top of page
file.jpg
  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Spring Training, Books, Home, SSTN, and More...

by Paul Semendinger

February 17, 2024

***

It's good to be home. It was great being away, wonderful, in fact, but it's also always good to be home.


Once again, thanks to the SSTN staff for keeping the blog running and productive in my absence. Ethan Semendinger, Andy Singer, and Mike Whiteman did a great job overseeing the works.


After being away from baseball and the site for so long, I have lots to write about:


  • I am surprised that Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, and Jordan Montgomery are not yet signed. It's a bad look for them (they look greedy), their agent (he looks foolish), and baseball (why can't some of the game's best players get a contract?).

  • Many people on the site stated that Scott Boras was going to hold out until the end. I tended to disagree. They were correct. I was wrong.

  • What I don't understand, though, is the fact that Scott Boras works for the players, the players don't work for him. If I were the player, this would have all gone differently (I'd like to think). I would have said, "I'm not waiting months and months and months to sign a contract and figure my life out. Get it done by early January, at the latest. Oh, and by the way, here a list of the places where I most want to play. Get it done."


  • I was away on a cruise with my wife. They showed the Super Bowl on the large screen in the ship's theater. It was amazing. I watched the game with hundreds of people. They served nachos, mozerella sticks, wings, and hotdogs. It was a lot of fun. A lot. And the game was one of the best.


  • I'm happy for the Chiefs that they won. I like dynasties. I'm a Yankees fan. I celebrate excellence. I was happy for the Patriots when they won all the time. I'm happy for the Chiefs. I hope they keep winning. I'd like to see the Yankees win all the time.

  • I like dynasties, but I've never liked the Dallas Cowboys. I don't want them to win a lot.


  • All that being said, I was pulling for the 49'ers. I love the fact that Brock Purdy was the last player drafted. He almost won a Super Bowl. Amazing. I hope he gets there again and wins one. Or more...


  • Quick Quiz: Name the Yankees pitcher who went 14-4 for the 1977 Yankees. His .778 winning percentage (obviously) led the team. That player was Don Gullett, an outstanding pitcher, signed by the Yankees before the 1977 season after starring for the Cincinnati Reds. Unfortunately, Gullett broke down physically. Don Gullett passed away the other day. He should be remembered more, but an arm injury ended his career at 27-years-old. Gullett had an outstanding lifetime record of 109-50 (.686).


  • I am still reading all the articles posted on the site during my ten days away. There was some great stuff written here (as always). I wish I could have been in some of the discussions. I'll make a few quick comments to some of the points below, but first, and foremost, always... discuss, debate, and have fun in the comments, but always, always, and always, be respectful of each other. There is no room here for people being unkind to one another.


  • Patrick Gunn made a good case for bringing back Gio Urshela. The readers did a good job with their reasons against that move. I wouldn't mind seeing a Gio reunion. I fear that DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Peraza will be inadequate at third base. I worry when the reasons to support a player are "he had a strong few months last year." That's the case with DJ LeMahieu. When an argument for a player is, "He might, finally, be over his injury,"I get fearful. This is expecially true when the player has been broken down for a while and he's old.


  • People are making the same arguments for Anthony Rizzo. "If he's recovered from the brain injury..." and "Boy, for a few months last year he was lights out." All that is true, but since 2020, Rizzo has been a .234 hitter (not including last year). The Yankees aren't exactly getting the Anthony Rizzo from 2014-2019 when he was a .284 hitter with more power.


  • Anthony Rizzo will turn 35-years-old this season. DJ LeMahieu will turn 36-years-old. Expecting these two players to both bounce back and play at a high level as the corners of the infield is asking a lot. I fear it's asking too much.


  • The status of Gleyber Torres after this season will be a HUGE topic of debate. There was much written on him these last many days. EJ Fagan, Andy Singer, and Ethan Semendinger all wrote articles on Torres. Andy's deep dive into Gleyber's arm strength was top notch. Also, as Ethan wrote yesterday, Gleyber Torres is a solid 3.0 WAR player. He's a productive hitter. He's an important part of the team. But will he be worth a long mega contract after 2024? I don't think so... right now, at least.

  • I had fun making the articles about the Topps baseball card designs. I'll get to the 1980s soon. After that, most of those years I didn't collect, except when buying cards for many years with my sons. We had a blast collecting cards, but I never fell in love with the cards of the 1990s and 2000s as I did when I was a kid. I'm sure their feelings on those sets are like mine with the sets of my youth.


  • In Tim Kabel's article from last week, he made and interesting point: "If the Yankees get off to a slow start this season, how quickly do you think there will be calls for Boone to be replaced by either bench coach Brad Ausmus or new YES broadcaster Joe Girardi." I think it'll happen quickly. I wonder who of those two the better candidate to replace Boone would be. Also, Tim - Congrats on your retirement!


  • Credit to reader Jeff for calling for the Yankees to hire Corey Kluber as a pitching consultant. And they did!


