The baseball hot stove has been…slow, to say the least. Especially when it comes to the big names on the market. Former Tampa Bay Rays spoke out about that and more.
Evan Longoria, who despite playing for the San Fransico Giants (for now anyway, as the Giants are gauging interest on Longo) is still the most recognizable Tampa Bay Rays player of all time.
Recently, Evan Longoria pointed that Major League Baseball free agents are being “devalued,” adding “It is a real shame.” In a recent Instagram post.
Evan Longoria’s point is probably common among players. He is right, players work incredibly hard. However, fans should still care about what money their favorite team is shelling out. While I will never begrudge a player for getting a big payday, it can hamper a franchise. It can also get front office members fired, the same way poor play can get a player Designated for Assignment, or a lack of at-bats.
Fans care about their favorite players, sure. But fans are mainly cheering for laundry, their uniform against the other teams uniform in hopes that the players in their jersey hoist the World Series trophy.
Poor contracts and overspending get in the way of that unless you are a fan of the Yankees. Look at the Kansas City Royals. After winning their first World Series in over 30 years, they gifted Alex Gordon 72-million dollars, when his decline was foreshadowed and inevitable. They paid Gordon for his past performance, and not what he could netback for the franchise during the life of his contract. They really outbid themselves, as the only team with even lukewarm interest in Gordon at the time were the Whitesox. Now, they were from back-to-back AL Champions one of the worst teams in baseball. A bad contract or two or three (see Jason Hamel and Ian Kennedy as well) can do that.
So from a player standpoint, it absolutely sucks, we can all agree on that. However, that does not mean fans just should not care what money is thrown out by their favorite team.
Another fan favorite, Chris Archer, spoke out about the Hall of Fame.
Chris Archer holds an opinion, that I am sure many of you hold.
While these players certainly are cheaters, they did only enhance their game. Steroids can not turn me, an average man, into Barry Bonds. The counterpoint to that would be, even the worst player in Major League Baseball is not the average man.
In a nutshell, I agree with Archer. But when you look at it deeper, I think the Hall of Fame is a place for storytelling, not morality.
When I walk through the Negro League museum (hall of fame, but for some reason, they refuse to brand it that) in Kansas City, I love that each time I go in there, I learn a new story about players, teams, or American life during that time. I really do not care what kind of person Cool Papa Bell was off the field.
When voting for who should get in the Hall of Fame (in my head, of course, I do not actually have a vote sadly) I always ask myself: Can you tell the story of baseball without this guy? If no, he is a hall of famer. If yes, he is in the hall or very good.
Lastly, Former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. talked about the travel ball epidemic in America.
I have no experience in travel ball. I was not good enough at any sport to invest that kind of time and money into them. But from the outside looking in, I do agree specialization, especially at such a young age, is not good for a kid, Even if they do become a professional player in a sport, playing other sports can help further their game. Look at Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback, who is able to make sidearm throws around players (yes, literally around players) thanks to his days of playing shortstop.
Tampa Bay Rays players have been very vocal in the last week, and it has put on display how social media can make these guys more personable. Even if they are not outraged about a topic, something as simple as Blake Snell’s twitch streams can bring fans closer to players as humans. Not just incredible baseball players.