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These baseball tonight the podcast. This is the baseball tonight podcast for Monday, February eighteen two thousand nineteen. I'm BUSTER only producer every day during the baseball season, Josh macaroni. Josh boy. Do we have some stuff to to work with? We are often running we certainly are bustard to longtime coming but the daily shows are backing a couldn't come at a better time. Because like you said we have a hell of a lot to talk about. And I'm looking forward to getting into it. Yeah. And today at JetBlue park, the Red Sox spring training home. We're doing a bunch of interviews. We got a lot of Red Sox on sportscenter today. And boy, do we have a lot of news going on today on the show. We'll hear from Mark to Shera with his read on the worsening labor situation. Tim Kirch in will join us and Phillies camp to talk about Bryce Harper. Manny Machado the Padres. We'll talk with Scott Lauber the Philadelphia Inquirer about the very latest on Bryce Harper. And we're the Philly stand exactly where they're offered. But first, let's get to some of the news of the day on sun. Sunday. Baseball Commissioner rob Manfred spoke of Porter's about his plans for pitch clock. Moving us. The pitch clock an opening day. It'll be kind of phasing to get everybody on Pires players used to it. But we're still hopeful that we're going to make an agreement with Tonia on pace of play initiatives. I just think that whether it's by agreement or otherwise, the only prudent course force at this point is to be in a position to proceed. If in fact, we have an agreement or decide to do it under our eggs, and I'm going to say this carefully. If we decide to do it under are collectively bargained right to do that. He talked about how he disagrees with criticism of the league concerning the unsigned free agents. You know, everybody seems to approach this issue from the perspective of gee, why aren't the club signing players? I think there's lots and lots of offers out there, and it's a bilateral process players. Haven't accepted those offers yet that's how a market works. You know, we bargained for a market system that markets out there operating, and I don't have any choice, but the live with that right now he talked about the negativity in the coverage of the sport going on right now. I hate the negativity that surrounds the coverage of the game right now. I think probably the best antidote for that is to get out there and start playing the game. Because the game is always always a positive for us. It is that gap during the off season when people need things to talk about. And write about the negativity seems. To grow. But I do believe that we have the greatest game in the world. You know, maybe we're gonna make some little changes to try to make it even better. And I do think that once we get out there and start playing that positive glow around the game will reemerge coming up. I'll be talking with Tim cartoon about the on believable rage that marrying from veteran players about what's going on with free agency Robinson canot the Mets second baseman talked about. How all the players are shocked about a development in this winter sure not surprised that say anything's me kind of chuckle. Are you guys the numbers some the worst year she won MVP? I mean, you know, thought about these times already signing Sean Doolittle the nationals reliever pitching unique perspective talked about what's going on started spring training without these guys have jobs kind of feels like, you know, it's December twenty third and you don't get Christmas tree up yet. It just doesn't feel like like the league is like we're not talking about opening day. You know, we're talking about these agents and signed yet tempta- tebow has a real chance to play in the big leagues this year. He was admits camp, then he made a mistake that maybe you would expect from Tim tebow. This'll be the sort of the biggest spring training for me. You know, one before I didn't know what I was doing my first time then last year didn't really I didn't play once I didn't run or I didn't play once Nath of Alvear one snap. This. You gotta love him. Josh, right. He's a football guy BUSTER football guy as a football guy. And he handle that moment. Really? Well, Addison Russell has to serve a suspension under baseball's domestic violence policy. He met with reporters, and he said, he took responsibility. I know that there's been a lot that's been said and reported these past few months, I don't wanna get into any specifics. But when I do want to say is I am accountable for my past actions. I'm not proud of the person I was, but I do want to own this issue and take responsibility for the hurt and the pain that I've caused Melissa. And for that. I'm sorry. Cubs manager. Joe madden. Had a message for cubs fans. And he talked about that we hope that the fans understand that second chances are a part of life, and we've all been there. So with us again, we're just we're working our way through this right now, it's it's kind of new ground for us to and again to give people an opportunity to resurrect themselves in a sense put themselves back on the right path as human beings. I I mean, it's not even about baseball right now. Jacob degrom was in Mets camp. And he was asked about his contract situation. The line of communication is still open. We have not received an offer, but they continue to talk. And you know, we like I've said before I really enjoy playing here and would like to be here. But you know, that's kind of up to them. Brodie van wagon in the Mets general manager gave an update on the contract talks with the grom. No there have not been offers made yet on either side. And yes Jacob is one hundred percent of heart of our future now and hopefully for years to come. There have been discussions already about what we what we'd like him to be a part of and expressing our desire for him to be the next desk. We'll have to see where wearing when those come veteran. Third baseman. Mike miss says is agreed to a one year deal to return to the brewers first reported by the F elastic. The contract is worth ten million dollars. Marcus Stroman pitcher for the Blue Jays complained to reporters about how the Blue Jays are handling his situation saying that they're not returning his interest to reach a long term deal is quote was mentally ready to perform wherever it may be a wanna