top of page

Search Results

39 items found for ""

  • Examining the National League Wild Card Picture

    As of three days ago, there were only four National League teams with a winning record: The Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Atlanta Braves. Since then, the San Diego Padres have swept the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series at Petco Park keyed by back to back walk-off home runs by backup catcher Kyle Higashioka and rookie center fielder Jackson Merrill to propel San Diego above .500, but the National League still pales in comparison to the American League. The AL has five teams with at least forty wins, including the Cleveland Guardians, who have shocked MLB's landscape with their .652 winning percentage and a +90 run differential, as of the morning of June 13th. Incredulously, the two teams that faced off in the American League Championship Series last October, the dynastic Houston Astros and eventual World Series winning Texas Rangers are both below .500 and have quite a few teams to leapfrog in order to secure a Wild Card slot. The New York Yankees, Guardians, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals, should their squads remain relatively healthy, should secure a spot in the dance this fall, leaving only one more spot in the postseason free. In the National League, however, things seem a lot more open. Philadelphia has gotten off to a sensational start to begin the year, and their star-studded rotation of Ranger Suarez, Aaron Nola, and Zack Wheeler, along with a lineup that features Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and J.T Realmuto has given the Phillies the best record in the National League. Right behind them are the odds-on World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers. Headlined by their three-headed monster of Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman, along with fantastic pitching from Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and the emergence of Gavin Stone, Los Angeles has managed to stave off injuries and do what they always do: lead the NL West by a healthy margin. Less predictably, however, the Milwaukee Brewers have managed to retain their NL Central title thus far. Despite dealing Cy Young candidate Corbin Burnes to Baltimore and losing their terrific manager Craig Counsel to rival Chicago, the Brewers have rode stellar seasons from shortstop Willy Adames and catcher William Contreras, as well as the re-emergence of outfielder Christian Yelich, who had scuffled the previous years following his MVP-caliber seasons in 2018 and 2019. The three division leaders seem almost certain to qualify for October again this year. However, the NL Wild Card is as open as it's ever been. Although the Atlanta Braves currently hold the first Wild Card slot, their season has been somewhat derailed by season-ending injuries to reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. and star pitcher Spencer Strider. After their loss to the Orioles on Wednesday, the Braves had lost five consecutive games for the first time since 2017. The sky isn't necessarily falling for Atlanta, but a playoff berth for the Braves is less certain that it's been in quite some time. In the 2nd Wild Card slot are the San Diego Padres. Despite dealing superstar Juan Soto to the Bronx in December, and failing to retain All-Star closer Josh Hader and NL Cy Young Winner Blake Snell in free agency, GM A.J Preller has swung early season trades for Dylan Cease and Luis Arraez. Although starters Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish are currently on the IL, Michael King (acquired from New York in the Juan Soto trade) and knuckleballer Matt Waldron have filled the holes in San Diego's rotation nicely. But perhaps the most pleasant surprise for the Friars this year has been Jurickson Profar, who San Diego brought back on a one-year, one million dollar contract. At age 31, the former top prospect is having his best season yet, hitting .324 with a .924 OPS, and will almost certainly be the starting left fielder in the All-Star Game. Even with all this, the Padres are only two games over .500, at 37-35, and have quite a bit of work to do. yet in order to secure a spot in the playoffs. The third and final wild card slot is completely up for grabs. There are EIGHT teams fighting for it, and even the lowly New York Mets remain only 3.5 games back of the final ticket to the dance. But all eight teams have a losing record. Out of the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks, there's no doubt at least one of these teams will eventually make a run with the talent they have. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals, who were almost certain to be sellers and bottom dwellers before the year, are only a game and a half back. Every GM is sure to be thinking about the Arizona Diamondbacks' run last year. The team finished 84-78, and barely snuck into the postseason. But Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, and Tommy Pham ALL got hot at the right time. With timely hitting combined with their rotation of Zac Gallen Merrill Kelly, and Brandon Phaadt, the D-Backs made it all the way to the Fall Classic. At this point of the season, every general manager is internalizing a line from Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the young wizard is teaching Dumbledore's army about how to protect themselves. "If they can do it, why not us?"

