UCB Radio: January 22, 2014

Kevin Reynolds is back with me on tonight’s UCB Radio. We talked about his weekend experiences at Winter Warm-Up, Matt “Little City” Adams, and the potential for a starting pitching competition. Listen to the podcast version here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ivieleagueproductions/2014/01/23/ucb-radio

Jay and Bourjos avoid arbitration

According to media reports today the St. Louis Cardinals have inked deals with center fielders Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos to avoid arbitration hearings. The deals, which haven’t been announced yet by the club, leave infielder Daniel Descalso as the only pending arbitration case for the Cardinals.

Jay’s deal is reported to be a 1 year, $3.25 million contract that comes in just less than his $3.4 million arbitration estimate from MLB Trade Rumors. Jay, who will turn 29 in March, struggles last year posting a .276 batting average along with a 102 OPS+. His defense also struggled as he went from one of the better rated defenders to one of the NL’s worst in center field. Those struggles likely cost Jay some money in arbitration.

Bourjos’ deal is reported to be a 1 year, $1.2 million contract with an additional $150,000 in plate appearance incentives. Bourjos, who will be 27 in March, is widely expected to be the Cardinals’ starting center fielder in 2014. He is coming off an injury shortened year that saw him hit .274 over just 196 plate appearances. However, he was hitting well over .300 when he broke his wrist in June. He is also regarded as the best defensive center fielder in baseball. [click to continue…]

Jay avoids arbitration

The Cardinals sign CF Jon Jay to a 1 year, $3.25 million deal to avoid arbitration.

Cubs catching flack for new mascot

Earlier this week the Chicago Cubs unveiled their first official team mascot in history, Clark the Cub. General response on the Internet has been predictably humorous and unpredictably angry. Stuff like that it’s the Cubs’ biggest offseason addition and that all lovable children’s characters have no pants. Or you rib Cubs fans for a century of futility like Dennis Lawson or whip out Photoshop like Matt Sebek.

Beyond all the humor and general fun poking that was done by baseball fans there was a rather vitriolic response to the mascot that surprised me. I’ve read people calling it stupid. That the Cubs lost their dignity by adopting an official mascot. That it’s turning their back on tradition.

I think some people are missing the point. [click to continue…]

Deadspin, Le Batard, and the Hall of Fame

I’m sure by now most know the story. A couple months ago, the website Deadspin set out to make a point about the voting process of baseball’s Hall of Fame. They put out a story in which they offered to buy a vote from someone and they would then poll their readership to produce the ballot. They reportedly came close to sealing the deal with a donation to charity, but that fell through. Then came Plan B, ESPN’s Dan Le Batard had offered to volunteer his ballot, free of charge.

The Deadspin readership voted and produced ten candidates for the Hall of Fame and the ballot was cast. Wednesday after the Hall of Fame announcement was made, Deadspin and Le Batard revealed themselves. Le Batard said he wanted to draw attention to the farce of a voting system. And in an unsurprising move, the Baseball Writers Association of America have taken efforts to protect the sanctity of their system and have taken away Le Batard’s voting rights and suspended his membership for a year.

There have been many complaints levied at Le Batard. [click to continue…]