play here. I've been wanting to play for a long time. I've been waiting to sign a long term deal. I've been offered nothing. Sources told some reporters that cover the team that in fact, the Blue Jays have been in constant conversations. With Stroman 's representatives, let's get to it seem heads rejoice not TIMMY time this great game. Or what with tin kurkin on baseball. Tonight. Tip cartoon covers baseball for ESPN. And today, Tim, you are in Phillies camp, I suspect that your travel plans changed after all the hints and reports that maybe some momentum gathering between the Phillies and Bryce Harper. We'll start with that. I'll just tell you what I know. And what I've heard I was in Phillies camp the other day. You got a sense of a real hope there that they were going to be able to push across the deal. Harper seen to be the number one target and with Manny Machado. We know. The White Sox have increased their offer to him. The Padres got involved. They met with him recently. You know, you've seen the reports if possible to fifty to ninety I'm kind of waiting for the smoke and mirrors that clear on that stuff because you have deferred payments, and you have state taxes in California all kinds of things that could factor in is to what the actual value is. But my sense is that Manny Machado Bryce Harper could be making their decision soon. What are you here? Well, we can only hope Lester because it's been smoke and mirrors now for about three and a half months and with the Phillies this morning. I certainly sense that there's an anticipation here is nuked around a little bit. And I'm not sure how much good that does me anymore. But I sense that nothing's going to happen today. But I also sense that would be a wise idea to have somebody around because it could happen the rest of this week. Because BUSTER, you know, this the Phillies having need they finished. They won eighty games last year. They were eleventh in the league in runs scored. They were eleventh in the league in pitching. They this is a better division. They have improved greatly to this point. But they need one more huge piece if they're going to win this division. I think it's Bryce Harper would be the perfect fit for me. But we still have to figure this out. And we haven't gotten too many concrete stories since this whole thing began the beginning of November. Let's assume that Bryce Harper signs with the Phillies and talking with rival agents. They think he's gonna wind up with the deal north of three hundred million dollars. Let's assume you winds up with the Phillies I wrote a column on Sunday, which I have to be an affiliate camp. I thought about this. I feel like whether it's Bryce or Manny Machado, whichever guy takes the Phillies money that person better be prepared to get dirty and to play hard. And let's face it with Manny Machado. We had a lot of episodes last year. We even acknowledged he didn't play hard. He wasn't in Johnny hustle. And there were times in the last few years of Bryce Harper didn't play hard and some of the concern among. Teams about his defensive metrics and the perception of his playing right field was he kind of pulled back to stay healthy. If they actually if Bryce takes the Phillies money, I think going into that market. He's got to remember the heroes in that city. Our guys like chase utley who wants turn to a catcher and said you need to hit me in retaliation for what we did to your guy or Brian Dawkins? The the eagles who launched himself into wide receivers or Reggie White the minister of defense, they love players who play with grit. And I can't remember an example him if Bryce Harper science with the Phillies of a free agent who will face more scrutiny than what Brice will have this year in part because of who braces and terms of being one of baseball's better players, but also because of how his free agency is played out and as long long, wait. And when Bryce arrives people are going to be expecting a lot out of it. Right. And they should be of course. And and the guys you mentioned there's also Pete Rose and Darren Dalton. And Larry Bowa who played the game the right way every single time. They stepped on the field, and I frankly have no concern whatsoever. Whether Bryce Harper is gonna play hard or not because he always does. Now there were some time several times a recent years where he didn't run his hardest on a fly ball or ground ball, and that's unacceptable. But I think it was different. Because the you know, the nationals were his team they drafted him. Everything was set up for him. Now, he moves to another team potentially. And I think he's going to say well things have changed here. I'm going to run hard every single time. And I have no doubt that he will do that. Because he understands he will have to do that. With all the dynamics you talked about the money. He gets the place for him and just the need for him here. Also, and this is a tough town. And he knows I better play my best and my hardest here. So Bryce Harper up with the Phillies. I think it stands to reason and Manny Machado is gonna wind up with either the White Sox or the same. India go Padres. And I gotta tell you Tim when I heard about potential of a Padres offer two hundred and fifty million dollars or more. My initial reaction was the same one. I had last winter when they went after Cosmo, which is why now like why are you doing this? Now when I feel like the team is so far away from contending because their pitching staff isn't close to being good enough to to run down. The dodgers. Look Eric hosmer is a good player. Manny Machado is obviously terrific player. But they to me this would be an absolute copycat of when Alex Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers. And he went there, and he was Grady won and MVP finished second another year. He played in every game. He hit a bunch of home runs, and they weren't close to contending it all kind of went down a drain. So I get it for manny's perspective a more power to him. If he gets that kind of money from them. But from the Padres perspective, I don't get it. What about you? Well, I I almost totally agree with you on this. The Padres are still a long way away. Buster catchers, going to be great Fernando detecet is going to be great. But you gotta get some people in there. And then those guys aren't gonna arrive in be great for a few more years. And I'm just not sure you can keep Manny Machado completely healthy there. And as good as he is is he going to lift that team into the playoffs. The first couple years, my guess would be no. And with the dodgers being the dodgers and the resources they have they're still going to win this division this year and probably next year. So I'm I understand what the Padres are doing. If we're going to get good kind of like the nationals did with Jason worth even though it's a different level player here. I get it. Maybe they need some more credibility beyond air. 