  • Dodgers-Padres Series Preview: South Korea Edition

    “We’ve got no choice, right?” That was San Diego Padres' third baseman Manny Machado's response when asked about his feelings regarding the upcoming two-game series between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20th and 21st at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. The games, which are scheduled to start at 3:05 AM in both Los Angeles and San Diego, represent a unique opportunity for all coaches, players, and staff to explore South Korea. “We gotta go," Machado said. "I just look at it as something different, take it like a vacation in a way. You know, just enjoy the culture. A vacation playing baseball, and we’re getting paid. It can’t get any better. Just enjoy everything that’s going to come with it.” (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune) Where to Watch: ESPN will be nationally televising both games at 7:05 PM KST, or 3:05 AM on the west coast. However, for local Padres and Dodgers fans who want to watch the game, they can also stream on it Padres. TV and Spectrum SportsNet LA, respectively (provided they have a subscription). Finally, MLB.TV will have both games as their "free game of the day," meaning any fans, regardless of whether or not they have purchased the $100 MLB.TV package, can stream the game on What to Watch For Tyler Glasnow and Yu Darvish are scheduled to square off in the first game, while Joe Musgrove and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are slated to open Game Two. For Los Angeles, the mini series will be an opportunity to showcase a lineup featuring the three-headed monster of Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts, as well as their two new shiny starting pitchers in Glasnow and Yamamoto. Betts will also be making his second position change in as many months, and the new Dodger shortstop will be tested right away with the Padres' star-studded lineup. For San Diego, all eyes will be fixed upon Fernando Tatis Jr, as the Padres need "Nando" to return to his 2021 MVP form following the trade of Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the New York Yankees. Additionally, twenty year-old rookie sensation Jackson Merrill, who has marveled in his short but impressive stint in Peoria, will likely be the opening day center fielder in both Korea and San Diego's domestic opener against the San Francisco Giants on March 28th. Padres GM A.J Preller, who has consistently prioritized trading for established big league talent, desperately needs Merrill to hit at the big league level in order to balance out a top-heavy roster. Lineup Previews: Dodgers: Mookie Betts, SS Shohei Ohtani, DH Freddie Freeman, 1B Will Smith C, Max Muncy, 3B, Teoscar Hernadez, LF James Outman, CF Jason Heyward, RF Gavin Lux, 2B While this lineup consists of arguably Los Angeles' best nine hitters, both Muncy and Smith were reported to have experienced sickness a few days prior to the plane flight to Korea. If they feel any discomfort, expect the Dodgers to pivot to other options, most likely backup catcher Austin Barnes and super utility man Chris Taylor. Lux has also struggled in the field during spring training, so don't be shocked to see Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts throw Miguel Rojas in at short, and shift Betts to second if Roberts deems it necessary. Padres: Xander Bogaerts, 2B Fernando Tatis Jr, CF Jake Cronenworth, 1B Manny Machado, DH Ha-Seong Kim, SS Luis Campusano, C Graham Pauley, 3B Jurickson Profar, LF Jackson Merrill, CF In what will be quite a homecoming for Ha-Seong Kim, the Padres have managed to sport a formidable lineup around him despite a very limited budget this winter. It's worth noting, however, that Manny Machado will be the designated hitter, as his elbow surgery following the 2023 campaign will keep Machado off the hot corner for at least a few more weeks. Instead, San Diego will likely opt to go with twenty-three year old Graham Pauley at third base, another young, emerging rookie that Mike Shildt and A.J Preller have promoted to the big leagues. My Predictions: Ha-Seong Kim homers in his first AB, and the stadium erupts for the "Korean King." Shohei Ohtani knocks in a run with an RBI double for his first hit as a Dodger. Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Tyler Glasnow, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto combine for more than 35 strikeouts. Xander Bogaerts has a four-hit game. Graham Pauley commits two errors, allows Dodger runs to score. Gavin Lux has a game-changing XBH in Game One off of Robert Suarez. Dodgers win Game One 3-1, Padres win Game Two 6-4.

