Cody Parkey and Failure

In Uncategorized by myles84 Comments

With less than a minute to go in a playoff game, Cody Parkey trotted out to attempt a game-winning field goal for the Chicago Bears. He made the first kick, which did not count because he was iced.

The second was tipped, and then it hit the upright.

The result of that kick is that the Bears lost the game. Their season is now over, and we as fans are tasked with apportioning blame. Who deserves it? It’s hard to apportion blame to the defense, which allowed only 15 points. You should win most games in which you task your offense with merely scoring 16 points. It’s easy to give some blame to Matt Nagy, for playcalling that neglected Tarik Cohen and Allen Robinson for whatever reason. You can even give some blame to Mitch Trubisky, for leading an offense that needed a last-second FG to win the game.

That said, most of the blame MUST go on Cody Parkey.

The (in Mort voice) placekicker in the National Football League (end Mort voice) has basically two roles. The first is to get touchbacks. The second is to kick the ball through the uprights. Every coach knows that, every kicker knows that, every fan knows that. The kickers who do these things are successes, and the kickers who don’t are failures. These are the only things that kickers are measured by. Additionally, those kicks are most important when the game is on the line – kicking a field goal when you are up 30 is irrelevant, and kicking a field goal when down 2 is maximally important. The field goal attempt was a maximally failure – this isn’t that hard.

If you were to go on twitter, you’d find a bunch of extremely shitty people calling for Cody Parkey to die, or worse. These people are the smegma of society, and can be safely ignored. That said, a sizable contigent of people on twitter seemed to try their absolute best to absolve Cody Parkey of blame.

This is a bad take. You shouldn’t share it. It’s not only factually incorrect (the worst kind of incorrect), it’s also an insult to Cody Parkey. If you absolve Cody Parkey of blame, you are either saying that his job is completely irrelevant (when it is in fact extremely relevant) or that he is so unbelievably incompetent that relying on him is a mistake (and I shouldn’t have to tell you why that’s an insult). I guarantee you if you asked Cody Parkey if it’s his fault the Bears lost, he would say yes (and he would be, in fact, correct). It would be like saying that a plumber who couldn’t unclog a toilet wasn’t at fault for the toilet overflowing because he didn’t drop the deuce that clogged it. To say that it isn’t his fault is to be afraid of failure. That’s not healthy. People can fail and still be good people (in fact, 100% of good people have failed before – it may even be a necessary component of being good). Cody Parkey is no worse a person than he was before he missed that kick, because football is a game that people watch for entertainment and it has no bearing on the greater world (and I can guarantee you that he wanted to make that kick more than anyone else did). We can be honest about that, be mad at “Cody Parkey” for him missing a kick, and live our lives. We don’t have to defend his honor online, just like we don’t have to call for his blood.

Life is a collection of experiences – many of them failures, many of them successes, many of them jubilant, many of them morose. That’s the deal. The thing about pretending that the failures didn’t happen is that you’re only pretending. You can learn from them, you can (eventually) forget them, but you can’t rewrite them. Trying to do so is probably a failure in itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Cubs aren’t signing anybody else this year. Buy your tickets to the 2019 Cubs Convention now!

 

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  1. Ryno

    I kind of agree with Fornelli’s take there. Kind of.

    It was not Cody Parkey’s fault the Bears lost.

    It was not ALL Parkey’s fault. It’s partially his fault because he missed a kick that would’ve given them enough points to win.

    The offense scored 11 points less than their season average against a team that gave up 22 ppg on the season. I’d argue that the playcalling and QB play in the first half cost them the game considerably more than the kicker did.

    The defense, though, held up their end.

    They had plenty of other opportunities to win that would have kept them from being in a position that caused them to depend on a kicker that had proven to be less than dependable this season. They didn’t. They paid for it.

