The Struggle Is Real and Great
Baseball tonight the PODCAST. This is the baseball tonight. Podcasts for Thursday February Twentieth Two thousand twenty. I'm buster only down at jetblue. Park in Fort Myers and back and Bristle Taylor. Shrink Troy Farkas manning the board news notes before we talked to Carl. Ravitch ABOUT ROB. Manfred and now. He's boxed in decisions that he may make against the Houston Astros Giancarlo Stanton address. The Astros signed ceiling scandal in meeting with reporters on Wednesday. And he says he could've hit eighty home runs. If you knew put pitch was coming you said the eight home run comment wasn't to make it about me. The point I was trying to make is that if I was part of that team and got a home run record doing that. There's no way that would be upheld and not have asterix or taken away so neither should their accolades is what I'm getting at with that Joe Girardi was on with Golic and Wingo talking about the fact that the astros players weren't penalized. You know there's some people that lost their jobs. That really were the people that had to pay for it but there were a lot more people involved and you know the financial gain for the players are substantial if they have big seasons because of this. So if there's no punishment for them I'm not sure that it stops I. I'm really not sure because the financial gains similar to the steroid era. It's very similar like if you know what's coming and you have a big year and you're a free agent. There's a lot of be made. Their players want to take care of the family. So I'm not exactly sure what the right answer is but I don't know how much of a deterrent. It is for players right now. And WE KEEP ON WAITING FOR COMMISSIONER ROB Manfred to come out with new guidelines penalties moving forward and also waiting to see if he comes down with a hammer in another way against the seventeen astros. We'll be talking with Carl about that before that I wanNA mention another of ESPN's podcast hoop collective. Brian went horse. Anderman were in Chicago for all star weekend and they were asking players and interesting question. How early on in their lives? They realized that they were better than good. They get some unexpected thoughts from the NBA's youngest stars find it wherever you get your podcast. It's the Ravi with Carl ravage. The Rabbie train was down in Florida earlier this week for a sit down with baseball commissioner. Call Raby how you doing. I'm good did you. Just call me the baseball commissioner or are you just suggesting that I was with the Baseball Commissioner? 'cause I well I said you had a sit down with the baseball commissioner right but you know what I should be a good commissioner at this point rob. Manfred might even want you to take over as commissioner after this week at least for a temper temporarily. How're you doing? We're everybody and their mother has ideas on how they could do things differently. And they should all be commissioner. I'm doing great the idea that we're going to have You know Spring Training Games and I think the focus will shift a little bit. Different markets is is a very good thing and I'm not running from this at all and I think there's a lot of things that still need some resolution but I think it will encourage people to recognize. Spite of all this noise there will be actual games being played on the field which is a really good thing which is why. I want a leadoff. Today we will get to your sit down with the commissioner in just a second but I want a leadoff today with some news around baseball. I thought this was really interesting. Our old friend and colleague David Ross. Announcing that Chris. Bryant's is going to be as leadoff guy announcing that in the middle of February talked about how Kris Bryant is really good at bat gets on base is probably one of our best base runners. His baseball like you is extremely high. When he talked about putting the best players at the top of the order. I want to put him at the top last year. Carl cubs rankle last in the majors and on base percentage from that leadoff spot. I like it. I've always liked the idea of putting your best hitter. I guarantee the best chance to get him as many plate appearances as possible. What do you think it felt like? that David Ross. And Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein and the interviews that they had to see who would be the next. Gm David Ross. Probably throughout the idea that we're getting or you guys are getting no production from the leadoff spot. I would consider somebody like Kris Bryant to be my leadoff hitter. Ooh Well that sounds interesting. Okay that's different. That's something we haven't really done here very often. I mean look. He is replacing the guy who used more lineups and shook things up more than any manager in baseball but the concept of Engaging or reengaging Chris and getting him to be excited about baseball at you. Contribute to this team you know. There are a lot of positives in a decision or a conversation like that. I think what you have to do when