Thursday, July 9, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, July 9, 2020 -- "The Schedule"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"MLB seemed to prioritize creating a baseball schedule that looks normal above all else. If I showed you this schedule in February, you wouldn’t blink an eye, at least until you noticed the limited number of opponents. Teams play weekday series and then a weekend series, almost always ending in a Sunday day game. It’s not at all clear to me why this should have been emphasized, especially when it creates extra road trips. I mean, teams are playing ten road series where they could have played seven."

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, July 7, 2020 -- "The Speed of Change"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"At the time baseball was negotiating its return, we seemed to have the virus under control. Now that baseball is beginning to return, it’s clear we do not. At the time baseball was negotiating its return, its hogging of tests -- through its own lab, to be sure -- didn’t seem like a moral dilemma. Now that tests, test supplies, and lab capacities are being strained, it’s harder to defend MLB’s 7,000 or so tests a week, ad infinitum. At the time baseball was negotiating its return, we seemed like a nation in recovery, on the upswing. Now that 50,000 people a day are testing positive, we seem like one where the virus is still in control.

"The world in which baseball wrote its plan is far different than the world in which baseball is trying to execute its plan, so much so that it may render the plan moot."

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, July 2, 2020 -- "Coming Back From the Break"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"Setting aside all of the non-baseball issues in play, I think the game we get, at least in those first few weeks, could be hard to watch. Pitchers are likely to be ahead of the hitters, and that’s the last thing a sport already burdened with a lack of action needs. If the baseballs aren’t as lively as they’ve been in recent seasons, we could be talking about a run environment that looks like 1981 -- four runs per team per game -- without all the balls in play and base stealing and starting pitching that made ’81 fun."

Newsletter Excerpt, June 30, 2020 -- "For Entertainment Purposes Only"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"The Royals are 250-1 to win the World Series, and there’s just enough high-variance talent there -- Adalberto Mondesi, Salvador Perez off the knee injury, Jakob Junis -- for me to want a small piece of that. They could accidentally assemble a bullpen; righty Josh Staumont was turning heads before everything shut down. They just have to hang on for 60 games, and no one in that division overwhelms me."

Royals 100-1 to win AL Central
Royals 250-1 to win World Series

Monday, June 29, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, June 29, 2020 -- "Tigers, King?"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"There are competitive reasons to play your best young players this year. There are developmental reasons to play your best young players this year. There are business reasons to play your best young players this year. All three of those come together in Detroit, where  the Tigers are the team best positioned in all of baseball to turn an awful projected 2020 into something they and their fans will remember for a long time to come."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, June 24, 2020 -- "Anti-Tank Weaponry"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"Losing that many games is a choice, to some extent. Teams can know in December that they don't have the talent to compete for a division title or a playoff berth over six months, and it affects their decisions. Slow this prospect down. Trade away this good-but-not-great veteran. Be careful with the use of young pitchers, valuing their future innings over their present ones. In a 60-game season, though, every team can compete. Every single one. Every front office can take a 'why not us?' attitude. A 60-game season is tanking-proof."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, June 23, 2020 -- "We're Back?"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

 "Talking to Louie Belina on KZNE earlier today, he was disappointed that I wasn’t more excited about yesterday’s developments. I’m a baseball guy and there’s now baseball on the horizon, so I should be happy. I’m ambivalent, however, largely because I don’t think the league will be able to play through a schedule and keep its players and staff healthy. There was a moment last week when every hour brought more news of athletes testing positive. The Phillies. The Orlando Pride. LSU, Clemson, Texas, and Boise State football. SARS-CoV-2 is present in our communities, and the only way to keep it from spreading is to keep people away from one another. The virus is in charge. It doesn’t care about your health and safety memos, or for that matter your television contracts."