    See: the offense. Your kicker made 76% of his field goals on the season and 75% in the playoff game. It’s like Latroy Hawkins as closer. He wasn’t as good in the 9th inning for some reason. If you keep running him out there and expect something different, that’s on you. The Bears had opportunities (including on the last drive) to get closer or even possibly score a TD.

    That’s not to say Parkey shouldn’t strive to be better. He should. He has been better. So I guess the crux of this comes down to expectations. Parkey performed exactly as expected. As did the defense. The offense was the unit that performed worse than usual and therefore should shoulder most of the blame, imo. They and whoever was responsible for the chickenshit first-half playcalling.

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  2. dmick89

    Ryno,

    I agree with this. Sounds like if the field goal is good the Bears win so I get that, but there are probably at least 10 other plays the same thing could be said. I think he’s partially to blame, but it’s a team sport.

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  3. Mucker

    Ryno:
    The offense was the unit that performed worse than usual and therefore should shoulder most of the blame, imo. They and whoever was responsible for the chickenshit first-half playcalling.

    This times a million!!

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  4. Berselius is too lazy to login on his phone.

    I don’t know why the Browns are taking so long to announce Mike McCarthy is their next coach.

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  5. SK

    Whatever they’re saying Myles, I agree with you. Well written, good piece of Cubs related content.

    Also: Latroy Hawkins – damn, I miss that guy.

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  6. WaLi

    Here’s the thing. There were lots of opportunities to win the game where any of them being different changes the outcome of the game.

    – The first half – just plain awful play calling. The Eagles had a beat up secondary that we should have taken advantage of. We got inside the 20 twice in the first half and didn’t walk away with a TD. I feel like we should have gone for it on 4th at the time just to get a TD in before half. In retrospect looks even better.
    – The non-catch/non-fumble was an atrocious call. I understand it’s in the rulebook, but the referee was sitting on the ball waving players away. Neither Eagles or Bears had a chance to pick it up. The Bears should have the ball. Let’s say a player picks it up – should the opposing team then tackle him and draw a penalty? What’s going to happen in the future when the play is clearly dead and players start picking up and running with the ball (yes this happens now but it’s going to happen a lot more in the future)?
    – Not running Cohen/Jordan more instead of whatever trash went in their place. I feel like Nagy wanted Mizel/Cunningham to run so they can play in a playoff game since he’s a players coach? No idea what other reason.
    – The two point conversion play call was awful.
    – The defense did let down the team at the end of the game. They couldn’t hold the Eagles back and took two horrible penalties on that last drive.
    – Time management on the last drive was awful. If you look at the NFL, the average is 76% for kicks 40-49 yards. From 30-39? 94%. Nagy needs to get Parkey a few more yards there at the end.

    But at the end of the day, the game came down to what no one wanted – a Cody Parkey kick. I’m an optimist so I thought he would make it for some reason and be a hero, but I knew he wouldn’t. It’s easier to take out our anger on Cody Parkey than everything else listed above. And even with everything above, we still had a great chance to win with a manageable kick which is why he’s the scapegoat.

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  7. Ryno

    WaLi:
    the game came down to what no one wanted – a Cody Parkey kick.

    This is exactly why I don’t place as much blame on Parkey. If you know he’s unreliable, you can’t blame him for being unreliable. I mean, I guess you can, but it doesn’t make sense.

    The defense did let PHI score, but they did their job as a whole. On the season, they held the average team to 17.7 ppg. PHI was 18th in the NFL in scoring offense (i.e. an average team) and the defense held them to 16 points (i.e. slightly less than their average effort). Plus, they forced 2 turnovers. If your expectation for the defense is more than that, them not meeting it is on you.

    PHI’s defense was 12th in the league in scoring (less than 1 point better than the median). CHI averaged 26.3 ppg on the season. Even if you assume Parkey makes that last FG, the offense still produced 8 points less than their season average effort against a statistically average defense.

    I actually watched the game and it was classic NFL coach: play to not lose.

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  8. WaLi

    Ryno: The defense did let PHI score, but they did their job as a whole.