  • Geffen Academy Boys Lose 54-37 In First Round of Playoffs, What's Next For the Bruins?

    After sneaking into the CIF-SS playoffs by the skin of their teeth, the Bruins were forced to take a two-hour bus ride to face off against Calvary Baptist in La Verne. Already a difficult situation, the team bus, which was scheduled to depart at 3:30, didn't leave until nearly 5:00 because of issues with the engine unable to start. Already a precarious scenario, the downpour of rain only slowed the commute to the arena. Geffen Academy arrived fourteen minutes before the opening jump, and managed to squeeze in a quick review session and a hasty lay-up line prior to game time. Conversely, the Calvary Baptist Cougars had ample time to warm up, and a raucous crowd and a myriad of cheerleaders hyping up their players, who looked vastly intimidating at first glance. Bruins small forward Jordy Ohebsion, who was ruled out due to a rib injury, discreetly commented that the Cougars big men looked like, "Thon Maker lookalikes." Maker, of course, gained immense recognition for his tall stature and skinny, long legs from his time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons. Ohebsions' remark was justified; the Cougars had three players who were nearly seven feet tall. Similar to their second playoff game last season, the Bruins were troubled by size. Center Jonathon Katz, who was ruled out with a last minute injury, left the Bruins with only one big man: Senior Russell Fisher. Head Coach Devon McNairy attempted to address the issue by inserting sophomore Connor Branch into the game in a desperate endeavor to deal with the interior dominance of the Cougars. Although both Fisher and Branch gave it everything they had on each and every possession, the size simply became too much for Geffen Academy to overcome. The Bruins didn't score a basket for nearly eight consecutive minutes in the first half, and found themselves trailing 38-9 halfway through the third quarter. Although Geffen Academy managed to close the deficit in the fourth period, it was too little, too late. Nathan Muhumuza and Stevan Markovic, who have been unequivocally the Bruins' leaders and top scorers all year long, scored 35 of the 37 points Geffen Academy totaled. (Fisher scored the other bucket early in the first quarter). Additionally, the Bruins only scored two threes throughout the entire contest, which left them vulnerable to various fast break opportunities after long rebounds that the Cougars hoarded after Geffen Academy missed. Although the Bruins ended the game on a 12-2 run to make the final score respectable, the game was long over fifteen minutes after tip-off. If this year was difficult for Geffen Academy, next year will only be harder. The Bruins will not only lose both of their centers to higher education, but guard Nick Hunter and energy-filled reserve forward Muze Beale are also heading to greener pastures. Additionally, according to multiple industry sources briefed on the situation, the Bruins are "heavily considering a relatively significant coaching change." While the reasons are currently unknown, you can expect them to be reported here as soon as the details are made public. Thanks to everyone for following the team all year, and I'll be back next season as well. Stay tuned for articles regarding the Geffen Academy girls team, and their playoff run, as well as various reporting on the latest updates in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

  • Geffen Academy Bruins Drop Crucial Game to Wildwood Wolves 64-42, Anything Left in the Tank?

