Unintentionally, we here at DRaysBay seem to have slipped into the role of media cop regarding discussion around the recent string of moves the Rays have made as they commit to a rebuild.
Now that the dust has settled, it seems the takes have gotten both more balanced and more thoughtful. There’s a lesson in that. Something about hot takes in general.
In response, to start the morning links, we believe it’s important to highlight the good ones, because we here at DRaysBay do sometimes try not to be too grinchy, too much of the time. Honeywell responses are below the fold.
Very Good Takes
- It’s behind the pay wall, but Bryan Grosnick at Baseball Prospectus wrote a full, fair, and insightful analysis of the Rays moves, discussing the ways the Oakland Athletics at the start of the moneyball era are and are not a good comparison for the Rays, and how there are “multiple currencies” in baseball—money, current major leaguers, prospects, and fan goodwill. It’s good, and a reason to subscribe to Baseball Prospectus.
- Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports took a second crack at the Rays after some challenging from our staff in writing and on twitter. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I bristle at the way he characterizes “Rays Defenders” (which I think means me). But he makes a valid point those of us with a particular focus should keep in mind:
The point is that most people do not root for general managers. They do not care about long-term, sabermetrically-sound theories of team building. They want an entertaining team in which they can, over time, invest some loyalty and forge an emotional connection. If a club cannot serve those fans — which are, again, most fans — while also building their team for sustained competition, they need to explain why they can’t, given how many teams are able to do this. They are not entitled to the deference they and their defenders expect as a matter of course.
Take away that parting shot about “deference” and I’m with you, Craig.
- This entire hubbub has made me wonder whether we in The Moneyball Generation of writers have gone soft and forgotten the way economics works. That happens. Everybody gets old. But J.J. Cooper over at Baseball America restored a little bit of my faith. He gets it. The Rays are making these moves because they’re cheap/poor/in a small market, and that makes it hard to win as an MLB club. That’s not a value judgement; it’s just a description of reality. After you accept that you can move on to the disucssions of whether or not they should be able to spend more—if you want to argue the revenue, to ask the team to open up its books, or anything else like that, go for it—but you have to start here, or else you’re operating in a make-beleive world.
- Cold analysis isn’t the only way to approach baseball. Also, tragedy and and comedy balance together on a razorblade. Matt Sussman at Baseball Prospectus and his “short relief” about the Rays had me laughing out loud. See? Not a grinch.
Very Bad News
While the recognizeable figures on the major league team were shipped away, Rays fans could smile knowing that at least we had Brent Honeywell, pitching prospect extraordinaire.
Well, now Honeywell has a torn UCL, and will have Tommy John surgery.
#Rays Honeywell said he was throwing harder Thursday than he ever had, but insisted that was not cause of the UCL tear, that it was “inevitable,” would have happened at some point— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 23, 2018
#Rays Honeywell said he actually felt a pop on the first pitch to Ramos Thursday then when he threw the next one and it wasn’t right that he knew what had done. Went right to see Dr. Eaton but knew what he’d tell him.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 23, 2018
Other Rays Links
- While Honeywell now has a long journey in front of him, Jonny Venters is almost all the way back. Anthony Castrovince wrote a very good, long profile of his journey. Take that as a primer, and hope for Honeywell.
- Travis Sawchik analyzed Corey Dickerson, looking into the wide difference between his fist and second halves of the season. If he fixes a hole in his swing, he could be very good, but if he doesn’t, he might not.
- Steve Kinsella (who I think gets lumped in with us “Rays Defenders”) wrote about the details of the Dickerson trade.
- It is the first real action of Spring, begining with a split-squad game.
- The Rays will be wearing Stoneman Douglas hats.
- Marc Topkin wrote about new Ray Anthony Banda.
- Since we’re talking about stadiums, finances, and Florida Baseball, the Marlins story continues to be a bad one, and one the Rays and the Tampa Bay local government would do well to make sure they don’t replicate.
- The Rays Radio profile yesterday was on Brett Sullivan:
- And the profile today is on Vidal Nunes: