has fallen through. It’s not too hard to figure out why. Most likely: The deal was for the Suns to get a new facility, and then the sale of the team would be consummated.
Of course, the Suns ownership now faces a tall task of trying to win over the fans who have been staying away in droves despite fielding playoff-caliber teams (and providing more evidence that winning and attendance in the minors aren’t connected, which probably still won’t kill a
lazy popular narrative). Early indications are that they’ll be playing up their 35-year history, but the site’s opinion remains that it will probably require, at a minimum, a change of ownership and probably a reversal of the stance that Municipal Stadium cannot be upgraded.
Switching to the original purpose of this post, I’d like to express the thanks to people for bearing with me while the site has transitioned from a (near) daily to a (mostly) weekly. I still hope to do some of the things I’ve done in past offseasons, but it’ll have to be shorter and some things will have to be skipped. My offline life is still very busy and chaotic but there’s some hope to get both some sanity and normality on certain fronts.
As always, stay safe, show some plate discipline, and call your mother!
Apologies for the lack of posts lately, but that’s the nature of the offseason in the minors… sometimes there’s something to write about every day, and sometimes it’s like trying to find intelligent conversation on sports talk radio. (And as we saw this week with the Let’s Put A Roof On Nationals Park “story,” this kind of dead zone can be found in the majors, too).
My offline life has also been ultrabusy lately, though I’m expecting a bit of a lull for which I’ve been waiting to attack the next few projects… the 2014 Watchlist… the obligatory Top 10 lists… thoughts on the Top 10/20/25-or-6-to-4 lists of other prospect followers… and cover the Rule 5 draft (which is also a week later than last year).
Despite how much harder it’s been than in years past (see “ultrabusy” above), I still appreciate the opportunity to pass along information and commentary with the kind flair (perhaps not 37 pieces, but I digress) that I wouldn’t be allowed to do elsewhere (i.e. a mainstream newspaper or website). I’m thankful that people somehow like (or tolerate, if you ask my wife) this and appreciate the folks who visit, read, and comment.
As always, travel safe, show some plate discipline, and call your mother!