    Entering the night in second place in their division, the Geffen Academy Bruins should've had the utmost confidence in their matchup against the pesky Wildwood Wolves. Despite being stuck in a race with a myriad of teams grappling for a slot in the postseason, the Bruins controlled their own destiny. But signs of unrest amongst various players was evident hours before the opening tip-off. Rumors of angst were swirling around about their upcoming game at Wildwood, who Geffen Academy had never beaten away from home. Head Coach Devon McNairy articulated the importance this game had on their season on the preceding bus ride to the arena, delineating how this contest was not only critical in the seedings, but even just to make the playoffs. Looking to play spoiler on the Wolves' senior night, the Bruins jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter. Geffen Academy carved up the Wolves' interior defense with quick, sharp passes into the paint, and excellent defensive rebounding from senior Russell Fisher. The Bruins, who rode their starters for the vast majority of the first eight minutes, led 14-11 at the end of the opening period. Before starting the second quarter, McNairy and Coach Antony Dunn elected to substitute an array of reserves into the game. It would be a detrimental mistake. Wildwood took advantage of the lack of leadership and chemistry on the floor, and pounced on the Bruins, who fell into Wolves' fierce attack like a helpless deer. Geffen Academy lost the second quarter by eighteen points, seemingly unable to do anything right on either end of the floor. Sophomore Stevan Markovic stormed into the locker room, enraged, and began lambasting his teammates for their various miscues throughout the first half. From there, everything fell apart. The Bruins couldn't get anything going in the second half, and the team felt listless, both on the court and on the bench. Markovic certainly backed up his earlier sentiment, scoring thirteen second half points to lead Geffen Academy. However, nobody else on the team found a rhythm, and the Bruins started to fall further and further behind. Conversely, Wildwood only grew stronger and more confident. The Bruins, who are a team that relies immensely on their ability to shoot the triple with proficiency and accuracy, are at a colossal disadvantage when they don't make enough of their three-point shots. Markovic and Junior Noah Saucedo made six threes collectively, but it just wasn't enough for Geffen Academy to overcome their inability to stop Wildwood on the defensive end. The Bruins absolutely must win both of their two remaining games in order to make the playoffs, and their hopes of hosting a playoff game have gone down the drain. After celebrating their seniors on Thursday, the Bruins must defeat Vistamar, then bounce back the next night and beat New Roads for the second time in eight days. If they win both games, the playoffs are attainable, but other results around the CIF-SS may dictate whether or not Geffen Academy gets in. If they lose either game, their season is over. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned.

  • Geffen Academy Bruins Hang on for 51-48 Victory, Can They Make the Postseason?

    The Geffen Academy Bruins, who are swiftly approaching the end of their season, entered their game against New Roads with four games left on their schedule. Needing to go at least 3-1 and probably 4-0 in their final matches of the year in order to make the playoffs, the Bruins faced a tall task in front in them on Thursday. Despite a helter-skelter season similar to that of Geffen Academy's, the Jaguars were led by their senior point guard Cy Arato-Orlovski, one of the most elite playmakers and finishers in the division. But entering the game, Geffen Academy found a way to limit the offensive output of the Jaguars, notching a dominating 22-3 run in the opening frame. Junior Jordy Ohebsion led the way for Geffen Academy in the first quarter, providing yet another scoring outburst in the early stages of the contest. But New Roads climbed their way back into the game in the second period with beautiful ball movement and hard pressure defense. Going into halftime, the Bruins' once largest lead of twenty had been cut to just six. Going back and forth in the second half and needing an offensive spark, the Bruins leaned on shooting guard Noah Saucedo again. The veteran sniper finished with twelve points on four threes, many of which kept New Roads at an arm's distance. A welcome sight off the bench, Saucedo has been hotter than fish grease recently, going 9-11 from downtown in his last two games. But the hounding defense of freshman Ethan Hong was the true difference-maker in determining the outcome in this one. Hong's sterling ability to contain Arato-Orlovski from decimating the backlines of the Bruins' defense was critical in man-to-man situations, and although New Roads was able to cut it a one score game by the final buzzer, the Bruins sustained a lead all throughout the fourth quarter due to their stifling defense and timely shot-making. It was a massive victory for the Bruins, and they've seemed to hit their stride at exactly the right time of year. Unfortunately, the win didn't come without a stain for Geffen Academy. It was revealed after the game that Hong had suffered an injury, and will likely be out for an extended period of time. Already a tough challenge, the Bruins will probably have to scratch and claw their way into a playoff spot without their best defender. With their final three games in the upcoming week against other playoff hopefuls, each possession will be paramount if the Bruins want a chance to earn a ticket to the dance.