  • Ed Botti always has great insight. He notes something so so so true "Availability is sometimes more important than ability." I am very very very concerned in that light about the Yankees' plan to have Aaron Judge in centerfield. For whatever the reasons, are there have been plaenty, Judge hasn't been a bastion of availability throughout his career. He isn't a kid any longer either. Judge will be 32-years-old this season. And he's coming off a very bad toe injury...



  • Andy Singer shared the following, which touched me greatly: "I'm marginally embarrassed to admit that a funny thing happened as I listened to "Centerfield" by John Fogerty and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" By Bernie Williams: a tear came to my eye." I know how you feel, Andy. I know how you feel. I think we all do.



  • I have a ton more thoughts, but that's what tomorrow and the days after are all about!

35 comments

35 comentários


fuster
18 de fev.

Rob Manfred says MLB wants a free-agent signing deadline, Scott Boras fires back with 'death-line' quip

The commissioner says the league wants a December deadline for 'flurried activity'

By Mike Axisa

Feb 16, 2024 at 10:56 am ET•


MLB spring training camps are open across Arizona and Florida and still many high-profile free agents remaining unsigned. Fourteen of our top 50 free agents are still without a contract, including four of the top 10: Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Jordan Montgomery, and Blake Snell. All four are Scott Boras clients, which is almost certainly not a coincidence.

Free agency moving slowly is not unusual -- it was only a few years ago that the MLBPA had to set up a spring training…


Curtir
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
18 de fev.
Respondendo a

Boras, for once, is absolutely right.

Curtir

jeff
17 de fev.

I have posted on multiple occasions on this site about my wish that there was a "Free Agent signing deadline" of some sort. SINCE I have suggested that on this page, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Red Sox manger Alex Cora expressed the same thing! THEIR idea of a deadline is in December. My idea, gives them until the DAY BEFORE pitchers and catchers report that they must be signed. Sort of the same concept of the Japanese free agents, how they have a "window" and players like Yamamoto and Imanaga must sign before that "window closes". What I don't like is players, especially pitchers, losing time during Spring Training, because each lost Spring Training day can be costly…

Curtir
jeff
18 de fev.
Respondendo a

True, our lives aren't effected if the players don't sign by the time pitchers and catchers report, and true, the free agents are "hurt" by remaining unsigned. But if does have an effect on fans who support the team because if their team does sign one of those players in the middle of the Exhibition Season or on Opening Day, the teams they root for are affected as a result of the inferior performances of the players who signed late, as they go through their "regular season Spring Training" in April, not performing to the peak of their capabilities during the "games that matter". They lose the Spring Training time spent with coaches and guest instructors who could have suggest…

Curtir

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
17 de fev.

"why can't some of the game's best players get a contract?"


Maybe because, as someone pointed out, they are greedy and stupid?


Re. Judge and center field: Center is of course a more defensively demanding position than the corner spots, but is it a more injury-prone position? I don't know if there are stats on this, but I suspect there are fewer wall crashes by centerfielders, and let's remember that Judge's injury last year came when he was playing right field and crashed into a wall gate. If he'd been in center that day, he'd never have gotten hurt.

Curtir
fantasyfb3313
19 de fev.
Respondendo a

Paul, i understand the point you have been making almost since the second we traded for Soto. I am not sure if i agree with you or not, to be honest. I totally like the idea of us signing Bellinger. I am all for it and always have been. i wanted us to get both Belli and Soto from the beginning. I wanted it because of what it does for the offense. I understand people fear that Bellinger could be a one year wonder who will go back to looking like he did the years before last year. I am willing to believe that he sacrificed some power to become a player who makes more contact. Being a L…


Curtir

Alan B.
Alan B.
17 de fev.

So, with so many more thoughts rolling around in that brain of yours Paul, should we expect at least one post a day from you, our esteemed Grand Poobah? 😀


As for free agents, at least with Montgomery, they are leaning into the RSN issues. But you really need to understand just how much pressure at times the Union can bring down on a player, or even at times I'm doing an educated guess, that they get told by the Union when they can sign. Then there are the agents, who want not only the best deals for their clients, but to show other players why they need to change agencies. Then there are the uber agents like Boras …


Curtir
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
17 de fev.
Respondendo a

I do have the 1979 Bump Wills Blue Jay card. Why?

Curtir

fuster
17 de fev.

"I'm not waiting months and months and months to sign a contract and figure my life out..."


they've long ago figured out this part of their lives


and long ago learned that having the sort of employment that requires excellence, devotion and physical maintenance while providing great emolument and months of vacation time


is not compromised by not being under contract during vacation time.


it's not as though the free agent players are living paycheck-to-paycheck and not as though they're facing the possibility that they will be denied employment as soon as they're convinced that a better offer is not on the way.


these men are already millionaires

and will remain millionaires for at least the next decade


these aren't…


Curtir
fuster
18 de fev.
Respondendo a

yes, perhaps the failure to understand is mine.


Curtir
dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

blog+image+2.jpeg

Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTNReaderMail@gmail.com

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg
583250.jpg
Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."

foco-yankees.png

We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page