    They didn’t do their job as a whole when they only ran 10 guys onto the field though 🙁 I wonder if Jackson was in charge of counting the players? There was a too many men penalty the play before.

    Ryno: I actually watched the game and it was classic NFL coach: play to not lose.

    I agree with this 100% and I hate when coaches do that. Nagy got the team to the playoffs playing aggressive and then he goes and changes up his game plan.

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  9. Ryno

    WaLi: They didn’t do their job as a whole when they only ran 10 guys onto the field though 🙁I wonder if Jackson was in charge of counting the players? There was a too many men penalty the play before.

    I mean, that’s technically true, but that’s really just one player’s fault for not realizing which personnel grouping was called.

    Looking at the play again, it looks like the slot CB was missing. Being down 1 player is never ideal, but the slot CB would’ve been lined up on the opposite side of the formation from Goedert. That was just shitty coverage by Amos.

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  10. WaLi

    If you’re a smegma, who do you blame. A guy who can be gone next year and directly caused the team to not win (Parkey) or someone that is going to be with the team for the next few years and indirectly caused the team to lose (Nagy)?

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  11. dmick89

    Ryno,

    That’s a pretty solid pickup for the Brewers. Grandal is on the wrong side of 30 so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him collapse, but he has great plate discipline so I doubt that happens. I expect he’ll hit significantly better outside of LA now. The Brewers are good at baseball right now.

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  12. andcounting

    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    Parkey had a chance to do what he does professionally, and doing it right would have given the Bears something like a 99.9% chance of winning. Not doing it right would give them a 0.001% chance of winning. Sure, lots of things altered the Bears’ win probability in various ways to varying degrees, including all of Parkey’s other made attempts, but none of those things lessen the consequence of Parkey’s kick. The only way out of answering that first question in the affirmative is arguing that he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped. (Any argument that the kick being tipped did not affect the result is complete bullshit, considering that even an undetectable change in rotational velocity or alteration to the surface of the ball could have changed the direction of the bounce off either the upright or the crossbar.) If he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped, then it’s not his fault. But if he is to blame, then it’s his fault the Bears lost.

    Why did the Bears lose? That question has tons of answers, none of them negated by Parkey’s miss and none of them absolving him of blame for taking an opportunity to give his team a 99.9% chance of winning and turning it into a .001% chance of winning.

    I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is at fault? And I think the answer is, not very, in light of the other contributing factors to the loss, him doing everything in his power to make that kick (and making no excuses/facing media after the game to own up to his role in the loss), and the game being a stupid fucking game just like all the other stupid fucking games we enjoy on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

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  13. andcounting

    andcounting,

    It’s similar to a situation in which someone gets shot at night in a dangerous neighborhood while doing something sketchy. Answering the question of why the person got shot could take hours to explain, but answering if the shooter was to blame would be fairly cut and dry.

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  14. Myles Handley

    andcounting:
    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    Parkey had a chance to do what he does professionally, and doing it right would have given the Bears something like a 99.9% chance of winning. Not doing it right would give them a 0.001% chance of winning. Sure, lots of things altered the Bears’ win probability in various ways to varying degrees, including all of Parkey’s other made attempts, but none of those things lessen the consequence of Parkey’s kick. The only way out of answering that first question in the affirmative is arguing that he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped. (Any argument that the kick being tipped did not affect the result is complete bullshit, considering that even an undetectable change in rotational velocity or alteration to the surface of the ball could have changed the direction of the bounce off either the upright or the crossbar.) If he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped, then it’s not his fault. But if he is to blame, then it’s his fault the Bears lost.

    Why did the Bears lose? That question has tons of answers, none of them negated by Parkey’s miss and none of them absolving him of blame for taking an opportunity to give his team a 99.9% chance of winning and turning it into a .001% chance of winning.