'cause Mercedes look we're trying to win here. But I don't think they're ready to win whether Manny Machado gets there on that. And by the way, Tim you sound so much better than you have in past years. Yes, you can jump in here because we've always had Tim on the phone. But now Josh gave an apt which helped out which insured, Tim was it was a seem. Transition for you to try to figure out that technology. Yeah. My producer, Sean FitzGerald told me today, we should have a daily feature. Tim versus technology to see how terrible he is. And how badly he loses in that fight every day. But today, thanks Josh to do is press a button, even I can do that at age sixty two I create winners Tim that winter. A win for the rest of the season. You're welcome. Thank you. All right. Well, we have a good laugh at Tim's expense. I can tell you this going around from camp to camp and talking with veteran players Tim in the last week. There's no laughter. There's more rage than I can ever. Remember from veteran players in having conversations with them about the labor situation about these unsigned free agents, and we certainly have seen bits and pieces of that on social media. Whether it's just invert Lander or Adam Wainwright. It's remarkable to me where we are right now in this conversation players are just angry in a way that I can't remember them being angered before wherever I go BUSTER. I don't even ask the question at least one two three players in each camp comes up to me and says in some manner or way, what is going on here. And then that begins the discussion instead of, hey, how's your arm or who's playing shortstop or whatever? It's what's going on in the free agent market, and that is a very bad situation. And when I was with the Red Sox the other day Chris sale. One of the great stand up guys ever was asked about you know, Craig kimbrel any just launched into this. You know when the half the half, the teams are just collecting a paycheck. That's not healthy for the game. He didn't even get asked any brought it up. That's where we are now. And you're right BUSTER forty years of baseball. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything where the players are this upset about one. Issue and they're not interested in a pitch clock or not interested in pay supply. They're interested in getting this figured out. And it's going to take a while to get this figured out. And my question about, you know, this because certainly I think that the players do have reasons to to have their questions where you have a situation where teams are not willing to pay players when they hit twenty nine thirty thirty one is free agents. But because of the structure of baseball's financial system, you have a lot of young players who are productive who are not getting paid to me. They should either get paid when they're young or when they're older they shouldn't be penalized in both ends. And there there's certainly I think some questions for the union to ask my. But my question about the union right now is how much organization is taking place with all this anger. How much of that is being channeled into actual ideas in conversations in negotiations for because from what I understand, you know, the the communication now between the two sides here in recent weeks is not. Been good. It is not been productive. And I don't know if it necessarily helps the players to be outward and public about this because I see the reaction on Twitter when a girl Anderson's out a tweet or other players send out tweets where you have a lot of fans who just look at a lot of these guys like they're playing a kid's game, and it should be happy with whatever they make. I don't know if that's necessarily productive way for the players to use their anger. What do you think? Yeah. I agree. I was talking to Adam Wainwright again. One of the great guys in the game. One of the stand up guys. And he just looked at me and said there's one hundred percent chance of a strike right now hundred percent, and this is where we are. But there's another side to this still that the owners are saying look just because we made a bunch of mistakes and free agency five years ago doesn't mean that we are obligated to make those same mistakes we are operating in a different manner. They maintain we're operating in a smart or manner, and I think they're right about that. So there are clearly two sides this, but you're right bus. Stor. We'd better start getting some serious progress made on this issue or else, maybe Adam Wainwright's going to be right. And that sends me to no end. Rob Manfred said yesterday, he's not thrilled about the negativity of the coverage. But I gotta be honest. I don't know how we get away from it. Because whatever can't be go into there are players of things to say again, you see that on social media. And I think that's going to continue. I I for the next couple of years. I don't see any Indian site to that until the two sides actually come up with a new deal, which as I mentioned, they're not even close in the conversations they're having right. And let's just hope BUSTER that this week Dallas kaikal signs and Machado and Harper sign, and that's not all of them. But that's three of them. And then maybe we can turn our attention to what's going on the field. But it just cannot be healthy. When there's just as much discussion about the guys who aren't here as the guys who are here that just the double back a little bit on Machado in the Padres, the one scenario where I think it could make sense for the Padres to make that sort of investment in Machado is if they followed up with an investment in the pitching that's still out on the market. If you're going to sign Machado, then go get Dallas kaikal Goget GIO Gonzalez to lead that staff. What do you think? Yeah. Totally. And yet just to show you how things are done today with the Phillies and a couple of the coaches were