J.P. Breen – Baseball Prospectus ($): The economics of Major League Baseball can seem daunting at times. A collection of mega-corporations under the umbrella of what amounts to an ultra mega-corporation means there is quite a bit of money at play. Most of that doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day we know that the owners have money and we know that every team could afford to sign the best free agents. Keep that in mind as one-by-one these exceedingly rich teams cry poor. The owners control the economics of baseball and they’d simply rather not spend.
Meredith Wills – The Athletics ($): Meanwhile MLB, as in the monolithic organization, controls every facet of their product. That’s important to remember as they go out of their way to give researchers like Dr. Meredith Wills the runaround in her attempts to find out why there were differences between the regular season and postseason baseballs. When her work is stymied that is because MLB wishes for it to be stymied. We know the balls were different, MLB knows the balls were different, but they’ll be damned if they’re going to let an independent researcher like Dr. Wills bring the truth to light.
Michael Baumann – The Ringer: I’m not one of those baseball fans who think the game is sacred and beyond reproach. A large part of baseball’s allure is that it can be ugly at times. The blemishes of the sport can lead to highs, lows, jubilation, and frustration. That being said, there are still some blemishes that are worst than others. The Houston Astros as a franchise are currently an example of such a vile blemish. There have been issues with the way they’ve handled draft picks. The trade for Roberto Osuna led to the Brandon Taubman debacle. Now the knowledge that most of the players and front office were using electronic means to steal signs has come to light. The Astros have made sure there’s little doubt they are the real evil empire.
Lead photo courtesy of Pat Sullivan – Associated Press