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, June 16, 2020 -- "The Calendar"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"Picture three sides here. The owners have regular season games and want playoff games to sell to their TV partners. The TV partners are willing to buy additional playoff games, but those games don’t all have equal value and they themselves have concerns about the length of the playoff calendar. The players have approval over additional playoff games and want as many regular-season games as possible.

"There’s no way to make all those parties happy any more."

Friday, June 5, 2020

Joe Sheehan Newsletter, June 5, 2020 -- "MLB vs. NBA, et al"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--


The Joe Sheehan Newsletter
Vol. 12, No. 28
June 5, 2020

Sports stopped, depending on how strict you want to be, on March 11 or March 12. On March 11, Rudy Gobert of the NBA’s Utah Jazz tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, causing the NBA to first call off the team’s game in Oklahoma City that night, and shortly thereafter to suspend the season. The next day, there were MLB exhibition games played, but by the end of the day on the 12th, major U.S. team sports were done. Stopping on that day had disproportionate effects on the major U.S. leagues.

MLB is risking relegating itself to stepchild status compared to NFL, NBA

On that day, MLB had 2,430 games left in its season, plus the remainder of its preseason, plus the postseason, games that were scheduled over the next 7 1/2 months. The NBA had 259 games left, plus playoffs, games that were scheduled over approximately ten weeks, pending the length of the best-of-seven Finals. The NHL had 184 games remaining, plus playoffs, over approximately nine weeks. The NFL had no games scheduled until August 6, and no regular-season games scheduled until September 10 -- just shy of six months from the date the sports world shut down.

“The NHL is going to play. The NBA is on the road to figuring out a way to play.”

When sports shut down, most baseball players hadn’t received a paycheck since October. Some got playoff shares, many have endorsement income, but players are paid only a per diem in the spring. Their regular paychecks were a few weeks from kicking in. NBA players are paid on the first and 15th of the month during the season; players received their regular paychecks through April 15. A subsequent negotiation, triggered by force majeure clauses in the standard player contract, leaves open the possibility that NBA players could lose a quarter of their 2019-20 salaries with considerable notice beforehand. By any calculation, NBA players have received most of the compensation to which they were entitled for the current season. NHL players received their final three paychecks as scheduled. There is already an aggressive escrow structure in place to ensure a 50-50 revenue split.

Because teams in the two winter leagues had played most of their schedules, they'd banked arena revenue, national-TV money, local-TV money, and corporate sponsorship money for five months. There are contract clauses that put some of that local-TV money at risk, but by any account, the hit to the teams’ pocketbooks by the loss of late-season home dates is small. MLB teams, on the other hand, will lose almost all of their ballpark revenue and a significant part of their television revenue.

”Compare that with the NBA, where reports leaked Wednesday of a proposal for a resumption of play that would include eight regular-season games and a 22-team playoff.”

The NBA’s return plan leaves eight teams, well, not returning. It takes the remaining 22 and ensconces them in the Walt Disney Resort in Florida, where they will practice, play eight “regular season” games each -- a nod to the need to ramp up and a sop to teams with mathematical playoff chances -- and then launch into an expanded playoff format. From touchdown to return, the remaining season would take about three months; most players would be out of the “bubble” in six weeks. With 22 teams carrying 15 players each, that’s 330 players needed to finish the season, and just 60 of those in Orlando for more than two months.

The NHL’s return-to-play plan leaves seven teams on the outside looking in and does away with the regular season entirely in favor of expanded playoffs. Like the NBA, the NHL is using a bubble plan that will bring a maximum of 28 players per team to an as-yet-undetermined number of “bubble” cities, believed to be two to four. That’s 672 players, two-thirds of whom will be done maybe four weeks into this plan. Just more than 100 players will be around for longer than two months.

MLB looked into a “bubble” plan, playing out a modified schedule in Florida and Arizona, but the plan never got off the ground. It would have required at least 40 players per team, 1200 total, and probably more. (A 50-man eligible roster is currently under consideration.) Half a season plus expanded playoffs would have required three to four weeks of ramp-up, three months of regular-season play, and five weeks of playoffs. At minimum, those 1200 players would have been in the “bubble” for nearly four months, and some for up to five months. Needing more space for its games than basketball and hockey require, MLB’s bubble plans would have involved playing outdoors in Arizona and Florida nearly every day in July and August, an absurd notion on its face.

I appreciate the desire many people have to see baseball be played. The facile comparisons to the winter-sports leagues, however, are deceptive. They actively make people less informed about the challenges involved. It’s getting mad at your 11th-grader for taking a long time on his trigonometry homework by comparing him to your third-grader who has completed her multiplication tables already. It’s not apples and oranges; it’s apples and Volkswagens.

Using the return plans of the NBA and NHL -- and for that matter, dragging the NFL into the argument -- turns an accident of timing into a fault of character. SARS-CoV-2 jumped from animals to humans some time in late 2019 and reached American shores early in 2020. By March, it was spreading so widely that sports shut down. There was nothing MLB, the NBA, the NHL or the NFL could do about the timing; if the novel coronavirus reaches U.S. shores six months earlier or six months later, it’s the NFL and its indoor brethren facing the hard questions, while MLB would be free to leave a few hundred players behind and move to its playoffs.

Comparing the leagues in this moment is like blaming someone for not winning the lottery. The NBA, NHL, and NFL caught a break with the virus’s timing, and MLB didn’t.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, June 1, 2020 -- "The Counter-offer"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"Let’s say it’s true. Let’s say the game’s future popularity does depend on there being games played this summer. If so, who should carry the burden of making that happen: The group of wealthy men and companies who could be in the game for the next 20, 30, 40 years, or the group of young men who will largely be out of it in the next five?"

Friday, May 29, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 29, 2020 -- "Missing a Friend"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"It’s a hard moment, and in that moment I want to retreat to the comfort of a sixth inning, a highlight show, a page of box scores, a walk in the park with a game in my ears, an afternoon in the sun explaining tag plays to TWCFG, an argument about whether the guy hitting .337 is for real, or whether the superstar with four homers in two months is done."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 27, 2020 -- "The Proposal"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"More insidious, though, is the principle behind the plan. It’s asking Mike Trout to give money to Arte Moreno. Trout is rich; Moreno is wealthy. When Moreno had leverage, he paid Trout as little as he could. Now he’s asking Trout to give him back basically all the money Trout made in the first four years of his career."

Friday, May 22, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 22, 2020 -- "Bob Watson"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"In the history books, Bob Watson is a lion, a great player who went on to be a championship executive and a pioneer in the league office. To me, he was the guy who replaced my childhood favorite, took the job of the GM who’d saved my team, and orchestrated a trade that ended the career of my all-time favorite player."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 18, 2020 -- "Sharing"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"Now, set aside for the moment the baseball reasons it did, covered here and elsewhere. If you believe in 'sharing' as a concept and not as a convenient hammer to wield in a downturn, would you not have found a way to shower some of that cash on the players? MLB treated the BAMtech money as wholly its own, pocketing the profits unshared. That example, from just the last few years, puts the lie to any claims that today’s pain should be shared."

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 12, 2020 -- "The Short Draft"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"Baseball, though, isn’t going to suffer for drafting five rounds in one season. The medium- and long-term effects on the talent base will be negligible. The players you care about the most emerge from the international market and the first round, and then the four rounds that follow. The players the game won’t draft this year will find their way into the system over the next few years. We’ll never know the difference."

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, May 6, 2020 -- "The Scheduling Conundrum"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"The problem MLB faces is that the longer it plays, the more it exposes itself to the virus and Covid-19. That risk, however it may be mitigated by the sunlight and heat of a summer, is expected to rise again in the fall and winter. The deeper into the calendar MLB pushes its playoffs, the more it risks having those playoffs never happen. The worst-case scenario for MLB isn’t not having a season; the worst-case scenario is playing a regular season and not getting to have the playoffs. The playoffs are where the money is, perhaps even more so if the shortened season leads to an expanded playoff format. The entire reason MLB and team owners want to have a season is to ensure the postseason TV revenues. ESPN and Fox and TBS air regular-season baseball as much out of obligation as anything else; what they pay for is playoff games."