telling me, there was a discussion the other. Day about boy, we could really use Dallas kaikal and another coach he doesn't miss enough bats. And again BUSTER I understand the sabermetrics. But because he doesn't strike out enough. People implies he's not a good pitcher that that is when we're taking all of this way too far. What what what's so wrong about getting somebody out on a week ground? Ball would do we have to strike people out? Do we have to miss bats? Is that all your value is wrapped up in Dallas would be perfect for the pirates. He would be perfect for a lot of teams. And it just doesn't make sense. He's still out there. All right. Let's have some baseball conversation. We got this Bleacher tweet from Eric angle. Bard who asked the question, and I'll let you answer this, Tim if you were the general manager of a major league baseball team. Would you rather have eight gold Glover's in your starting lineup or eight guys who hit twenty five plus homers? The floor is yours Tim ho what a great question, I'll say, I'm gonna take the eight gold glove. Hours. Look everyone today BUSTER hits twenty home runs into season. That's just the way the game is played. And a lot of guys are hitting twenty five. So I'm going to say defense. The old cliche is the one thing that shows up every day. And even if you're twenty five Homer guy when you're facing Chris sale or max Scherzer on a really good day. It doesn't matter how good a hitter. You are you are going to lose to a pitcher that good who is locating that day. However, the gold glove guy is basically going to be a gold glove guy every day. So I'll take the defense. I love defense my favorite thing. I'll take the gold Glover's over the twenty five Homer guys. And the closest thing we've seen to that. Are those Orioles teams of the seventies? Correct. Would you agree? Absolutely. I mean, that's how the Orioles won all those years. They had great pitching, which we know. But they're infield defense was sensational with Brooks blander, David Johnson, and boo Powell. That's ultimately how they want. All right. Josh gut into my year. And he was like I have to talk about this. Let me in. So so Tim used an old cliche. I'll use one two ships dig the long Bill like that cliche. Yeah. Because I think an all seriousness if you have eight guys in your lineup hitting twenty five home runs. I realize you might be giving up a lot of runs as well. But I feel like you can moonwalk to ninety two wins. And then in October hit a couple more dinger's and win a World Series. What do you think look your point? Well, made however that that goal Glover might also be a twenty five home run guy. We're not talking about taking nine backup shortstops who can really catch it and put them out there, and they all hit one eighty it's possible to win a gold glove and hit thirty homers guys still do that these days the spirit of question, though, was are you picking offense or defense? I'm picking defense. And I'm standing by it enough and Tim's right? And just. What was the first Red Sox team that you had a sense of that you were when you became a fan which team? Like the like ninety five ish with Mojo Ryon raking. Exactly. Yeah. And mobile on ranking raking, and they had like Jose can Saco what a ten who else was on that team like Kevin Mitchell. Right. Tim like, basically ninety eight. Is that team right and going back even further with the Red Sox? Butch opposite ninth with thirty homers one hundred RBI's and they didn't win. They didn't win the World Series. I'm going with the defense. I have to go somewhere. Let me ask you guys this then we can move on. But serious question. I'm sure if you're a GM in this case, your boss, the owner would be much more interested in the twenty five home run guys because it'll fill up more seats. Correct. While the what about that long? Maybe we have too many long balls in the game today and not enough defense. Yeah. Tim's right. Josh is wrong. Let's move Tim. You've had a great thing on Twitter recently, you're telling spring training stories. What's the favorite spring training story? The put out there. Well, my favorite is the one I believe that personifies spring training more than any. And that's the great Brian Anderson who I saw last night, by the way, right Anderson was pitching for the Indians, you know, twenty years ago, whatever. Was fifteen years ago, and they have a two hour road trip from winter haven to Vero beach and he's pitching that day. And he forgot his cap his glove and his fights. And he's in full uniform driving to go pitch and a game. So he gets off the bus. He goes to WalMart, and he says WalMart it has tires. It has produce in has everything it has to have a baseball glove. So he went in and bought a softball glove for twenty nine ninety five. He said instead it was as big as a butterfly net. And he said it was almost as big as the glove that Greg Maddux used to wear and he said, I got three comebacker that day using a softball glove to me that personifies what spring trainings all about. There's nothing like this aren't a two hour bus trips uniform during the regular season only in spring training. So your story is better than mine, but mine is pretty good is you know, one of the great moments spring. One of the most enjoyable moments. Those first the first time that hinders take live batting practice, and it's always advantage pitcher. But I was in the Padres camp in one thousand nine hundred ninety four and they had a left-hander former number-one pick named Robbie Beckett. Who could he could throw a hundred when nobody could throw a hundred and he also couldn't throw strikes and looking at his his brief major league record seven innings for the Colorado. Rockies nine runs allowed ten walks. Eight strikeouts. Three homers allowed he's left handed. And so he got done warming up. And he jogs onto the field to face the bunch of the Padres and live batting practice. And I look over and all the left handed hitters standing on the side walked away like they're like. Nope. We're not getting the cage against this guy. This early in spring training, this guy cancer strikes and not gonna put myself at risk except for one guy. And that would be Tony Gwynn. Who basically was like, okay. Let's go. I know he's going to be all over the place. But I'm good and. I'm going to be a I'm going to do the best I can against Robbie Beckett. Tony was at three thirty eight