    I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is at fault? And I think the answer is, not very, in light of the other contributing factors to the loss, him doing everything in his power to make that kick (and making no excuses/facing media after the game to own up to his role in the loss), and the game being a stupid fucking game just like all the other stupid fucking games we enjoy on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

    20 years? Get a load of this optimist.

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  15. berselius

    dmick89:
    Ryno,

    (dying laughing) surprised they had the money for a minor league pickup.

    They brought back Jim Adduci on a minor league deal last week, they must figure they are set now.

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  16. Ryno

    andcounting:
    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Why did the Bears lose? I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is…fucking…on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

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  17. dmick89

    andcounting: I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    I’d still answer each of those questions the same. I didn’t watch the game, but let’s take baseball instead. A player has a chance to get a base hit and the Cubs win. He makes an out and they lose. Is it his fault they lost? Is he to blame? Based only on that one outcome I’d answer that he’s partly to blame for the loss or it’s partly his fault.

    I understand what you guys are saying and there was a point where I’d have come up with some sort of way to reach the same conclusion, but I haven’t done that for quite awhile. I think the 2003 playoffs changed that for me. Who was to blame? Bartman, Alou, Gonzalez, bullpen, Wood, etc.? The team shit the bed and while one or two plays stood out, there was a lot that went into the Cubs losing to the Marlins. Not one player was to blame or at fault. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

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  18. sharpchicity

    Anyone who says the brewers are better than the cubs is flat out wrong. Their rotation is shaping up to be the following:
    Jhoulys Chacin
    Zach Davies
    Chase Anderson
    Brandon Woodruff
    Jimmy Nelson

    The top of their lineup is arguably worse than ours (Cain + Yelich + Grandal? vs Rizzo + Bryant + Baez) and the rest of the cubs lineup is all better than the brewers. Brewers also have two giant black holes at 2b and ss.

    Payroll probably gives the brewers ~$10M more to spend after Grandal, but even if you assume the brewers have an additional $20M, that’s still ~3 wins better. That fills one SP position and leaves the 4 other pitchers on the cubs staff better than the brewers.

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  19. dmick89

    How good is the Cubs rotation? It’s probably better than the Brewers, but not by as much as we’d like. If Cole Hamels is good again, it’s a big help, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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  20. sharpchicity

    dmick89,
    We have 5 starters who are all legitimate #3’s with most of them having upside of #2. Lester, Hamels, and Darvish all have question marks, but you can say the same thing about almost every pitcher.

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  21. EnricoPallazzo

    sharpchicity,

    yeah the rotation is the least of our concerns, i think. don’t get me wrong, i could envision many scenarios in which the rotation is not great, but i think it will mostly be fine (especially when considered relative to the extremely weak bullpen and possible offensive issues).

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  22. dmick89

    EnricoPallazzo,

    The rotation wasn’t all that great in 2018. I think they underperformed, but I’m not sure I’d expect them to be a whole lot better. If Quintana is better and Darvish is healthy then I think they’re a pretty good rotation, but both of those are pretty big ifs in my opinion.

    I think the Cubs rotation is definitely better than the Brewers, but Craig Counsell is 5 billion times better at managing a bullpen than Joe is. It helps that Counsell has a much better bullpen to work with, but the starters for the Brewers don’t have to go deep at all.

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  23. BVS at lunch

    WaLi:
    WaLi,

    I forgot to add Trey Burton who I believe had anxiety related performance issues or isn’t being honest about his groin.

    Perhaps he was circumcised two weeks ago.

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  24. andcounting

    Ryno,

    No, no, it’s:

    Be born with a penis -> you did your job. And you get your genitals mutilated.

    Kick upright magnets-> AC makes bad puns.

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  25. Ryno

    So apparently Antonio Brown wants to play for SF. If they were somehow able to add Brown, Nick Bosa and maybe…Earl Thomas without sacrificing too much draft capital, I might forgive them for this wasted season.

