Hey, it’s Charlie again. You thought you had gotten rid of me, but you need to send more competent assassins to vanquish me from writing once a week for this website, you fools!
Writing a weekly column/mailbag/free form expression brought on by a narcotics-induced haze can be tricky. Sometimes you have an idea, but you can’t wring a full 1,000 or so words from it. Not being in High School anymore and having no need to extend your paper out with adverbs, generously, capriciously, and randomly, I have decided to give a few vignettes of columns/ideas to the people.
(All opinions expressed are mine and not necessarily the ones of the rest of the AZ Snakepit staff... though they should be! Ha ha, that was a joke.)
How this season will unfold is still a mystery. One week in the Diamondbacks are better at offense than I would have expected, and the starting pitching is worse. (Both of these things may be related to the credible idea that the balls are juiced again) So anything can happen, etc. etc. etc.
My overreacting thought during the first game drubbing against the Dodgers last week was that the Diamondbacks hedged this offseason and that might have been the worst short or long-term plan.
My reasoning: Trading Paul Goldschmidt, but not for any high-upside minor league prospects, doesn’t really create any long-term rebuilding plan in the traditional sense. Only trading Goldschmidt and not Greinke, etc also doesn’t put you on a rebuilding track. Team might be bad for a few years, but people seem to go ape over a restocked farm system, so you have that in your pocket.
On the flip side, trading Goldy and doing minor stuff to fill out your roster (though so far Adam Jones looks like an incredibly good pick up.) doesn’t really signal that you’re gonna try to contend again this year, so why not hold onto Goldy and make one more run? (Especially since Goldy being traded might have been a reason that A.J. Pollock rejected his QO?)
It just seems like trying to hedge between “Total rebuild” or “Going for it” is going to have some long-term impact on the team.
I could be wrong!
(SCENE: Manny Machado is washing his hands. In the brief moment of time where he puts soap on my hands, he leaves the faucet on)
BERT: Did he just do that?!?
BOB: I think he did!
BERT: What a bush-league move from Machado! We expect these things!
BOB: He’s always wondering “How come my water bill is unusually high?”
BERT: He’s just a disgusting human being.
BOB: They say he will live forever because neither God or The Devil will welcome him into his domain.
BERT: Literally worse than Hitler.
BOB: I hope someday we throw him into a black hole and he spends the rest of his days being pulled apart in agony in the event horizon.
BERT: (Suddenly changing tone) You ever see that flick, Bob?
BOB: Which one?
BERT: Event Horizon.
BOB: I don’t believe that I have.
BERT: Sam Neill gouges his eyes out, good flick.
What are you going to do in 2021/2022 when the work stoppage happens?
I’ll be starting my Weezer Cover Cover band. We only do covers of Weezer covers. Our album will be entitled “The #00F3F9 Album” It will be terrible, but that’s what you have to do with no baseball.
Whose to say who will be to blame for the future work stoppage? Well, I am, it’s the owners. It’s always the owners. Every work stoppage in sports history, whether of the strike or lockout variety, revolves around ownership crying poor and being cheap.
I can see the counterargument, though. The failsons of the original ownership from way back in the day just need that second yacht for their mistress, so they can’t possibly offer Mike Trout an extra $5 Million AAV. Players may have worked all their lives to harness their natural athletic ability to turn it into being one of the best 600 people in the world at a very hard to play sport, but that owner’s dad only needed to pay a half-mill to get them into Dartmouth, so whose to say who has worked harder? I mean, it’s Dartmouth, not a good Ivy, so that’s basically rags-to-riches.
I always get annoyed when I watch games and there are times when they’re not showing Ken Kendrick staring from the owner’s box. David Peralta just hit an exciting double to bring the tying run in late in the game? Gah, get that crap out of here. GIVE ME THAT SCOWLING OLD MAN OH YEAH THAT’S THE STUFF.
Maybe I’m cynical, but it’s wild to me that we saw Jon Duplantier up with the Diamondbacks so early in the season. He’s a highly-touted prospect, and gosh don’t you just want to hold on to those as long as possible? So a lot of teams, and this is expressly forbidden by the CBA but they just do it anyway, will leave a player that is clearly ready to be in the majors for a few weeks in the minors so that they can garner another year of “Service Time” and stay with that team for another year before Free Agency. Probably the most obvious and famous recent case of this was Kris Bryant. (You can read about it in detail here)
Teams have to do this, of course. There is no other way to keep a player beyond when their years of control after being called up are up. None. You can’t think of any, don’t try to extend your brain thinking about it.
It’s an extremely bad-faith way to do business, and is ironically short-sighted for a move designed for the long-term. If a team is believed to be on the cusp of the playoffs at the start of any given season, winning one or two extra games in early April could end up being the difference, and if your young player on the cusp of Super Two status can help you win those games? All the better. Seems like a win-win!
It has seemed pretty obvious that the Blue Jays are doing this to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vlad the 2nd has been hitting in the minors like Mike Trout facing a High School team, but the team has hemmed and hawed, and saying nebulous things about “He needs to work on his defense.” I might remind you that the Blue Jays play in the American League, where they have a rule about how you can play in the lineup and not have to worry about defense at all. They were probably happy to avoid this when Guerrero got injured during the spring. Which, if you think about that, is really f***ed up.
So it’s good to see guys like Duplantier, and Eloy Jiménez, and Peter Alonso, etc up to start the season. Let the fans see the exciting prospects in one form or another. And like I said, they might be the difference between a playoff berth and a season where you get a marginally higher draft pick for the next guy you hold down in Triple-A for vague defensiev concerns.
“But don’t you want to see this guy be awesome in 2026?” says a voice that sounds like a straw man, but I swear is something some New York writer hack said about Alonso after he hit a homer. To which, I’ll answer with dependable internet reaction standby John Mulaney:
Enjoy the home opener today, everyone!