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 23, 2020 -- "The $15 Challenge"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"The last 15 years, in which the question of whether Clemens did sports drugs during that limited period of time in which we decided to care about such things has kept him out of the Hall of Fame, have served to cloud the memory of how incredible he was for two decades. Clemens, like Barry Bonds, wasn’t particularly cuddly, and like Bonds he has some serious off-field markers against his character. On the field, though, he was the best pitcher who anyone alive has ever seen."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 21, 2020 -- "The Inside Game"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"I enjoyed Keith’s first book, Smart Baseball, but my main problem with it was that there wasn’t enough Keith Law in the book. I’ve known Keith for two decades, and he’s a very funny writer with a sharp wit, wit that he largely set aside to present the ideas in Smart Baseball. In The Inside Game, Law throws more fastballs, and he throws more curves, making his points with generous dollops of the humor and even snark that have been big parts of his repertoire for decades."






Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 15, 2020 -- "Mike Trout versus Ken Griffey Jr."

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"Mike Trout has nearly a 40-point edge in OBP, which drives his overall edge. Trout is also much better on the bases. With 200 steals at an 85% clip, he’s one of the best basestealers of his era. Griffey Jr. stole 123 bases in his first nine years at a 71% success rate. Put simply, Trout is a much better offensive force, through age 27, than Griffey Jr. was."

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 9, 2020 -- "Louie Loosens the Jar"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--

"Seven-inning games would take 22% of the innings off the table, lowering the workload on pitchers as a whole, pitchers who will be taking on an unusual burden of being ramped up, cooled down, and then ramped up again since the start of the year. It would eliminate the need to carry 15 and 16 pitchers, as some of the plans contemplate. If some percentage of the schedule has to take place in Arizona to account for cities where holding games may be untenable, it lessens the time spent outside in the state’s brutal summer heat.

"The biggest problem with this plan? People might really like it. I’m telling you now that if MLB played a 2020 season with seven-inning games, it would have a very hard time ever going back to nine."

Friday, April 3, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 3, 2020 -- "Mike Minor/Lance Lynn and the Rangers"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"So the Rangers didn’t have much choice but to go back to this particular well. They traded for Corey Kluber, then signed Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles, filling out the rotation with pitchers who have low ceilings -- yes, even Klubot -- but higher floors. They would almost have to, replacing a group of pitchers who, last year, combined for a 7.22 ERA in 97 starts, averaging barely four innings a start (that includes a handful of openers, but not enough to change the point)."

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, April 1, 2020 -- "The Agreement"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"So that $170 million the teams are paying major leaguers? It’s coming right out of the pockets of high-school seniors and college juniors, a short-term loan from those groups to current MLBPA members. It’s an indefensible wealth transfer for which everyone involved should be ashamed."

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 28, 2020 -- "A Shortened Season and the A's"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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--

"The A’s were going to have to throw 1400 innings, plus who knows how many in the playoffs. That number has been cut nearly in half. The recent track records of their best pitchers were going to dictate some workload management over six or seven months. Now, the A’s can pretty much put the above rotation in play on Opening Day and let it eat. Luzardo, Manaea, Puk, and Montas threw just over 10% of the A’s innings last year and they would have projected to throw maybe 35-40% in a full 2020 season. It’s possible they could account for close to half now."

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 25, 2020 -- "The Broken Hammer of Thor"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The arc of the last 40 years is that we used to break pitchers by using them too much, on a seasonal and game basis, leading to overwork injuries of the shoulder. The emphasis on not doing that, on lowering intraseason and intragame workloads, allowed those pitchers to throw more often at maximum effort. That shift seems to have only moved the injury nexus down about nine inches along the humerus."

