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Letters to Clefo 2: I Made All Of These Up Because You’re All Lazy

The old standby, the fake mailbag column

Major Winter Storm Hammers East Coast With High Winds And Heavy Snow Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Yesterday, on the various Snakepit Affiliated Social Media accounts, we asked for questions to answer in a mailbag column. We did this last month and it seemed to go over well, so I thought I’d make it a monthly thing.

The only response on any of the posts we got was this:

Sir, this is a Wendy’s

So, on one hand: Screw y’all. On the other: It lets me roll up my sleeves and pull a good crackpot dictator move: make up the questions that are going to be asked beforehand, so as to have control of the narrative. Don’t like it? Ask questions next time.

It’s total horseshit that every year the Dodgers have some rookie who emulates peak Willie Mays at the plate for three months, thus keeping them afloat for contention, right?

Max Muncy”, which sounds like the name of a Police Detective that helps a mostly-lame DC Superhero, had stints in Oakland in 2015-2016 that were forgettable. Now he’s with the Dodgers in 2018 and suddenly has an OPS of 1.060.

Is this a product of dedicating a lot of resources in player development at the lower minor league level paying off at the MLB level? Would this all be sort of a moot point if the Diamondbacks didn’t take the month of May off? Well, yes to both, but that’s no fun.

The Dodgers are obviously harvesting rare minerals from another dimension to power up their players, but of course by doing this they will invite some sort of weird reptilian invaders into our dimension who will conquer everything. Hope the extra three wins per season were worth eternal enslavement in the Polonium mines, Dodgers!

Did Moneyball kind of ruin Baseball, just not in the way that old-school traditionalists think?

I mean, kind of. The advanced stat revolution itself is fine, because trying to get an edge on another team in whatever way you can is fair game. I’m mostly talking about... THE DISCOURSE (/diminished piano chord)

Since Moneyball and the advanced statistics revolution, every fan with a keyboard seems to think that they too can be a General Manager, and build a contender on the cheap. Emphasis on “On The Cheap.” Every MLB owner has more money than you or I will ever sniff in our lifetimes, and Major League Baseball is very profitable, and every owner just got a $50MM windfall over the winter. Yet, a significant section of people seem to believe that owners are basically Dickensian street urchins needing all the help they can. I am willing to bet that D-Backs ownership probably had the funds to pony up for Chase Field repairs, but didn’t want to (whether required contractually with the county or not.) It’s way more profitable to get a new stadium from all that, though. Owners view owning teams as a money making enterprise, rather than some vague civic duty. Not saying there’s inherit goodness or badness in that, it’s just what it is.

How does this relate back to fans? Well, there seems to be an idea of what you have to do is build a team on the cheap through the draft with the vague promise of contention in the future, rather than do your best through the draft, trades, and free agency to build a team that will, you know, win. Which is why with the discussion of maybe acquiring Manny Machado gets infuriating to me, personally, when people complain about “Years of Control” lost of players that haven’t played about Double A. WINNING A WORLD SERIES IS AWESOME, WE DID THAT ONCE, I WAS THERE, IT FELT REALLY GOOD, NOBODY GAVE A FLYING POOP ABOUT THE YEARS OF CONTROL LOST FROM TRAVIS LEE AND VICENTE PADILLA TO GET CURT SCHILLING CAUSE WE WON A DAMN WORLD SERIES OKAY.

How much Machado can help the team? Whether he is the best way to use trade resources to make the team better? These are all legitimate concerns, but twisting in the wind about years of control feels like sticking up for penny pinching when pennies need not be pinched.

You can yell at me about that in the comments, but here’s the twist: I won’t read them.

To summarize:

What is the most objectively dumb song that you love?

What’s a good baseball article that you think people should read and why?

This, from Baseball Prospectus, basically lines up how defensive metrics (and how they relate to WAR) are flawed and we should rethink them.

Unless you want to believe that Brett Gardner is the best defensive outfielder of all time. Knock yourself out.

Boy, it’s very hard to write a mailbag column when you have to think of the questions yourself, so you resort to random crap and yelling iconoclasm, huh?

It sure is! Maybe we’ll try this next month!