you do something like that. And I'm sure David knows this and it's been discussed is that if in the first two weeks you know. Kris Bryant is three for twenty seven Do you abandon it or do you stick with it and I think a lot of times We tend to see guys abandoned things and it'd be nice to see him succeed but if not let's just stick with it. Let's let's ride this for a little while and allows somebody to get their footing hitting lead author a little different than hitting third or second or fourth along the same lines and you mentioned Joe Madden I think he has one of the more fascinating lineup. Seta Lineup decisions to make. Because of course he's got anthony rent down and he's the best player in baseball and Mike Trout and he has Shohei Ohtani. I personally would love to see him and philosophy that what we're seeing from David. Ross put my trump leadoff spot put Otani in the two hole put down in the three hole in. Put the pressure on the opposing pitchers. Right away I know. Generally speaking in the past they not put trodden. Lino spot because they feel like. Hey let's take advantage of his power. You know what I I love coming right out of the gate at the opposing pitcher. What would you do it? Would it would be a really compelling lineup for sure you know I think you could go almost two ways. I think you could lead off and then have either trout or Otani hit. I think you could do what you said. Have Trout leadoff. I don't think you leadoff Otani but I do think you have the flexibility to say you know what? Kinda wanted to experiment. Let's let Anthony lead off and let's have Otani the lefty bats second and troutbeck third or you put Otani third and you have right left right so I think there are options to me ren donors. The leadoff hitter is as intrigued. Well I wouldn't say as intriguing but is intriguing. Trout is just more intriguing. Because he's you know it's like it would be like leading off Aaron judge except trump's shown a little bit better ability not to strike out but you're you're bringing you know you're bringing up your middle linebacker to hit I which is of course against the conventional longstanding norms of. What a leadoff hitter. You Know Kenny. Lofton has been in in our time Ricky Henderson. Who's a home run guy? It would look very different but I sure I'm you know me. I'm open to most things at least at least for a while. Let's try it. Yeah we'll see if they want to do something like David Fletcher leading off or some other secondary guy and then having trout in that stay in that to spot then maybe random maybe then maybe Otani but that'll be texting back and forth with Joe during the winter about this. That'll be a fun series of decisions. That he's gotTa Make Bleacher tweet from Robert Hardy. Ask Carl who the key names who could pull the lever on D. H. in the National League and will it happen for two thousand twenty one. Is it happens in two thousand twenty two when they both through the next collective bargaining agreement and the key names to pull the Levers Tony Clark and Rob Manfred. What do you think as it as it stands now assuming? Both of those guys are in the position. They're currently in when that That that agreement gets finalized. Those those are always going to be the two key names. Whoever runs the player's association? Whoever runs Major League baseball you know they are the deciders and I think I think what we've learned from this situation that we're dealing with now with the cheating scandal is You can see somebody losing power. I really not saying this about Manford. I think he's he's firmly entrenched as the commissioner. I think he has the support of Of nearly most of the owners in the way that this has been handled short of using you know the term metal when it came to her a piece of metal when it came to the trophy but I think he's firmly entrenched. I think the players association has some concerns about their leadership and the the level of fracture that we're seeing amongst amongst its members and you know I hope for his sake I like him. I hope he stays in that position or is able to get everybody behind him. But I don't. I don't see another name. Currently that would have an influence over when the D. H. moves to the National League More than the two guys negotiate the agreement. You agree with me. It'll happen in the first season after the is agreed to you know it's the whole. The whole dynamic between the two sides is so fluid Part of this and I'm sure we'll get into it with the Manfred conversation but part of part of all of the stuff that's going on here. Is that that very delicate dance. That both sides have to do in order to enable them to continue to work together to establish you know sort of the foundation of a new collective bargaining agreement. You can't just come out and napalm the other side with what they're doing or their ideas because ultimately you gotta work together for the veteran of the game and the future of the game so I think that part of what we've witnessed here is a is a very delicate dance between these