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 19, 2020 -- "Poof"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"Service time, of course, is going to be the watchword for these next few months, and as we have these conversations, it’s important to remember that this conversation doesn’t fit neatly into our 'players good, management bad' model. This stoppage isn’t happening because of a lockout or a strike, but because of a public health emergency, a global pandemic, that makes not playing baseball games the best thing for everyone involved. Both the players and the teams are, and please take this word in context, victims of the current circumstances."

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 10, 2020 -- "Kris Bryant and the Cubs"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The more interesting proposition here is that of Yu Darvish, who stayed upright last year and, at times, was utterly untouchable. From the start of June through the end of the season, Darvish had a 124/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is peak-Kershaw stuff. If after years of physical challenges and command issues, that’s the Yu Darvish who shows up for 30 starts this year, the Cubs have a true #1, and probably a division title."

Monday, March 9, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 9, 2020 -- "Chris Sale and the Red Sox"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"Even with Sale, this rotation may not be good. Brian Johnson was let go after posting a 6.02 ERA; he was brought back out of some desperation. The Sox signed Collin McHugh, but he’s still coming back from an elbow injury, isn’t throwing yet, and might be a reliever once he is. There is no upper-level depth at all. The Red Sox can reasonably look at Alex Verdugo and say they replaced Betts with a younger player who could be 75-80% of what they dealt. By including Price in the deal, though, they left themselves open to a rotation deficit. If Boston's season goes pear-shaped in a hurry, it won’t be because they traded Betts, but rather, because their rotation blows up."

Friday, March 6, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 6, 2020 -- "Christian Yelich and the Brewers"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"I would like this deal better if I thought the Brewers were set to put a team around Yelich over the next nine years. Right now, their window looks like it's closing almost as soon as it opened. They lost three of their six hitters who had positive value last year. Their rotation has been rebuilt with spare parts over the winter. Keith Law placed no Brewers on his top 100 prospect list and pegged their farm system as the worst in baseball. The latter is to be expected given the Brewers’ recent success, but it bodes ill for them being more than Angels East in 2023."

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 4, 2020 -- "Cesar Hernandez and the Indians"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Indians had one of the best cores in baseball signed to far below market prices, and they just...stopped trying. It’s one of the strangest baseball stories of this century, and it may have a lasting effect on the team’s ability to be successful in Cleveland."

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 3, 2020 -- "Stasis and the Rockies"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Rockies window has probably closed. They are 20 or 25 games worse than the Dodgers, and maybe the 11th- or 12th-best team in the league. They wasted a truly special stretch of player development by hiring a GM who spent nine figures on relief pitchers rather than getting the bats the team needed. By 2022, Arenado, Story, and Gray will be gone, and it may be a long time before the team is relevant again."

Monday, March 2, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, March 2, 2020 -- "A Forever-Flying Flag and the Nationals"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"In all of these offseason write-ups, I’ve been assuming teams will use a 13-man pitching staff, now that there’s a declared maximum and an extra roster spot. Personally, I think 13 pitchers, essentially eight relievers a day, is insanity when you consider the ways a 14th position player could be used. I mean, I’m old enough to remember crabbing when teams started carrying 11 pitchers. A 14/12 hitter/pitcher split, and even 15/11 coming out of the gate, could provide tactical advantages on a nightly basis."

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 27, 2020 -- "Yasiel Puig"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"It’s a harder project than you would think to place Puig on a roster. His righthandedness, his inability to play center, his perceived platoon issues, and his history of being difficult all chip away at his market value. If you’re signing a four-win player, you live with the issues. If you’re signing a two-win player, you find reasons to look somewhere else."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 26, 2020 -- "New York, New York"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Mets’ last major-league transaction was the signing of Betances on December 24. A team in the sweet spot for making additions goes into 2020 with a payroll nearly identical to what it spent in 2019. Perhaps more germane, the team has less than $80 million in commitments in 2021; there was clearly room to sign talent to long-term contracts in an effort to close the gap on the Braves and Nationals, and the Mets just didn’t do it.

