YOU ASKED

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

Welcome to another edition of You Asked …

While we wait for baseball to resume, do you have questions and/or topics you’d like to see addressed? Submit them in the comments section and receive credit when Totally Tigers selects your entry. We’ll address your questions every Thursday.

Today, we have chosen questions from Robert Richardson and Sprocket.

Thanks for participating everyone!


Robert Richardson:

I’d like to have you discuss how the indefinitely delayed 2020 season will cause more young players to go to or stay in college rather than sign a MLB contract, and how shortening the number of draft rounds this year and next could impact our minor league teams.

HOLLY

There’s definitely going to be fallout, much of which won’t be recognized until next year’s draft. But already, I’m reading of young players who don’t believe they will be selected in the new 5-round draft pulling out of the draft entirely. If they don’t go in 5 rounds, they will be determined to be free agents and could sign with any team for a universal $20K.

In the past, they used those nice signing bonuses to support themselves in the minors but $20K won’t get you far at all now which we may now assume is going to be a financial factor in deciding how to approach baseball as a career….

This draft bears no resemblance to those in the past where players connected and signed with teams for figures in the 6- and 7 figures. There is a lot of uncertainty and understandably, some are hedging their bets and staying in college. I would expect a good number of them to decide to finish their degrees and graduate.
However, they are also pinched on the college side with many places of education eliminating baseball from their sports because of the pandemic (primarily). College teams only have so many slots and so many scholarships to pass around. Now, the competition will get even more extreme.

There’s going to be a log jam in college with some players deciding to stay on and the younger ones fighting for a position on the team. As well, it is believed that an almost double number of potential prospects will want to participate in next year’s draft which is going to make the process that much more challenging.

Many of these prospects, especially the seniors, will be a year older and that is believed to be a mark against them when it’s time to be drafted. Teams will want to go with the younger player in many cases.

Compound that issue with multiple reports stating that owners will never return to the 40-round draft. Going forward, they will only approve a maximum of 10 rounds.

And if you look at the sheer number of teams who are dismissing their minor leaguers or refusing to pay them, you wouldn’t be wrong if you thought MLB was waging war on the minor leagues. Don’t forget about the proposal to cut 42 minor league teams.

MLB owners are in the process of taking over (literally) MiLB (a topic of discussion for another day so let’s hold our thoughts for that right now) and all of these moves support that. Essentially, they are prepping this career stepping stone to be much smaller and more efficient (the cha-ching! kind) and that means fewer players.

It also means fewer prospects, less scouting and fewer MiLB farm teams, to name a few. And it means that teams will have to make fewer mistakes in their selections because they aren’t going to have the depth in their system if a top draft talent goes down.

What it also means is that lots of young dreams are going to be dashed because of fewer opportunities to play and get noticed as well as the difficulties in getting paid to support a dream.

Playing baseball with the hopes of getting to the MLB level has always been tough. But now it’s going to be even harder. I can’t help but think of all the talent that will go unnoticed because of the new restrictions. And I can’t help to think about all those players – many Hall of Famers who wouldn’t have made it to the majors in this new decade.   

See partial list:

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/major-problems-for-the-minor-leagues/

It’s strange times we live in….


Sprocket:

Read at Foxnews.com that Armando Galarraga just did an interview with the “Athletic” magazine about the possibility of MLB going back and awarding him with a “perfect game” in retrospect. They interviewed the ump and he said he thought they should. Armando also said he thought they would someday anyways and wanted to be alive when it happened. Might be a good debate topic for an upcoming TT issue.

KURT

It’s pretty surprising that we are sitting here 10 years later after Jim Joyce stole Armando Galarraga’s perfect game and MLB hasn’t made a move to overturn the call.

Instant replay would have saved both Jim and Armando. But for those who wish we never had instant replay and who have always preferred the human element and the human error part of the game, well, on June 2nd 2010, how did you like them apples?

There is your human element and human error, screwing up the record books. And ever since, MLB has been doing what? Have they been protecting the sanctity of the game? Or are they afraid that once they grant this and overturn the call, then every team who ever had a close call, messing up whatever, will come out of the woodwork?

I’m not sure who would feel better about MLB jumping in and making what is so wrong, so right. Jim Joyce would have a decade-long albatross removed from his back. And Armando Galarraga? Well, he would have his perfect game officially recognized.

I don’t think there was really much to debate here. But it will always be a story for the record books. And maybe fans remember that pitcher who had a perfect game taken away from him  versus ‘just’ being the guy who pitched the perfect game.

Galarraga’s gem may actually separate itself from the ‘other’ perfect games because of its unfortunate circumstance. And 10 years later, especially here in Detroit, we still can’t believe Joyce blew the call. And more than likely, he still can’t believe that the game of baseball hasn’t given Galarraga’s his rightful place in the record books.

The only debate is, who wants it more?


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18 thoughts on “YOU ASKED

  1. Galarraga has received more notoriety (and a sweet Corvette) for the way the game turned out than he would have if Joyce got the call correct. This game will never be forgotten. He’s better off this way than being another journeyman that caught lightning in a bottle like Phillip Humber, Dallas Braden, or Len Barker.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Absolutely, and well put. Galarraga is uniquely remembered for this extraordinary moment and Jim Joyce is remembered as a human being. (and Galarrage still got the Corvette, right?)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Large Lenny Barker! Wow–hadn’t thought about him for a while. Maybe his greatest claim to fame was being part of a remarkably bad trade even for the Ted Turner Braves, when they acquired him in exchange for cash and three players, two of whom were future All Stars– Brook Jacoby and Brett Butler.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Armando Galarraga’s feat should be in the Hall of Fame. What other pitcher has ever recorded 28 outs in 9 innings? There should be a display showing a video of the final play/ missed call with print and audio comments by Galarraga and Joyce talking about the event. It absolutely is historic

    Liked by 6 people

    • DavidGreen: I support everything you said about the display in the HOF, but feel it should be there in support of the reversal of the call and the awarding of the perfect game. Both I and my wife saw the runner was “out” with the naked eye in real time. Being it was at the end of the game and all the other “what if’s” common to these types of games had already happened, it’s time for MLB to do the right thing.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Injustice can only be corrected with justice. A corvette is not justice. Notoriety is not justice. I could go on and on. Millions saw him throw a perfect game. Can’t imagine the same call being made under the same circumstances if Pedro Martinez or Verlander pitched that game. We shouldn’t know anything about Jim Joyce except he was there when Armando threw a perfect game.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. To Holly, ever think of the socio-economic factor in the decision over the 5 rounds? Undrafted players that do not come from means will be less likely to go through the starvation process required of them in MiLB. Also think of the whip owners will hold over those players. Players who will now do much more than anyone should to get a crack at the Show. Health and well-being be damned.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Frank – Yes, I did make mention of the socio-economic factors, specifically, the $20K now universally imposed which will make it even more difficult for those who don’t have the means to financially exist while they work their way up. I’ve written a lot about the financial burdens these players face – in the past and going forward. Thanks for continuing the dialog! – Holly

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I fear the old saying “baseball is as American as apple pie” is being kicked to the side. There is a massive talent pool outside our borders who have known abject poverty and who happen to be able to play baseball really well. The re-alignment to end all re-alignments may be at hand. Rags to riches is a great story and it is a good thing regardless of who it happens to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The last two pickup baseball games–no uniforms, guys who just seemed to know each other–that I can remember seeing (real baseball, not softball) were in Inwood, a neighborhood at the very northern tip of Manhattan with a significant Dominican population, and in Ueno Park in Tokyo. Not a word of English was spoken in either case.

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  5. From the minute Joyce blew the call,I hoped for a reversal to right the call. Ten years later,I still hope right wins. These outside rewards for a almost perfect game doesnt matter. A perfect game is historic and Galarraga pitched one. Reverse the error!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The path to MLB via college ball is certainly narrowing. But as Sprocket points out, there’s a growing pool of non-college talent offshore. And while leagues overseas are bound to attract some of this year’s undrafted college talent, the sport has been in decline on campus for years with many dropping it even before the pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. College baseball might become a more major sport almost like football and basketball as the best players will have nowhere else to go and the quality of play substantially improves. Similarly, professional baseball in places like Korea, Japan, and Australia will get an influx of elite or near-elite players. There is no intrinsic natural law guaranteeing that we will always have the highest quality baseball either.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Are we seeing something similar to manufacturing in the 80’s and 90’s going on here. Fewer draft picks and MiLB teams. Undrafted players from oversees willing to accept $20,000 contracts while North American kids opt for college. Is this the beginning of a shift that will kill MLB in the USA, only to have it resurface in Central America or in Asia? Will another country replace the manufacturing of MLB quality players or even MLB itself?

    Liked by 4 people

  9. So Kurt, when do they go back and change the Jeter non-HR called by that great umpire R Garcia? That was even more obvious than the Gallaraga call. Based on the rules in play at the time of the call, the runner was called safe, therefore he WAS safe and any further discussion does nothing and proves nothing. Name any other call that was changed “after-the-fact”, just one.

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    • I believe the reason the Gallaraga call can be changed now is that it doesn’t affect any aspect of the game. The bad call was made at the end of the game and the next batter was retired. Nobody cares if the hitters batting avg or the fielders numbers are changed either.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. In 1991 if memory serves me correct the asterisk was removed from Roger Maris’ record then certainly I think Galarraga’s perfect game can be officially restored. Case closed

    Liked by 1 person

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