two sides on how to work their way through this scandal. Show that there is some shred of connectivity between the two sides that allow them to continue to work together one hundred percent. And you hope that that improves as we go along another on the field issue when a raised you Aaron judge yesterday Continue to be held hitting drills. He's dealing with a sore right now. Shoulder Aaron judge said when I buzz judge on a real quick. He said he's game ready. I hear that but Karla. I'm concerned about Aaron Judge. And hoping that he can stay healthy. What do you think well I? I don't know you know to me like other players that are showing up at Camp That are game ready. They are ready to play. There is no conversation about well. We're GONNA maybe miss the first few games There's a reason that you're leaving somebody out of a lineup. Understanding the long picture understanding the goal of having Aaron Judge Get as many facts but but again if you don't look at it as a yellow flag then you're colorblind. Because you're missing the big point which is we are paying attention to this. We are concerned enough to say and let everyone know when you don't see Aaron Judge in the first couple of games Well there's a reason for that as opposed to everybody's ready to go. We can't wait to our everyday lineup out there for one at that so you have to acknowledge the you know the elephant in the room. It exists it's real and sure given that we had this last year with Aaron Judge Given how much pain he was really in that wasn't discussed of course. And when you come back off of an off season you know. How many times have we asked? Wh- why didn't that particular player in any sport? Have something done. That would allow them to be healthy when we all return as opposed to and this is not Aaron Judge. But how many times did we had that conversation? So that player is having surgery three weeks before the season two weeks before. Spring Training. What happened in November and December? You know why did we wait? I guess that's not the case. But yes buster. You have to be concerned When the conversation like that centers around a centerpiece of your team all right and I want to spend two minutes talking about the Tampa Bay rays camp the other day and the thing that jumped out to me. Carl just walking around from field to field. This might be be the deepest Tampa Bay. Rosser that we've ever seen They're outfielder off. Meadows Kevin Cure Meyer Hunter. Renfro many Margot infielders Willie odometer. Yandi the Joey Wendell and Brandon Lau and Jose Martinez and G May and Choy and this Newcomer from Japan. And I'm going to put in the pronunciation of his last name though. I asked Yoshi Sue Sugo or Su to Su go is what I was told. And then you ever tation of Snell and morning. Glass is a great bullpen. That that to me like I did a power ranking in mid-january given all the astros issues going on number one for me the Yankees Number. Two the dodgers. I got the raise number three. That is a team. Carl look what I've said this all off season There there are a couple of factors that have gone into The optimism that Tampa Bay should have one is the dismantling of the Red Sox when when the team that you competed with Loses mookie. Betts and David price and their manager things dramatically impact. You this is a team that felt great about itself last year. This is a team that went in and played great in the playoff game And just sort of destroyed Sean Managua. And we had an unlikely hero kind of go deep a couple of times in that game They have a manager who like Alex Cora when he was in good standing with the red sox completely controlled the clubhouse. The players respected him. The players liked him. Aaron Boone's and other guy There are a billion reasons including health. We haven't heard. We are not going to use Charlie Morton in the first couple of weeks. We're GONNA have Kevin Meyer sit his first few at bats You Know Tyler. Glass now is still struggling a little bit. None of that stuff is coming out of Tampa. They're more concerned about a plan to maybe move some of the Games to Montreal In in a handful of years then they are on the field. I I agree one hundred percent and part of the reason. I think the Red Sox it what they did was the realist in the room has to look at the race and say we're not. We're not as good as that team. I'm sorry we're not. We don't have the pitching they have We have far more health questions than they have. And as we all have seen and you and I you know have access to different players. Different coaches and different managers the raise or like the as but probably a little bit better in that when you talk about everybody inside the game knows just how damn good they are very well run and I agree with you. I think the fact that you know there's such preeminence with the Yankees and the reason the division I actually think it makes it easier for hind bloom to make decisions with the red sox and the be aggressive and to trade. Jackie Bradley Jr. at some point. Trade Brandon Workman