"Then again, given what Brodie Van Wagenen has done in his 15 months as GM, maybe this is for the best."

Friday, February 21, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 21, 2020 -- "Fine, I'll Write About the Astros"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Astros’ sign-stealing scheme is a difference of degree, not kind, from the cheating that is a throughline in baseball back to the 1800s. It’s not some leap, some crime no one had ever considered before Carlos Beltran had an idea. Even the technological aspect isn’t new; the technology, of course, is, and that made the Astros’ sign-stealing more effective than previous schemes that employed buzzers or telescopes and lights. This is what baseball players do, what they have done. This is what baseball organizations do -- bend rules, bend morality, to win more games, now and in the future."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 20, 2020 -- "[Missing Starter] and the Angels

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"At a projected payroll of $187 million, though, you wonder if both buying Rendon and spending another $20 million on one of those #2/#3 types (instead of choosing between the two paths) would have been a wise investment, even if it would have put the Angels over the tax threshold. As is, the Angels need a number of things to go right just to close ground on the Rays, A’s and whoever lands second in the AL Central."

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 18, 2020 -- "Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Blue Jays"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"I’m struck by how a relatively young team looks like it could be pretty bad defensively. Bo Bichette is a big downgrade from Freddy Galvis, who was here for three months in 2019. The outfield corners will be bad unless Anthony Alford somehow steals a job. Cavan Biggio had surprisingly good numbers in about half a season at second base; that the Jays also used him on three corners, though, is an indication that he’s not going to be an asset defensively at second. There aren’t many better options in the system, though, and besides, these Jays will be built around scoring runs, not preventing them. The three-sons top of the lineup is one of the better stories we have at a time we need all the good baseball stories we can get."

Friday, February 14, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 14, 2020 -- "Get Down, Loogy Oogy Oogy"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"I used to complain about the way modern bullpen usage cut down on the number of roles for pitchers. I don’t expect to see 1980s-style, anything-goes usage again, but I can remember a guy like Chuck McElroy throwing 101 innings in 71 appearances just before matchup ball really took over. There used to be room for multi-inning lefties, or even complete-inning lefties, and then for a generation MLB lefty relievers either had to be closers or LOOGYs. If this rule change means that baseball teams stop trying to develop LOOGYs, and instead let their left-handed relievers grow into wider roles, that should make for a better game. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 13, 2020 -- "Potpourri"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"My solution remains eliminating two teams, going back to four sevens and division winners only to the playoffs. The Division Series round, while producing some memorable moments, has chipped away at the importance of the regular season, denied us great pennant races, and has never truly found a broadcast home. While I don’t expect to win this argument, I’ll keep making it, because from where we are right now, making the playoffs more exclusive and shorter is far better than making them less exclusive and longer."

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 11, 2020 -- "Hunter Pence and the Giants"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Giants are what a bad team looked like before tanking showed us just where the floor could be. The Giants lost 98 games in 2017, but leveled off at 89 and 85 defeats the last two years, and will probably be in that range again. It makes for a marginally better experience if you live and die with the team each day, but with a middling -- though improving -- farm system, eventually the Giants are going to have to bottom out. The 2021-23 stretch looms as a tough run for this team."

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 5, 2020 -- "The Mookie Betts Trade"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

 "Just for 2020, this trade doesn’t make the Red Sox a lot worse. It makes them a little worse, albeit in a range where the marginal wins they’re giving up affect their wild-card chances. It caps their ceiling while saving them perhaps $60 million in salary and tax payments, as well as resetting their penalty structure in future years. The Red Sox only traded 2020 Mookie Betts; they didn’t have the 2021-2028 version. Evaluating this trade as if they did, as if employing that version was simply a matter of choice, is an error."

