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Your Offseason Roadmap

Nov 6, 2009, 10:29 AM EDT

Here at CTB we’re going to hit you with news, rumors and commentary all offseason, so if you want, you can simply lock the page in, hit “refresh” over and over again between now and April and never miss a thing.

But if you’re one of those types that just has to see what’s ahead, here’s a handy dandy schedule, courtesy of MLB.com, with which to structure the baseball-consuming portion of your winter:

Yesterday-November 19th:  Free agency filing period. Be sure to click over on the 20th to see which agents lost the paperwork and get sued for malpractice!

November 9th-11th: General Managers meetings in Chicago.  Not quite the bacchanalia as the owners meetings later in the month, but higher rent than the free-for-all Winter Meetings in December. I think they’re holding it in Chicago this year because Jim Hendry is worried if he leaves town someone will change the locks on his office. He’s right to worry.

November 11th-24th: Awards season.  Watch as the players and managers award Gold Gloves to all the wrong people!  Watch as writers try to make an argument that Ryan Howard deserved the award more than Pujols because of all of his RBIs! Behold someone complain about a 16-win pitcher taking the Cy Young Award while conveniently forgetting that his teammates couldn’t crack most Legion teams!

November 18th and 19th: Owners Meetings. Billionaires come together to figure out how to portray their mere millionaire employees as the greedy ones. Panda steaks will be consumed, cigars will be lit by flaming bearer bonds. Jamie McCourt will be barred by security.

November 30th: Executive Board of the Players’ Union meets.  It’ll be kinda like John L. Lewis addressing the coal miners, except with fewer references to silicosis and a better brand of beer filling the keg in the corner of the union hall.

December 1st: Deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration. This is the day we see if the Mets are all-in on Jeff Francoeur.  As a Braves fan, this will be like my Christmas. No matter what happens, the result will be hilarious.

December 7th-10th: The Winter Meetings. Usually these take place in warm and fun locations. A couple of years ago they were in Newport Beach or someplace like that. Next year: Disney World. This time around? Indianapolis. Of course, it stands to reason that I get to go this time.  But it won’t all be cold and dreary: I plan to stalk FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, and given how hard he works at these things, if I can keep up I’m going to get more fit on this trip than I would on a spa vacation.

Early December: Hall of Fame balloting.  New on the ballot: Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff and Edgar Martinez. I’m fans of all four of them, and any of them will be better selections than Jim Rice was last year. But in all honesty, I only think three of these guys should make the Hall. Feel free to guess who I think is unworthy in the comments.  Results will be announced January 6th. Complaining about the results will last until inductions happen in July.

Mid-January: More owners meetings.  Don’t these people have more important things to do with their time than to travel to posh resorts and talk about how rich they are?  Wait, of course they don’t. I forgot who I was talking about.

February 1st-21st: Salary arbitration hearings. As a lawyer, I take special interest in these. I mean, there’s enough baloney thrown around in courtrooms every day, but to see a player’s lawyer argue that Kevin Gregg is as valuable as a young Mariano Rivera, and to see an team’s lawyer argue that Nick Markakis is only worth the league minimum is to see lawyering at its highest level.

Mid-February: Pitchers and catchers report; next round of names leaks from the 2003 steroid list.

Ahhh, the rites of Spring!

  1. YankeesfanLen - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    36 days since a Frenchy reference. Hey, the Mets have to get in the papers sometime or Murdoch would declare the Post out of business.
    David Glass has to pump through $47B of $10 toys or there won’t be any of this nonsense about Cy Young pitchers anymore.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    New on the ballot: Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff and Edgar Martinez. I’m fans of all four of them, and any of them will be better selections than Jim Rice was last year. But in all honesty, I only think three of these guys should make the Hall. Feel free to guess who I think is unworthy in the comments. Results will be announced January 6th. Complaining about the results will last until inductions happen in July.

    Martinez should be a lock, 147 OPS+ and unlike others who DH’d most of their careers, his lack of hamstrings is a significant contributor.
    Larkin and Alomar are similar, with Alomar coming out slightly ahead on the traditional batting stats, and both have 116 OPS+. If you vote one in, can you not vote the other?
    Leaves the Crime Dog, McGriff as the odd man out. Hmm…

  3. Joel Barnhart - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    You’ve admitted to being a Braves fan, so I can assume you could put McGriff in.
    You’ve stated previously you live in the Midwest, so I can assume you give Larkin the nod.
    You’ve seen “The Princess Bride,” so I can assume you’re familiar with this bit.
    You’ve decided to put Larkin in, so I could assume you’ll toss fellow middle-infielder/former Indian Alomar in too.
    That logic leads me to believe it’s Edgar Martinez you’ll leave out.
    But I really think you’d put him in ahead of “Crime Dog.”
    Alomar, Larkin, Martinez: In. McGriff: Out.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Clever, clever, Joel, but you fell victim to one of the classic blunders! – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against an Ohioan when the Hall of Fame is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha… [urp!]
    But seriously, both you and Church nailed it: I’d leave McGriff out. I like him, but I don’t think he makes the grade. Come December I’ll probably write up a Keltner list about him or something.

  5. smsetnor - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Nice stats, Church. But here’s a stat that you conveniently forgot about: ACITE. McGriff’s ACITE DESTROYS everyone else’s. Oh, and for those who aren’t up to date with the cool new SABR stats (losers), ACITE is Awesome Commercials Involving Tom Emanski.
    Also, I’ll be at the winter meetings as well! Should be fun.

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Nice stats, Church. But here’s a stat that you conveniently forgot about: ACITE. McGriff’s ACITE DESTROYS everyone else’s. Oh, and for those who aren’t up to date with the cool new SABR stats (losers), ACITE is Awesome Commercials Involving Tom Emanski.

    +1 to you sir

  7. Dberg - Nov 6, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    How is it that Roberto Alomar and his 116 OPS+ will probably be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Lou Whitaker and his 116 OPS+ doesn’t make it past the first ballot?

  8. Preston - Nov 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    I completely agree that Whitaker is significantly under-appreciated, but Alomar was certainly perceived as a significantly better player during his career. First of all, his peak years were a little better (top 5 OPS+ of 150, 141, 139, 136, 134 vs. 141, 136, 133, 133, 133). Secondly, he won 10 gold gloves to Whitaker’s 3 and made 12 All Star Games to Whitaker’s 5. Whitaker peaked at 8th in the MVP voting, the only time he made the ballot, while Alomar had a 3rd, a 4th, and three 6ths. Alomar stole 474 bases in 588 attempts, while Whitaker stole 143 in 218 attempts – Alomar has a significant edge in both number of steals and CS%. It doesn’t hurt that he hit .300 as well, while Whitaker hit .276 – voters like that nice round number.
    I think, in the end, Alomar is viewed as a slightly better hitter, but also a significantly better fielder and baserunner, and that will make the difference for voters. But you are absolutely right to point out that less separates them than one would imagine based on their Hall of Fame chances.

  9. Preston - Nov 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    By the way, love the Princess Bride references! Speaking of which, can we come up with the Three Perils of the Off-Season? I’m thinking Vicente Padilla (or perhaps his bodyguard…) has to be one.

  10. jwb - Nov 7, 2009 at 3:46 AM

    You have to admit that the possibility of Tony Bernazard, Scott Boras’ new assistant, doing something “interesting” during an arbitration hearing raises the interest level a bit.

  11. jwb - Nov 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    It seems I was misinformed.
    “Reports [Tony Bernazard had] gone to work for Scott Boras are inaccurate.” – Tim Brown, ESPN

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