capitalize on his value. Right now within baseball because the Yankees are that good you mentioned about you know. Everyone wants to be commissioner. I don't know if you saw this last night. Jose can SACO tweeted out Ready to be baseball's next commissioner of all the things on the table at this point. That's not one of them. What was it like to sit down with rob the other day and what really jumped out to you but at the end of the interview you were like wow. He said that well. I think you know to be honest with you. I think the sort of physical appearance of the Commissioner. You know anytime that I've engaged with him He's generally up. He's generally in what looks to be really good wide awake Spirits this was a Sunday morning. It was about six thirty. Am when he showed up But he just looked like this taking a toll on him that he hadn't anticipated I think the blowback and all of that has been far greater than he ever thought. I think the idea that you have players fighting with players Believe it or not does impact him in a negative way. He is the Commissioner of the sport. He may work for the owners and yet it is his sport. All these elements are under his purview. And the idea that you have this. Much infighting in your sport is a reflection of and a mandate on. You Know Rob Manfred so I think the struggle that he's dealing with is is real and great. Some of it is his own doing others. Of course are these Fires that sprout up every single day with some of the Marquee names in baseball? That struck me in hindsight describing the world series trophy as a piece of Metal Wall. Very dismissive of its significance in the spirit of what he was trying to say was one. I'm doing in my opinion real. Serve a huge purpose that there will very much be a conversation around the two thousand Astros five years from now twenty five years from now fifty years from now that we continue to have about the nineteen nineteen Chicago White Sox. That's a hundred years ago and here. We are in twenty twenty still talking about them. Never forgetting the problem with with that. Is that there is a generation of folks especially the younger ones who aren't able to connect those dots they wouldn't know who the Nineteen Nineteen. Sox Are 'cause they're still ten to fifteen years old but eventually they will learn about that team and the reason that we talk about that team. He's Kinda banking on the idea that we will eventually talk about the twenty seventeen astros the same way you do about those teams You know they have done things that are so egregious and violate the norms of major league baseball and break rules. And you made mention of this about Robin standing. It's been interesting to me to do. Talk Radio shows around the country. This week I and Munich this podcast. It's going to come out on Friday. The question comes up. He knows rob Manfred in trouble. And I'm like no like like in my opinion. I don't think there's any way he would be in trouble I get. It hasn't been a great week for him. He's getting hammered by players. Every day people are calling him in idiots on twitter and social media. But this is someone who has been tremendous in terms of generating revenue for the people that he worked for and those are the thirty owners. I think he's absolutely on solid. Ground you better than I do. What do you think your? I'm absolutely not worried about it. And I think that anybody who and it's very easy I mean look he. He is walking around and he has a bullseye on his back is front his feet is head you know he is an easy target right now. And it's very easy for twitter verse and fans to follow in the footsteps of for the Aaron Judge's and the bellinger's and the trout's you know you think about it you have the biggest names in the game. You have the biggest markets in the game. You have some of the most vocal fan bases in the game. All kind of being led to the same target rob Manfred and look. There's a reason they call them followers on twitter. There are a lot of followers out there that will go with Wherever they're taking by their chosen leader their guy and their guy has all pointing the finger at somebody who in their world you know didn't punish the players enough and he's kind of pushing back a little bit and suggesting give it time and I did but no he's. He's in my opinion in no trouble at all. I will say no bygrave. I think I think the players have given him and out here. I think he could easily sit there tomorrow. And say look after internal consideration after discussing this with my trusted circle after discussing this with Hall of famers and after listening to the majority of players who have spoken in the near unanimous voice. I've decided that perhaps I was. I was short in in not considering enough to take away the title. I will listen to what everybody is saying. While this is my decision I am basing my decision on all the information that is that is Come forward since my initial decision and I do think that scratches the itch of everybody that is looking for a pound of flesh because I think