lifetime hitter. And I was there when Mitch Williams I camp, he missed the cage BUSTER with a pitchy. Hit a tire on the side of the cage any hit Alan Bannister. And then buddy bell. Larry Perry said, we're not doing this. We're not hitting against him. I asked Mitch afterwards. He goes I understand. I didn't want to kill a veteran player in my first big-league camp. Thank you much. Each. Well, thank you, Tim for that positive coverage at the end of the podcast segment today. I appreciate it. And I will talk to you later in the week. I'm sure all right BUSTER, take care. Geico presents unhelpful home improvement. How To's a slippery bathroom floor can result in expensive hospital bills? So today, I'll show you how to cook. In a serious. Fall by filling your bathroom with thousands of plastic balls. Just nail a piece of plywood across the doorway and dump in two thousand multicolored plastic balls, you could try to protect yourself with a bathroom full of plastic balls or you could get liability coverage through the Geico insurance agency. Visit Geico dot com and see how affordable renter's insurance can be. Mark you Sierra played fourteen years in the big leagues four hundred nine career homers. He's now an analyst for ESPN techs. Great to talk with you. And what has been a really slow off season? It has been BUSTER good talking to you as well. All right. I went back and looked this up today before we get ready to talk with you. When you agreed to an eight year deal with the Yankees. The news of that broke December twenty third two thousand eight December twenty third on an eight year deal and Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Of course, we're in early part of February, and they still don't have contracts. What do you think it's like for them to go through this process? This dragging out this long. This has got to be rough. I mean, eventually they're going to signed big contracts, and they're going to be paid handsomely and fans aren't gonna feel bad for them. But I mean, these guys are human beings. And I remember when I was going through my free agency. The season's over your agency begins the beginning of November. And you want to get it done as quickly as possible. You just wanna get out of the way. So you can focus on your off season workouts and figure out where you're gonna live in spring training, and you new city and so by mid December. I'm calling my agent Scott Boras Saint Scott get this thing done. That's mid December. We're now approaching mid February these guys gotta be going crazy right now. And I've heard this from players and from executives that it's not only about, you know, the players owning Zaidi, but it's the family around them that also sort of feeds that yes, there's no doubt. I mean, I was married with two kids at the time. My third was born while I was playing with the Yankees. But you know, I was a family, man. And and anybody that cares about his his wife and kids and and surrounding family extended family, whether it's parents or brothers sisters in laws, whatever, you know, they have their thoughts to they give you pretty much daily. They give you their thoughts on different teams in different cities. And oh, look at this neighborhood in New York, and oh look at this house in Boston or L A or whatever it is. And it just be is after a while just becomes noise, and it becomes distracting and baseball's hard enough when you're one hundred percent focused on the game in preparing for the season to have those other distractions is not a positive. What's your read on how this is played out for Bryson for Manny? You feel bad for them because you know, in any other market, or at least the previous you know, ten to fifteen years before before this off season. These guys would get paid handsomely. They would have their kind of pick of the litter between you know, the Yankees and the Red Sox dodgers and cubs. And some of these other big teams and eight assign a really nice deal and had their pictures taken and been ready for spring training. But teams as we all know teams are looking at these eight to ten year deals and saying, no more. And I think that those. Those players that got better into their thirties because of PD's they got found out pretty quickly and teams realized pretty quickly that you know, what I'll I'll pay guy till thirty two thirty three after that. I'm just I'm just not going to give a guy thirty plus million dollars into his mid to late thirties. Yeah. And a couple of examples that recently Albert pools two years left, he's owed about sixty million dollars. It's been six years since he had an opium of eight hundred or better Miguel Cabrera five years left on his deal at about one hundred fifty two million dollars. Jim crane. The Astros owner is one of the few people in power that I've heard actually give voice to this early in their off-season. He talked about team shying away and part of that is because of the luxury tax wrestles, which when the last CBA was negotiated there were lower than what people expected, and it feels like a lot of teams are treating that in for this year. It's two hundred and six million as kind of a hard cap. What do you think there's no doubt? And you made a great point about pools and Cabrera in my mind, the two best hitters of my generation of the past fifteen years or Albert polls and Miguel Cabrera anybody that that looked at baseball objectively would say, yeah, these guys are the best. They deserve these contracts. The problem is is in. Years five through ten it just doesn't look as good as it did on the day that you signed it. And a teams were getting smart, and they're not going to give away these eight to ten year deals and also you're right about your the luxury tax is a big thing. And I heard how Steinbrenner talk about I'm not cheap. I'm I'm just you know, kind of working within the rules. And if the rules say that there is a penalty for going over the luxury tax. I'm going to do everything in my possibility to win inside of those roles and not pay that penalty and the best teams the Yankees cubs. Dodgers Red Sox. Those are the teams that would normally be bidding up Harper Machado, and because of the luxury tax threshold. They're just not getting there. And you're right BUSTER, the MLB players association made their own bed. They could have had these thresholds much higher. And they should have had the foresight to realize that our best