Do you approve of the job Torey Lovullo is doing? 91%
That’s down from last week’s perfect record, but still quite impressive. However, it’s perhaps less so in broader context, for most fans in baseball are quite happy with their managers. That 91% ranks only 12th in the majors. The Astros, Brewers and Athletics all scored a perfect 100% this week - Houston has been 4-for-4 there, without a single negative vote this season. Despite their early struggles, the Rockies still come in ahead of the D-backs at 92%, though we are more confident than the rest of our divisional rivals. The Padres come in at 89%, with the Giants and Dodgers at 84% and 83% respectively. At the other end, it’s a tough crowd in New York, where the Yankees are only 34% confident in Aaron Boone.
Are you confident in the direction of the team? 65%
That’s not quite as high as it was, dropping from a 79% figure after week 3. Losing a series (almost being swept) at home by the Padres will probably do that. Speaking of San Diego, their fans seems pretty happy: along with the Astros, Brewers and Phillies, the Padres’ fans sit at 100%. And, indeed, have been there each week since the start of the season. I guess getting to enjoy first place for the first time in eight years, is a pleasant change for fans who have been through more rebuilds than Notre Dame Cathedral [what, too soon?]. The Dodgers (80%) sit ahead of the D-backs, but direction-wise, we are happier than both the Giants (55%) and Rockies (60%) - the latter, despite their happiness with the manager.
This week’s national issue was a (somewhat long-winded) question in the wake of a spurt of early contract signings by young players - we saw a couple of these in Atlanta, in the series just ended. Do these represent better value for the team - getting cost-certainty - or the player, who is insured against future injury or loss of form?
Of course, the key here is “under value”. Does the contract the D-backs signed with the then 24-year-old Yasmany Tomas in 2014 qualify? It certainly hasn’t been value, so probably acts as a case where the team gets to repent at leisure. But even that $68.5 million deal is dwarfed by the one signed in Atlanta by Ronald Acuna Jr, which guarantees the 21-year-old, with not even a full season’s worth of games at the MLB level, $100 million. Admittedly, we are speaking about someone who has already proven himself, winning the NL Rookie of the Year in 2018. But he could still turn into Jason Heyward, who had a similarly explosive debut - but over the last three years has been paid $78 million and been worth only 5.1 bWAR.