there was the distinction between disciplining twenty game suspension. Fifty game suspension and punishing. Which I think his intent is I think when he says look. This is something that these players will wear. The rest of their lives is a punishment. Well I think if you take that trophy away and you vacate the title. You have subsequently addressed all those who want punishment just to follow up on that one of my questions it's popped up that is I don't know and let's face it. Everything and I don't think that casual fans understand how boxed any is by the fact and this isn't a criticism of the Union but the fact is is that he has to work under the terms of collective bargaining would with a union which limits a lot of what he does. I don't know if he has the power Carl to unilaterally strip the astros of a title without being challenged. Because I haven't run this past Tony Clark but if you're Tony Clark and you have players who had accomplishments who were given immunity on that two thousand seventeen and Major League Baseball says what they did is invalidated. I suspect the Union would punch back so I don't even know if he has the power to do that unilaterally and I wonder if that could be part of the equation for rob as he decides what to do just on that point. What you think. It's possible then float the trial balloon that I am seriously now considering vacating the title. And let's see you know you can flow trial balloons without declaring doing this And you know I was on with rich. Eisen yesterday and he brought up. What I thought was an interesting point although I don't think it's possible given this relationship given immunity is like look. They may have granted immunity but they didn't grant anonymity but let's let's like we have seen in the world of politics. Show me the evidence. Show me what these players have told you. You don't need to attach a name to it but you can certainly suggest that player x told me this. Here's the here's the quote from player. Y on on when we decided to use you know the bat and the garbage can yes player X Y and Z. All confirmed that in the two thousand. Seventeen world series During game two. We did this you know. I don't know but my guess is that by granting immunity you are you are at least Having to give pause to Exposing the quotes that were given to you. But it's a fair question I guess is he has the ability to do that and again I think it would. It would move. It would move the school of public opinion at least off of him and maybe back into his court to say look. I'm considering this. I hear what what the majority of people let alone players are saying. And I'm going to consider this now because I may have may have shortchanged that and I'm at least considering and last one for you along those lines and trying to think of a way for rob to thread the needle boxed in by the presence of of a union. You know what's been done with the decisions made in the investigation the immunity my dear yesterday and I ran this past some team officials and there was a lot of support for this was for rob to basically asked the owners for an unprecedented resolution of censure acid. Twenty-nine owners to vote on it. And I suspect that it would be twenty nine to one in favor of a censure of the two thousand Seventeen Astros to be attached to the records forever. So it goes down in history. Two Thousand Seventeen Astros have this scarlet letter C. Attach their names that they cheated to win the world series and to do that and then to forty two the players and said look this is what Major League Baseball is done under. Its umbrella we would very much welcome. You seconding this to To put this down in perpetuity that the entire sport recognized that the Houston Astros and what they did was unacceptable and they were cheating and he doesn't need the union's permission to do that and he also would brand them forever and if you're a member on that team you can never escape. That and I know feels light. And it's not as great as suspending a player taking their money or taking away a trophy but I think it would be lasting you like that idea. Yeah to me that you're formalizing what? He believes he's already done. You know you literally are formalizing through and through. Is this sort of scarlet letter which he believes he's attached to everyone associated with the two thousand seventeen astros just in in closing the three things that you've got that. In my opinion you have to remember here. He knows labor law as well as anybody out there talking about labor law. That's his background. So he is. He's aware of the box that he's in. He understands about immunity. That's number one to this dance that he's got to continue to do with the Players Association. I think both sides are starting to push a little bit To a place where this thing may just blow up and all of a sudden you realize they're not even GonNa talk to each other because they're sort of violating what may be either spoken code between the two of them are unwritten code between the two of them and thirdly