salaries are top salaries are not. Escalating with the revenues in baseball, and we should raise these luxury tax thresholds. And they just didn't do that. And I feel like that that at the moment that the union actually has some leverage to revisit this. And look major league baseball is communicated the player sociation that they will talk about, you know, changing some of the landscape of the financial issues only within the context extension though. But I think it's worthwhile for the player sociation to explore that and potential leverage of a designated hitter. Which I think teams really want because they don't want pitchers at risk for injuries, the antitank measures that I think everybody in baseball wants some form of then, of course, baseball major league baseball really wanting to change the product in some of the pace of play stuff. What's your sense of where we stand now in the relationship between major league baseball in the union? And what would you do if you were running an in a position of authority within the union will I do agree BUSTER that there is a way that the union can get what they want and the owners can can win as well. I mean, this this can be a win win situation. Rob Manfred and major league baseball our task. With growing the game growing revenues the bringing in more fans, more participation and one of the things that he thinks he can do is if if you can lower the time of game and make games shorter and bring more people to the games, then you know, it'll become more popular and the owners win. And so if I'm the players all of those pace of play that D H in the National League player safety stuff, whatever it might be for me that should all be on the table because I look at the owners and say, okay, what are you guys want to grow the game? And we will we will benefit if you grow the game. So just pay us more. You know, let's let's up the luxury tax thresholds, and we'll give you some of these pace of play and and other competitive balance type stuff in return. What do you think about some of the initiatives that haven't talked about you as a baseball fan? How do you feel about a universal h about a twenty second pitch clock about a rule requiring relievers to face at least three batters? I like all of them. I really do BUSTER. Because I if you don't eve all in the current game of baseball. We're going to keep losing kids. You know, my kids don't watch baseball games the way that I did. Okay. So yeah, I'm a you know, I obviously was a good player and loved watching the game. But even casual fans are are not watching baseball like they used to. They're not going to games like they used to. And if Robin and his team at major league baseball think that shortening the games are away to help that you why not I think the universal D H just makes sense. We have pitchers nowadays that haven't picked up a bat for ten fifteen years of their life. And all of a sudden they get to the major leagues and now have to hit. That's just that's just not fair. Do. Do I really think that fans wanna go to a game and bases loaded? You know middle the game. There's a big situation happening, and oh, here's the pitcher. It's not a Matic out. I I just don't think fans want that. So some of these things that the pitch clock twenty seconds. Absolutely. The the the mound visits. Let's shorten even less mound visits. There's very few situations in baseball where I have to go talk to my pitcher. I mean, you have signs as a catcher for a reason. So all of these proposals for major league baseball makes sense. And I think the union and the owners should get together and figure it out. I gotta say that last year when I saw the the play with Masahiro Tanaka in which he suffered a double hamstring poll while running the bases. I was like, okay. That's the moment. You know, we had the BUSTER Posey collision that changed that rule. We had the Ruben to Hotta chase utley slide that changed that rule. I felt like okay. That sort of clearly demonstrates you have this. It's not like Masahiro Tanaka. His big fat guy who doesn't do any conditioning. He's a terrific athlete. He works like crazy. And as I wrote an accom- last week is like asking you chemists to go the logger for a day. And that's what's nuts. Here busters at in the old days. I mean, heck even even when I was in high school your best players pitched and played a position. So, you know, the the guy that throws ninety seven miles an hour is also probably you're starting center fielder or starting shortstop. And so a whole generation of players. You know, they got to the big leagues. And even if they were a pitcher they weren't fulltime pitcher until maybe they got to professional baseball. And now you have kids and eleven twelve years old that are becoming just pitchers they are specializing in their craft. And they haven't picked up a bat for ten or fifteen years and all the sudden go to the big leagues and have to hit. It just doesn't make sense. All right when it comes to relationship with the union major league baseball and last couple of years and Tony Clark has met with players in spring training. He did it with the rookie development program that they had back in January. He's talked to players about. Hey, save your money prepare for a possible strike when I've heard that it just makes me wince. I gotta be honest because you know, from the time I first started covering baseball. I can remember back then how prepared the players seemed to be for any sort of a labor situation. You can walk up to any number players in a clubhouse, and they could tell you exactly what the union was fighting for and what was on the table, and the the issues that were at stake, and I feel like, and I I don't know players as well as you know players. I just don't get the sense that the players of this era or prepared for something like that. And I say that within the context of if you go back and look at the history of the union when more of an Miller took over he spent years, preparing an educating for players on these issues. And I don't think the unions in that place. Which is why feel like it's dangerous conversation for them. I agree with you BUSTER, this is this is going to be very difficult for the union to to band together. And it does come to that. And obviously, I hope it does not. But I just don't see them striking. I mean, listen, you know, back in the sixty seventies eighties. When you had