Touching 'em All - Chicks and Digging the Long Ball
Credit: Sporting News
Welcome back to Touching ‘Em All. We’ll cover 4 bases and 1 bonus headline for you this week, where some races started heating up, some teams took some hard knocks, and my New Jersey Devils drafted Nico Hischier first overall, and I couldn’t be more pleased (I know it’s hockey, but I’m really pumped). That said, here we go.
First base - Tanking Teams - The trade deadline is a month away, and we already know that there are plenty of sellers in the market with the playoff races narrowing by the day. At the deadline, it seems that teams that are out of the playoff sell off any player with a pulse and a contract so that they can build for the future. It’s a classic move, and this strategy exists in most sports. The thing about a team that tanks, is that they usually do this in effort to land a higher draft pick. While that’s relevant in any other of the big 4 sports (yay Devils again!), the baseball draft usually doesn’t have those ready for the big league prospects immediately after the draft. The reason teams sell at the deadline is to find that core of players who can grow together, and once that gels, teams become contenders. Don’t buy any team tanking, ever.
Second base - Female Fans - Many of the women in my life don’t like baseball. I understand, it’s not a sport for everyone. I haven’t seen a Sunday softball league for women in my neighborhood, anyway. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that women could very well be baseball fans, and teams may have trouble marketing to them. Turning back the clock to when baseball was actually two words, and the Civil War was just finishing up, base ball was a gentlemen’s game, and was played mostly by gentlemen’s clubs. Women had their games, but it became a man’s game from there. I think it’s important for the league to try and market more toward women. It’s not easy, but if the MLB finds the right way to do it, you’ll have a lot more full ballparks for years to come. Have I any ideas how? No. That’s why I don’t work in the MLB marketing department.
Third base - No Fish for Jeter - After Jeb Bush left the party, Yankees legend Derek Jeter became the lead party in the effort to buy the Miami Marlins. However, recently, he told the MLB that he by himself can’t afford the team. He’s still trying to find new guys to join him, but it’s not looking like he’s gonna make it in the near future. Jeff Loria wants this done by year’s end, but I’m not feeling it. Jeter has better things to do than give Jeff Loria lots of money so that he can pay Giancarlo Stanton for all of eternity. It was a good effort, but I think Jeet’s gotta take it easy. He’s set for life anyway, who needs to worry about winning anymore? If I were him, I’d enjoy life a little more before he sprouts some gray hairs (which he’d shave off anyway) by owning a team like the Marlins.
Home plate - Home Run Rates - We are all enamoured by some of the young power bats in the major leagues, like Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger, and Bryce Harper to name a few. But a good chunk of the power is coming more from the veteran players, lately. Players seem to hit their peaks in their late 20’s and early 30’s, and many of the higher home run rates are coming from players like Eric Thames, Justin Smoak, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, and Mark Trumbo to name a few. This leads me to one belief: If Judge, Bellinger, etc. haven’t peaked physically yet, we may have some home run bashing for all time in the next 5 to 10 years. Who needs steroids, anyway?
Bonus Cantos - Home Run Derby - Speaking of Aaron Judge, he recently got an invitation to join the Home Run Derby in Miami. The baseball world is earnestly begging him to join, as am I. If anyone can put on a Stanton-esque show in the derby, Judge is the guy to do it. During batting practice, Judge has destroyed a TV, hit a hotel, and put baseballs in places no one’s ever expected to find one that ever existed on a field of play. If the glass wall behind left field in Marlins Park is open, expect him and Giancarlo to send a few out of the ballpark and into a backyard in Little Havana. Giancarlo has owned the derby as of late, so here’s to hoping that Judge can show off his muscles a bit, and make this one to remember.
Got any stories you want me to cover on the next Touching 'Em All? Let me know in the comments.