Rube Foster in his Chicago American Giants jersey.
This Week in Baseball

This Week in Baseball: 02-17-2020

Craig Edwards – FanGraphs: Rob Manfred’s plan to contract Minor League Baseball teams has been under fire from the get-go. That fire is justified because it’s a truly awful plan. What makes it even worse is that the plan contains some areas where MiLB can improve. Those aspects of the plan are overshadowed by outright lies in an attempt to be cheap and keep money in the pockets of billionaire Major League Baseball owners. Maybe at some point the contract part of the plan will be defeated and the needed improvements in the MLB/MiLB relationship can come to the front of the discussion.

Marc Normandin – Baseball Prospectus ($): The difference between can’t and won’t when it comes to MLB owners and their budgets is an important distinction. Too often we all are guilty of saying a team can’t sign a player when what we really mean is they won’t sign a player. The Boston Red Sox could have made a legitimate extension offer to Mookie Betts, but they wouldn’t do that. Instead, they are being cheap and falling on the financial flexibility sword. At some point that financial flexibility has to actually be used to make teams better, doesn’t it? Hard to do that when the owners won’t spend and have convinced everyone that they can’t spend.

John Florio & Ousie Shapiro – The Undefeated: The formation of the Negro Leagues is one of the most important events in the history of professional baseball. There had been leagues before Rube Foster decided to start up the Negro National League, and there would be leagues after. By making the move he did Foster established that black ballplayers were just as great as their white counterparts, that they too could put together major leagues, and that black businesses could thrive on a larger national scale. Years later MLB still refuses to grant Foster’s NNL, and the subsequent Negro major leagues that followed, the major status they deserve. That is a stain upon MLB, their historians, and the legacy of those people and that institution, not Foster and the Negro major leagues.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – National Baseball Hall of Fame Library

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), boyfriend, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Baseball Prospectus, Baseball.FYI, & Beyond the Box Score. Member Internet Baseball Writer's Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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