all these strikes and the last one as you said being in the early nineties players weren't making ten million dollars a year. Play players the minimum salary right now is upwards of six hundred thousand dollars, and there are very few. If any players in all of major league baseball that are going to look at themselves in the mirror look at their families. Look at you know, their bills they have to pay because they're used to a certain lifestyle and say, you know, what my ten million dollar salary isn't good enough. I'm gonna fight for future generations. And I'm going to go on strike. It's different when the average salary was one hundred thousand bucks, right? Because there's there's a lot of things that you could do in in this world with a college education and go, oh you. You know what I don't need baseball. I'm going to go out and do something else. These players are making way too much money right now. And you know, if you told a player, hey, you're at the give up three million bucks for a couple of months of the season to help future generations of players, get their contracts. How many guys are taking that? I just don't know if it's there. Text one you want to camp I'm not going to camp this year. I'm I'm staying. I'm staying here in Bristol. Man. I got there's a lot of action going on here. In bristol. Buster. I gotta I gotta stay home. All right. Well, I appreciate it. And I will see in a few weeks. Good talking to you. Each time for seven inside heat on baseball tonight. Scott Lauber covers the Philadelphia Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer. And Scott look everyone's talking about Bryce Harper. Manny Machado, still what's the lady's. You've heard about the Phillies and Bryce. Yeah. All eyes are on the Phillies. It looks like to sort of see when when Bryce Harper literally rolls into the parking lot. Right. And and I think, you know, look yesterday, I spent up at a time with John Middleton, the Phillies owner he was headed over to the east coast of Florida last night. He had a dinner to attend. He did not at any point during our conversation appear to me like he was a man who was about to drop three hundred million dollars on a player. So I I never got the sense yesterday that anything is truly imminent yet. But of course, as you know, these things can happen quickly all takes one phone call to really get the ball rolling. And you know, now we're getting to that point and camp where full squads are starting to work out. And I am sure that players who are unsigned that includes Bryce Harper getting a little itchy. And you know, I don't know that it'll take a whole lot longer if. If the sides are ready to start talking. It feels like what's going on? Now is a lot of maybe negotiating through the media where it feels like little bits and pieces are being dropped. Maybe put pressure on the Phillies or put pressure on the White Sox or maybe put pressure on the Padres. Yeah. Or if you're Bryce Harper and his camp, maybe even put some pressure on the Washington National. You know, if if if the owner there thinks that that things are starting to heat up with the Phillies, maybe he decides to jump back into things. And and try to try to keep price from going to a division rival, you know with with Harper that that wildcard to me is always been out there. You know, you never really sorta know if the nationals were truly truly out of it until he signed somewhere else. So I think you're right. I think at this point there is definitely a lot of a lot of posturing going on on especially on the players side of things. Whether it's Bryce Harper Manny Machado to try to see if they can extract anything more out of their markets at this point in spring training. What's the level of anticipation among Phillies players? It's pretty high. I a lot of them were like a lot of fans in a lot of us in the media where I think they just they're they're wondering day to day. What's going on behind the scenes there are days where I feel like none of us really know most days, I feel like none of us really know what's happening, and he's got a sort of filter. What you know or here based on who you're who you're hearing it from. So I think players are definitely interested. Let's face it. It's going to affect a lot of them. I mean, you were here yesterday BUSTER earlier this week BUSTER, and, you know, I'm sure you talk to some players, and if you're Nick Williams, and you're right fielder and a left handed hitter in the Phillies lineup. It's going to impact. You if Bryce Harper comes to play here, if you're might kill Franco and your third baseman, and they go out and get Manny Machado, you gotta wonder about your future. So it's it's going to have a trickle down effect on players that are in that room. And I think that they like us would like. A resolution to this and be they would just like a little clarity of what's happening. And I, you know, you even talk to Phillies officials who are in the know. And you get a lot of shoulder shrugs and a lot of well, we're waiting just like you're waiting. So I think that you know, I think everyone is sort of getting to that point now where a little bit of clarity. And and a resolution would be a welcome thing. One way or the other. Scott. Thanks for doing this. I'm sure I'll see you soon. Okay. Buster take care. So boy, there's a lot of negative stuff going on in baseball right now. A lot of unhappy players some stars who are still not signed. But on Saturday CCC bath, you one of the most celebrated players among players in baseball. Formerly announced the two thousand nineteen will be his last season. I got a chance to talk with CC after his announcement TC. How did you reach decision wasn't a hard one? You know, just, you know, being being at my age, and you know plan for so long. I think is just time, you know, my family's growing getting older. And it's time for me to be around and hang out with them nineteen years in baseball is a longtime play and I'm definitely blessed and fortunate to be able to play with facility long. But it's definitely time to call hanging out. Look like you got emotional couple of times looking at all your teammates have gathered here to see you. What was that? Like. Yeah. That was tough, man. And just thinking about my you know, my past teammates today burglars, the Ellsberg Samat longs. Jim Thome as just so many countless names and teammates. And you know, just