The Changeup is a (hopefully) weekly collection of my thoughts about the stuff I read and maybe enjoy in the world of baseball.
Longoria traded to the Giants
The big news of the week is Evan Longoria, the face of the Tampa Bay Rays, was traded to the San Francisco Giants.
There was a writer on Twitter (whose tweet I'm too lazy to look for at the moment) wondering who Rays fans are supposed to get excited about. Well, this guy:
A jettisoned Longoria recalibrates the AL East, which naturally has implications for the Blue Jays. The Rays appear to be taking a step back in 2018. The Yankees, with the addition of Stanton, appear to be taking a step forward (though I wouldn't argue that lack of homers was ever an issue for the 2017 Yankees. They still have other concerns.)
The Jays have done next to nothing this offseason and many are wondering what direction the Jays should go.
I've seen a lot of Jays fans on social media demanding that Donaldson be traded. Like, right now.
I've been pretty vocal about wanting the Jays to extend Josh Donaldson. He's a very special player and he's the kind of player that you build a team around. It's not an accident that the Jays made the playoffs the year Donaldson arrived.
Some fans really love the idea of trading off your established players for prospects. They think that other teams will empty their farms to get a player like Donaldson. Prospects are a volatile commodity. Baseball is full of players that were projected to be one thing but are something completely different.
To quote Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, this is not going to go the way you think.
If the Jays plan to compete in 2018 (which is their stated goal, in the few public statements they've made), they can't trade their best player.
Marlins Fall Out
Do you want to see Dan Le Batard get into it with the MLB Commissioner? Of course you do!
MLBAM Head Forced Out
MLB Advanced Media is a massive success story for MLB. It has generated billions of dollars and Bob Bowman was the highly respected executive in charge of it.
It's important to remember those billions of dollars when you read about the sort of culture that was cultivated under Bowman.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal, it's the worst of "bro" culture: shoving executives, publicly berating co-workers and having prostitutes at company parties. He was also allowed to have his own offices in Chelsea, away from the main MLB office on Park Avenue in New York City.
More at The New York Times.
Often, a blind eye is turned on executives that generate that kind of money but this shift we've seen in 2017 might start to change that.
Nikki Huffman Hired as New Trainer for the Blue Jays
John Lott interviewed Huffman last season for The Athletic. The players love her.
Baseball Pioneer Mamie "Peanut" Johnson Dies at 83
John Lott's 2006 piece for the National Post on Mamie Johnson (via Facebook.)
She was an amazing person and this is an amazing story.
It’s also a gentle reminder to any “bro” that tries to tell us that women liking baseball is new or that baseball hasn’t always been diverse.
It belongs to anyone who loves it.
Ricky Romero spoke to Blake Murphy of Vice Sports about his goal to pitch in the MLB again.
Romero describes what I suspected at the time in his disastrous 2012 season and why it is terrible idea to pitch injured.
Romero is very polite here. I remember in 2012 when John Farrell told the media that he told Romero to toughen up and pitch like that "East LA kid", I wanted to make Farrell sore by punching his face. That is the dumbest thing to say to a player. Any players worth his salt is going to want to keep competing. It's in their DNA.
The people in charge need to make the smart call and shut them down.
I realize that every player plays sore at one point or another, but when that soreness brings you out of your pitching mechanics, it's time to stop. The point is to throw strikes and if your body isn't allowing you to throw strikes, you have to stop.
I'm hoping for Romero, even though the outcome isn't likely. I always liked him.
Get it, kid.
Vlad Jr wants his Dad in the HOF
Jr. made his Player's Tribune debut making the case for Sr. in the HOF.
The hype for this kid is real.
And he has his father's hips.