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  26. BVS

    Ryno,

    Jeez Ryno. Haven’t you been paying attention? Obviously the way to improve is to bank on your current roster being healthier and doing better next year. You don’t want to fool around with Nick Bosa. Too much $$$. Sign a Descalsian player and call it good. I don’t know who that it in the NFL because I don’t follow much. Maybe Ted Ginn Jr? Also an aging star with a big salary and half a season of good performance. That’s certainly Eli Manning.

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  27. Myles

    BVS:
    Ryno,

    Jeez Ryno. Haven’t you been paying attention?Obviously the way to improve is to bank on your current roster being healthier and doing better next year. You don’t want to fool around with Nick Bosa. Too much $$$. Sign a Descalsian player and call it good. I don’t know who that it in the NFL because I don’t follow much. Maybe Ted Ginn Jr? Also an aging star with a big salary and half a season of good performance. That’s certainly Eli Manning.

    Yeah, from what I’ve heard, Nick Bosa has mutilated genitals.

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  28. Ryno

    andcounting,

    I think Myles is implying that he has seen Nick Bosa’s genitals and that Bosa’s genitals had been mutilated. I wonder why Myles neglected to disclose the details of his encounter with Bosa that led to his ability to inspect Bosa’s genitals…

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  29. Ryno

    I bet by tomorrow when you type Nick Bosa into Google’s search bar, “Nick Bosa mutilated genitals” will be the first suggested search.

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  30. JKV

    The Ricketts are going to shut this place down with all these new Cubs fans flooding in.

    Welcome to the blog! I know you want to discuss circumcision, but can I interest you in discussing the difficulty of using defensive metrics when evaluating position players?

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  31. WaLi

    berselius,

    What ideas are there to make MLB more competitive so there is less tanking? What good solutions are out there?

    It doesn’t make sense for a team to invest too much money in talent if they know they can’t compete with a perennial great team such as the Red Sox/Yankees or Dodgers, but that’s not an excuse for every team that is tanking. It seems like there needs to be a way to create more parity, but I think the league prospers world wide due to brand recognition with dynasties like the Yankees or Red Sox so you probably don’t want to penalize good teams.

    Do you create a hard salary floor? Who funds it though – why should the Marlins pay for a team that will never be able to fill the seats. Make a lottery draft similar to the NBA? The draft doesn’t produce MLB ready players though so good draft picks doesn’t equate to a turnaround in talent right away.

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  32. berselius

    WaLi,

    Keeping in mind that I don’t see this union actually getting teams to open the books, something like a salary floor pegged to a revenue percentage along with a soft cap would probably be best, just thinking about this superficially. Even allowing teams to do something like trading said salary floor space would be ok. Baseball due have a more unique setup due to the fact that they have to develop their players on longer time scales but I would imaging something in that space exists.

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  33. BVS

    berselius,

    I’m surprised that signing Francisco Arcia hasn’t been bigger news. He’s the back up catcher we NEED. Now we can flip Caratini and Kintzmann for Mike Trout.

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  34. andcounting

    berselius,

    That article uses the A-Rod contract with Texas as a milestone in the history of player value/contract size, but it’s likely more important as a turning point in ownership’s willingness to avoid collusion. Boras abused Texas, using the rules against team disclosures about offers to get the Rangers to bid against themselves. They probably paid something like $50 million more than they needed to get a-rod. Sure, that made Texas look like idiots, but I think it also made Boras (and, in effect, players in general) look like bad-faith actors. I would circle that contract as the one that put owners on notice that a little soft-core collusion was going to be necessary. As better data has given the owners a more powerful understanding of free-agent value, the CBA (and their ability to communicate cleverly about who’s offering which player what without provably violating anti-collusion rules) makes it easy for them to suppress salaries. That A-Rod contract, I believe, is to blame for the owners feeling this shit is fair game, and I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

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  35. andcounting

    It seems like a lot of what has crippled the union has to do with their inability to fight amongst themselves. The union seems to fight hardest for the rights of veteran players and act against the interest of younger players, minor leaguers, and foreign players. Allowing a cap on amateur free agents and draft bonuses? Sorry, that doesn’t happen if the older players look at the young guys as actual humans with rights. But I’m betting they thought those moves would lead to bigger free-agent contracts, which of course is wrong as fuck. If players really want competitive balance and fair pay, they need to stop fighting for the rights of players on all levels instead of just the ones over 30.

