By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Now that the Hot Stove League is heating up, there is plenty to contemplate about the home team and where they are headed.

Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.



Finally, some semblance of order has been brought to baseball regarding the All-Star game result determining home field advantage in the World Series. Imagine a world where the team with the best record in the game is rewarded with home field advantage in the World Series – wow, how brilliant! No one will be able to convince me that the All-Star Game ever needed to mean something; it only needed to entertain.


I was happy to hear this week that the Tigers, even though they are looking to peddle stars that we love, aren’t looking to give them away. It’s quite the contrary as their asking prices are very high. Maybe most of their moves will end up happening at the trade deadline when teams are more eager to make deals involving their top talent; by then the Tigers  may discover that they are contending and 2017 won’t be the waste we envisioned.


Many are trying to tie Justin Verlander and Kate Upton’s purchase of a new home in Beverly Hills, California to the potential that he could be dealt to the Dodgers. Sorry, this looks like nothing more than satisfying the needs of the future Mrs. Verlander whose acting career would take her out west more often than not. Besides, unless the Dodgers have some kind of magic bag that allows them continued free reign to keep dropping $28M contracts on players, you can pretty much dispel the rumor that he will land in LA, if he leaves at all.



Just how many viable trade partners will the Tigers have if they are looking to unload the mega-million contracts of JV, Miggy and Upton? The Dodgers, once rumored to be interested in JV, are now under MLB-mandated orders to reduce payroll by $100 million by the end of next year. It will be interesting to see if Al Avila wants to do business with his former GM, Dave Dombrowski, or if Dave sees a value in obtaining the players and contracts to which he was the creator.


With the news that the Mets were interested in signing JD Martinez and balked at the Tigers’ asking price of a promising rookie, it really comes as no surprise given that they traded Michael Fulmer to Detroit last year. The blowback they got for that move had to be pretty significant. And given the news that the Tigers were asking a lot for their players, it may make sense to keep some or all of them until the trade deadline when teams are more desperate and willing to part with some better players.


I listened to an in-depth assessment of how the Chicago Cubs built their WS team over a period of 3 years. It was mentioned that they created a precise vision for each of the next 3 years, down to the smallest details, as soon as Theo Epstein came on board. Most interesting to note is that management emphasized that the people who didn’t play on the field were just as important as the athletes – making over their entire Front Office and ensuring that everyone brought on board aligned with the new philosophy.


  1. Not a fan of going with the best record team awarded home field advantage for the WS. The lopsided schedule favors a good team in a weak division. Division teams play each other at a disproportional # compared to other league teams. This means a great team in a competitive division, will not achieve a record resulting in a series home field advantage, while a weaker team in a weak division might.


    • Walter, an old boss used to tell me “Don’t bring me a problem without a proposed solution”. What do you propose? I could live with alternating years, or even a coin flip. Maybe the best-record thing isn’t the best solution, but is far better than what it just replaced.


  2. Comment: under the new labor deal all teams will now be required to hire a “bilingual media relations professional.” On one hand I understand this because of the number of Asians and Latinos in the game. On the other, if foreign-born players come here and want to make millions, they really should make every effort to learn English – our official language.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, English is not the official language; there is no such thing as an “official language” of the US. Second, I have spent a fair amount of times in foreign countries. I do my best to learn the language, but I invariably find life far more difficult in translation.


      • Ok. It’s the “primary language” in which the vast majority of Americans speak. Just the same though, if Asians and Latinos want to play ball here and make millions, they should make an attempt to learn our language. If I went overseas to play I would be expected to at least make an attempt to acclimate and learn a little of their language


  3. Probably throughout most of baseball history, one of the leagues has been significantly stronger. For this reason, I think giving WS home field advantage to the team with the best record will often reward the team from the weaker league. The old pattern of simply alternating the advantage each year would be my preference.

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