all my guy on up today lose just amazing. Experience in and hopefully, it'd be like that the rest, you know, all summer and just being able to celebrate, you know, the season tell me about some of the people you've heard from ways this news is broken a lot of people. I mean, a lot of my ex team mates. You know, a lot of, you know, Marsha power was a guy that I think about and I'm really close with that. You know, we had a great relationship in Cleveland. I got a text from him this morning Geeta. Text me this morning facade has had a you know, sitting there. Great tax. So it's been a lot of fun to just you know, read that stuff and see that stuff and be around. And and hopefully, I got said it just continues. Bleak here tweets daily, bleed your tweets BUSTER. Yeah. Love it got old friends got some new ones. That's the way we like it just make sure you use the hashtag Bleacher tweets if you wanna be a part of the show all season long. Archie banks gets the first crack Adam today. Well, second crack because we already heard from esoteric Eric with Tim. But semantics BUSTER semantics Archie says, hey BUSTER, who do you think will be the closest challengers to the Astros in the American League West is coming season. And how close do you think that race will be? Because they picked the Astros to win the World Series. They'll say flat out. I don't think it'll be close, and I'm gonna give my respects to the Oakland Athletics. Who had a terrific season last year? They made the playoffs. They surprise people. We know the angels are trying to be competitive. I just don't see them having enough pitching this year to get close. So it'll be Oakland. But they'll still be far behind Houston over under fifteen games. Oh under I think. Yeah. I think Oakland's a good team. I think the one ninety ninety five come on. Josh all I the way you were talking about it it sounded like nobody else really even has a chance Oakland would be second. But it would be a run away. So I thought fifteen games was a good line. But you'll you'll take let the record show James is next at the James Litton BUSTER once the Harper and Machado deals are done with the angels, be wise to float an extension by Mike trout in would he be wise to sign it, providing it's more than what Harper gets and James welcome back to bleed you tweets this year. Look, I think that probably have already been conversations between the angels, Mike trout might trout is not going to be someone who's going to leak it out to reporters. The angels wanna keep this on lockdown. I suspect that sometime during the winter, they floated out some numbers, and maybe they were conversations. Maybe they went somewhere. Maybe not I feel like that all of trout's conversations are going to be completely independent of anything else going on. 'cause he's someone. I think they have no problem paying whatever he's looking for. And they'd be wise to do. So Carl DM Morton is next at Morton car. If Harper goes to the Phillies combination of Harper and Hoskins hit more home runs than Stanton. And judge also which combo draws more walks in Carl says, I like these two comparisons. Because two of the guys are big signings in two of them, of course, were homegrown within that organization. Yeah, I feel like I mean, I'll take the safe pick. And I'll say standing judge will hit more homers than the other guys. But I mean, look Reese Hoskins is one of our favorites on this podcast. What a what a terrific leader. How cool would that be to see Harper hitting in front of him in the lineup? I think they would generate a lot of production. I still think because the Yankee stadium's right field. That's an inherent advance. For pull judge in Stanton. And I know Philly's is a great hitter spot. I was gonna say that's Bank isn't exactly the polo grounds. Bus. No stadium is it's it's the place where every batter right handed left-hander. Once they hit finally Matt Spiegel at speaks ten twenty seven BUSTER. This is a general question for you. What's the very best part of spring training in your eyes? The conversations you get the have with different people and their casual conversations look the World Series and everything is structured. They're a billion reporters around. No one's very relaxed. They all have something to do in spring training. You have something like this. The other day bumped into Ron Guidry who's an instructor in the eighties camp. And I talked to him about an eighteen strikeout. Gaming head for the Yankees in one thousand nine hundred seventy eight and he told me this great story about how I came up on the scoreboard in seventh inning of that game that he had fifteen strikeouts. And he and Thurman Munson are looking at each other saying really fifteen strikeouts and Munson turn to him and said if you don't go for the record in the ninth inning. I'm gonna break your arm. So those are you you get a lot of great stories in spring training. Absolutely. Thanks, everyone for the Bleacher tweets we had him today. We'll have them tomorrow will have the next day. We have them every single weekday. You can believe it or not from now until after the World Series. We are off and running BUSTER how cool is that? It's cool. And this is just one of many podcasts. We'll be doing all year. We'll be doing daily during the course of the season. We'll be back on Tuesday as of today. Just the for me to be a nationals camp. When I get the feeling that's one of those. We'll see where Machado and Harper sign, and then we'll we'll turn your car around BUSTER. Everything's fluid in February BUSTER. Yeah. One hundred percent. Well, that's it for today. My thanks to Mark to share Tim Kirk to Scott Lauber and Josh macrey who produces podcast every day. Thanks for joining us this year guys and enjoy your day. We'll talk again tomorrow. Thanks for listening to the baseball tonight podcast if you're playing fantasy baseball don't forget to listen to the fence. Focus podcast checkout all podcasts at ESPN dot com slash pod center. Baseball tonight, the podcast. I can't believe that Gerald is presenting the quarterly budget report with finger puppets. Here comes one point seven percent decrease in fixed overhead I know everybody. No, I can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on car insurance guy. Go oh, are you dope project? It increase in organic Q three revenue. Believe it. Geico could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.