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  36. JKV

    andcounting,

    This. Though, it would be very interesting to see how paying the young players would work. Can they hit free agency 5 years from the day they entered professional baseball, no matter how much of that time was spent in the minors or majors? It’s an interesting discussion since teams will (rightfully) want to reap the benefits of investing time and effort into their minor leagues.

    Would it make sense for teams to divest their relationships with minor league teams and only be able to sign players to the 40 man roster? Instead, the collective of minor league teams can sell their players to the majors like the European soccer model. Similarly, major league teams could “loan” young players to the minors and recall them at any time.

    Baseball is just so different that I find it hard to come up with an idea that would allow most players to hit free agency by 26-27 in which it makes sense for a) the current minor league-major league dynamic and b) something the owners would agree to

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  37. EnricoPallazzo

    andcounting: I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

    yeah i am really curious as to how many fans actually think that there is a problem here. i haven’t come across any articles that say “players are already way overpaid so fuck them etc etc pujols etc” but i also don’t bother to read piece of shit meathead blogs so i’m sure i’m missing a huge part of this conversation.

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  38. dmick89

    andcounting: I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

    This may well be, but I think the more important discussion is whether or not keeping salaries down is healthy for baseball. We can place blame on both parties here. The veterans actively work to keep the salaries of young players as low as possible and work even harder to make it so it’s not even possible to earn a living wage in the minor leagues. The owners then work with one another in roundabout ways to keep the veterans salaries down. It’s just greed all the way around and the people who get screwed are the ones who need the money the most.

    I don’t see anything changing until the current system fails. The question is at what point does it fail? I don’t see it happening in the next few years, but I think we’re closer to it than a lot of fans realize.

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  39. BVS

    JKV,

    How about restricted free agency? Not sure exactly how it works in hockey, but perhaps you swap out some arb years for restricted FA? In this case, home team gets to re-sign restricted FA at the same price that other team offers in writing, or at x% of that offer, maybe 80%. Otherwise other team obligated to sign at the amount they offer.

    I’m not a fan that says players make too much … Pujols … etc. But I do think that any owner that offers an 8-yr contract to any player over the age of 24 is an imbecile, unless the AAV is extremely low compared to the going rate. That includes rhe Heyward contract, both ARod contracts, and the future Harper/Machado contracts. If I could get a 5 year cap on contract length, I’d take it, as a fan. Players would probably get higher AAV contracts and team salaries would be more reflective of actual talent. I’d also scrap the AAV thing for the tax. If the Cubs wanted to sign Harper to a 6-yr contract and pay him $50M/yr til Bryant hits free agency, then cut him back to something where they could afford KB too, I think that’s good planning. If the Sox want to pay Machado $100M for 2 yr while they continue the rebuild, then $10M after through 2025 when they are paying other players more, fine. As long as the player agrees and it’s all in writing up front.

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  40. WaLi

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/craig-breslow-cubs-front-office-retires.html

    Per the Cubs’ release, Breslow “will help to evaluate and implement data-based processes throughout all facets of Baseball Operations” and will also “support the organization’s pitching infrastructure in Player Development and the major leagues.”

    How can a former player really help implement data-based processes? He’s just a dumb jock!

    A Yale graduate with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, Breslow has long been heralded as one of the game’s brightest minds.

    Oh.

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  41. Perkins

    WaLi,

    So the Cubs have three players/former players from the Ivy League in their organization. That has to be some kind of live ball era record.

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