Right Field

Reveille 12/16/13

Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your offseason Monday a bit more bearable:

  • A source informs George King III of the New York Post that the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles will not post Masahiro Tanaka, arguably Japan’s best starting pitcher, until after next season.
  • Writing in Bill James Online, Dave Fleming suggests that, among other things, the Yankees would have been better off trying to retain Brett Gardner’s services in lieu of committing many years and premium money to Jacoby Ellsbury:

Let’s consider the team at each position: is it better to sign Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7/$153 contract, or is it better to work out an extension with Brett Gardner, a player who is almost the same player as Ellsbury, but still under team control and not perceived as an elite player.


With deference to Ellsbury’s superior talent, I think the wise decision would’ve been to try and extend Gardner, who would demand far fewer years, and far fewer dollars than Ellsbury. Gardner, for a long time, has been the forgotten man on a team of big-name players: an All-Star level player who has never made an All-Star team.


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  • Tim McMaster and Marlon Anderson of MLB Network’s Hot Stove discuss the decision by MLB’s Rules Committee to remove the home-plate collision from the game. Somewhere in America, Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation, a longtime proponent of a rules change, is dancing a victory jig.
  • It’s not too early to plan a spring-training visit to watch your favorite team recover from the winter doldrums, as evidenced by this fan post on the Gaslamp Ball web site.

  • Would Russell Wilson ever forgo the quarterback position for a spot in the middle of the infield? Probably not, but Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com explains why the Rangers may have used their pick in the Rule 5 draft to select the one-time Asheville Tourist (single-A) second baseman and current Seahawks passer.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.