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 4, 2020 -- "Hard LABR"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"Tonight I’ll be returning to the draft table as part of LABR, specifically the 15-team mixed-league draft I took part in a year ago. That team started well but finished [redacted], despite picks as successful as Stephen Strasburg (4.7), Jeff McNeil (18.7) and Mike Soroka (21.9). I had injury issues, but not as bad as many other teams did. I did make a couple of costly in-season mistakes that tied my hands and led to a slow fade in the second half."

Friday, January 31, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 31, 2020 -- "Kris Bryant"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The larger conversation, though, has shifted to give equal treatment, even primacy, to the player's best interests. What’s missing from the above is whether the Cubs’ decision is fair to Bryant, in part because it’s obvious that it isn’t. It’s good now that there are voices that are more vocal in pointing out just how unfair it is. I don’t think those voices are representative of most baseball fans -- fans root for teams, and then players, and at that only if the players are productive and not overly expensive and don’t act in their own self-interest -- but they’re certainly a larger minority than they were five years ago."

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 28, 2020 -- "Starling Marte and the Diamondbacks"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"The Diamondbacks have bled as much talent as any team in baseball of late, yet they still put competitive, watchable teams on the field. In a different context, one without a minor dynasty in their way, we’d be talking about them as a sleeper for 2020. As is, they’re going to be one of the most interesting teams in baseball, and if they can improve the bullpen -- a concern throughout this run of theirs -- they can even give the Dodgers a small scare."

Friday, January 24, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 24, 2020 -- "Marcell Ozuna and the Braves"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"This is what you can do when you have a homegrown core that makes almost nothing. Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña, Jr., Mike Soroka, Ozzie Albies, and Dansby Swanson combined for 21 bWAR and less than $24 million in salary last year. The latter number will jump to about $28 million this year. Throw in Max Fried and, come 2021, the outfielders, and the Braves are going to have a young, inexpensive core for some time to come. If signing Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon is a bridge too far for Liberty, picking off good players on one-year deals is a pretty good backup plan."

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 22, 2020 -- "The Leftovers"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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--

"If we get through next December, though, all that waits a year after that is...Alex Rodriguez, whose 'anonymous' positive drug test led to a witch hunt by one commissioner, and David Ortiz, whose 'anonymous' positive drug test was handwaved away by the next commissioner. We’re headed for a 2022 voting cycle that features Omar Vizquel and the Four Horsemen of the PEDocalypse. The meteor has 23 months to get here."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 21, 2020 -- "The Honorees"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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"Derek Jeter became a Hall of Famer on March 30, 2004, when he walked to the plate to open the Yankees’ two-game series in Tokyo against the Rays. His routine grounder to shortstop gave him ten seasons played in the majors, the last hurdle he needed to clear to assure his eventual induction. Walking up to face Victor Zambrano that evening in Japan, Jeter had a .317 career batting average, 127 homers, a Rookie of the Year award, four top-ten MVP finishes, and four championship rings. The 40 bWAR he’d accumulated would fall short if judged over a full career, but had Jeter hung them up that day, he’d have walked into the Hall five years later."

Newsletter Excerpt, January 21, 2020 -- "Ben Cherington and the Pirates"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The class of teams like the Pirates, with a reasonable core and some surrounding talent who could improve on sub-.500 seasons, has largely chosen to try to get better this winter. The Padres, the White Sox, the Blue Jays, the Rangers...these teams have gone into the market for talent and made trades to bolster their roster. The Pirates have stood still, and so a team that could have at least sold itself as a wild-card contender, with watchable young talent, has done nothing to bring fans back this winter."