and most importantly whether it's a censure whether you strip the title whether you just leave it as is we have and. I think this is Aaron Judge's and other people's points we have gotten to a point where we refuse to acknowledge the fact that we are rewarding or allowing team to win a championship. And not do anything about it by cheating. And you you simply cannot if we if we are going to be honest about integrity of the game. Let's talk about integrity of the players. The players showed very little integrity. When they cheated you cannot send a message to a ten year old a forty year old or a hundred year old then in your sport it was okay collectively as an organization to cheat and subsequently been rewarded with a series championship. You can't do it absolutely Carl. Thanks for doing this. Okay guys look to Uh some games earlier this week. Milwaukee brewers signed brock. Holt and Craig Counsel. The brewers manager General Manager David Stearns talking about that decision given listen. Brock's yeah true. True Multi Position Player include the Outfield Nat Plays played all over value. Has Been to clubs and that he's played all over kind of. I told you don't know where you're going to play this. No defined spot free play. And so that's that's the kind of guy where we you know. You know you're going to need it now. It's it's there for us. Brock has a lot of things that we like in a player. It first and foremost is all you guys. He plays all over the field And we really liked those types of guys. We don't feel like you can have too many of those types of guys he gives. Craig tremendous flexibility allows them to mix and match and variety of different ways over the course of the season depending on who's healthy before replying he hits from less play. It's right handed pitcher. We'll see a lot of pictures and art division in our league That's pretty attractive. And he's a tremendous guy in the clubhouse leader tweets just already buster. We Got David Baseball. Fan Nineteen Eighteen D. C. Guy Will give them a little shine here. Medusa myself he asks. Are you surprised that the cubs in the Indians having seen the red sox got in return for a one and done mookie? Betts haven't traded? Brian Orlando yet. I don't really see either player resigning now. Not the same because mookie. Betts of course is a free agent in the upcoming fall whereas both Bryant and Linda are under team control for both two thousand twenty in two thousand twenty one now. I do think that both players are going to get traded. I think it's very likely. Lindores traded before July thirty first. But it wouldn't surprise me. It didn't surprise me that they weren't traded to this point. All right last one here. Marc Sherman at Shark Merman. Clever handle their King Felix didn't get any recognition from the baseball tonight. Guys in the King Talk. Carl Hubbell may have been better than him but Jim Lehrer. It's certainly wasn't yeah. I kind of felt bad after I did that. Absolutely ambushed him with that question asking him who he thinks it when he hears the nickname king think he was going to say. Hubble he said Garrett's which hadn't occurred to me and then a couple of people did point out on twitter as you as you did shark that we didn't mention King Felix and I kind of felt stupid about that Taylor when he heard me ask the question. Did any big king come to mind for you. The only king that came to mind for me is King Henrik Lundqvist in the NHL. Not Not a baseball player. Obviously he's he's been the source of my IRA in terms of my Washington Capitals Fan. I'm a couple of times. So he's the only one that cropped up for me okay so so unrelated but yeah. That's that's what came to mind. That's liter tweets. Keep those questions coming. I try to stay away from the Astros. Talk so any anything. You Guys WanNa chat about staying away from the Astros. If you WANNA ask about your team can add it. We we definitely WanNa talk a little bit more ball than This controversy although the controversy is good for the podcast absolutely that is it for today. Thanks today detailer and Detroit and Carl. Thanks for listening to everybody. I will be back with you on Friday. I'll be here at jetblue. Park began in the morning. Then go see the twins in the afternoon. They have a night game on Friday. And I'm looking forward to that for listening to the baseball tonight. Podcast if you're playing fantasy baseball don't forget to listen to the fantasy focus podcast checkout all PODCASTS AT ESPN DOT COM. Slash pod separate baseball tonight. The podcast today's horoscope brought to you by GEICO Kaffir coins. Today's a perfect day for romance and fun filled activities with your partner and fun filled activities. We mean shopping for car insurance. Luckily you'll find that switching to gyco could save you hundreds of dollars a year yokip This Day. A romance going the hardware store by arguing for half an hour over the color of your backslash love is indeed in the air categories geico. Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percents or more.