Friday, January 17, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 17, 2020 -- "Jose Martinez and the Rays"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Extra outfielders, though, aren’t going to move the needle. The 2020 Rays are a good team in search of that one superstar. They surely can afford it, although that player wasn’t out there on the market. If there’s a team that should be dealing for Mookie Betts or Francisco Lindor, though, it’s the Rays, who have to meet the incredibly high standards of the AL East. They won’t, of course, and they’ll win 90-odd games anyway, finish second, and have to win one more game just to get into the brackets."

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 15, 2020 -- "Three Things"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Mariners under 67.5. The Mariners won 68 games last year thanks to a fluky 13-2 start to the season. They bring back that team, mostly untouched, and will almost certainly move anyone who performs well in the first half. As I mentioned in their writeup, their pitching staff has a chance to be truly awful. The Mariners are easily the worst team in an improved division, and they play a tough interleague slate with the NL East and the Padres."

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 14, 2020 -- "The Astros Ruling"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"By stopping there, though, because going further would be 'difficult' and 'impractical,' Manfred loses the thread completely. To punish Hinch and Luhnow alongside the players who executed the scheme, as detailed in this report, would be fair. To punish management while letting every player involved go completely free of consequences, free in fact from being named at all (but for the now-retired Carlos Beltran), is an affront to any concept of fairness. You can’t write a report that cites 68 witnesses and tens of thousands of electronic communications, suspend two people for a season, and then not touch the guys who did the actual cheating. Monthlong suspensions for the players involved are the minimum you would expect in this context."

Monday, January 13, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 13, 2020 -- "Matthew Liberatore and the Cardinals"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"A package of Liberatore and Gorman might make Cards fans wince, but it would convert future risk into current performance; given the age of the Cards’ roster, adding a prime-age star would go a long way towards cashing in the investments the team has made in this team."

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 9, 2020 -- "Random (Sorta) Player Comments, 1/9/20"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Baseball has become very hard for older players. There were just five hitters 34 and older worth at least three wins last year. That number was four in 2018, and it hasn’t been above five since 2015. Donaldson is a player I would like to have in 2020. After that, his age-related risk is significant."

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 8, 2020 -- "(Non-) Trader Jerry and the Mariners"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Dipoto can’t do anything yet. In six months, though, he may be able to walk into the trade deadline with enough moveable talent to finish the job he started when he traded Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, and James Paxton last winter."

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 7, 2020 -- "Corey Dickerson and the Marlins"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The Marlins aren’t going to be any more relevant in 2020 than they’ve been since 2003. Take a step back, though, and you see some signs that maybe the franchise is moving away from being a laughingstock and towards, if nothing else, being a run-of-the-mill bad team. Maybe even one that can sell a million tickets."

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 5, 2020 -- "Josh Donaldson (maybe!) and the Twins"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"They’re still connected to the last high-end free agent, Josh Donaldson, who would sharply improve the infield defense by moving Miguel Sano to first base. Should the Twins fail to get Donaldson, it’s likely their 2020 payroll will be down from 2019, a tough thing to explain after a season in which tickets sold at Target Field jumped by 15%, the second-highest jump in MLB."

Friday, January 3, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 3, 2020 -- "Shogo Akiyama and the Reds"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"Akiyama, 32, reminds me loosely of Kosuke Fukudome, who came over at 31 as an NPB superstar and was a 1-2 win player for four years in the U.S. Akiyama doesn’t have Fukudome’s power, and one report from Japan indicates that his days as a center fielder might be numbered. If his defense is slipping, the Reds are back to the problem of playing three corner outfielders in the pasture. Still, Akiyama’s on-base skills deepen a lineup that could open with five .350 OBPs. Mike Moustakas, feel free to lead the league in RBIs."

Newsletter Excerpt, December 31, 2019 -- "A Tough Lesson"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The teams know more than we do now. There’s a victory in that, for sure, the triumph of the fact-centric, data-centric thinking that was the fundamental idea behind BP, and behind my work since then. There’s a loss, though, too, an inability to confidently look at a given choice and be sure it is the right or wrong one."