  • Geffen Academy Girls Bruins Reach New Heights as They Demolish New Roads Jaguars 52-5

    In what would become a historical and trailblazing win for Geffen Academy, the road for the Bruins to get there was certainly a little shaky. Part of a Thursday doubleheader with their male counterparts, both games were actually delayed for a half hour due to a scheduling misunderstanding. Clearly, Geffen Academy was not even remotely hindered by this hiccup; in fact, the Bruins walked onto the floor with a spring in their step. For a second straight game, Geffen Academy opened with a 10-0 burst, with all five buckets coming in the painted area. The Jaguars, who are essentially the Detroit Pistons of the CIF-SS, were uncoordinated, uninterested, and uncompetitive from start to finish. New Roads was run out of the gym in the opening minutes, as many players on their team were unable to even dribble the basketball without having the rock ruthlessly snatched from their hapless fingers. For Geffen Academy, it was a nice opportunity to try out some new play calls, get some minutes for the players who are typically the last ones off of head coach Fernando Duran's bench, and significant rest for their starters, who usually shoulder the boatload of both minutes and production most nights. However, the Bruins had no interest in conceding even a shot attempt to New Roads. The Jaguars, who had exponentially more turnovers than shots that grazed iron, contributed to a slew of Geffen Academy points off turnovers. As always, Ciahna McNairy led the way, scoring thirteen points while grabbing seven rebounds. However, this was the game for junior Shaya Mossanen to emerge. She scored 10 points, including one triple to beat the first quarter buzzer. Mossanen was jubilant throughout the contest, as her season has been shaky. This time out, however, she was fantastic, displaying an extreme amount of confidence on each and every possession. But the real highlight for the Bruins was a complete stat sheet in the points column. Every single Bruin scored, the first time in Geffen Academy basketball history that every player on the active roster scratched. The last Bruin to score, Maya Danovitch (who has consistently been one of the team's top players), finally drilled a jumper late in the fourth quarter to cement the record. While the win is nice for Geffen Academy, it's likely not much to take from, as they annihilated a far, far, far inferior group. At this point in the season, the Bruins are simply jockeying for playoff seeding and awaiting their first round opponent.

  • Fighting For Their Playoff Lives, Geffen Academy Boys Bruins Defeat HMSA Aviators 81-64 in Dominating Fashion

    Needing nearly every possible win left on their schedule for a playoff birth, the Bruins knew the massive implications of their matchup against Hawthorne on Tuesday. With Rolling Hills Preparatory separating themselves from the rest of the pack in the CIF-Southern Section once again, the other teams in the division have been left fighting for second place. This year, the standings have been so compact that one game can be crucial to your playoff hopes and potential postseason seeding. For the Bruins, this was that game. Tied with four other schools (including Hawthorne) for the the final two playoff spots entering the contest, it's hard to underestimate the meaning of this game to both teams. It seemed the entire team was aware of the stakes, as the Bruins came out practically unconscious from behind the arc. Led by the sharpshooting of Stevan Markovic and Noah Saucedo, the Bruins shot 6-8 from outside in the opening period. Markovic and Saucedo, who combined for ten triples throughout contest, propelled the Bruins to a large lead in the first half. Markovic caught fire all at once, drilling three consecutive triples on three straight posessions, while Saucedo's shot making was more spaced out throughout the game. As always, despite his ailing hand, Nathan Muhumuza led the distribution on the offensive end, totaling twelve dimes, eight of which came in the first half. HMSA, who made their best effort to limit the deficit, simply couldn't finish at the iron, despite slicing their way through the Geffen Academy defense. The second half was more of the same for Geffen Academy. Freshman June Jee knocked down two triples, and big man Jonathan Katz was excellent in the interior once again, rebounding the ball proficiently and spacing the floor on the offensive forty-seven. But it was Noah Saucedo who owned the final two quarters. The junior guard nailed three timely triples, all of which either continued an extended Geffen Academy run or halted a spurt by the Aviators. His final triple, a fading, drifting trey from the left baseline, was followed by Saucedo performing Steph Curry's patented "Night Night" celebration, and the Bruins turned the lights out on HMSA. A big-time win for the Bruins, they will look to continue their streak against New Roads on Thursday. Geffen Academy has easily defeated the Jaguars on many occasions in the past, and they will need this trend to continue if they want to make more headway in the standings.

  • Geffen Academy Girls Bruins Firing on All Cylinders, Defeat HMSA Aviators 51-26 For 5th Consecutive Win

    The Geffen Academy Girls Bruins, who entered their game against the HMSA Aviators with four consecutive victories, did not miss a beat on Tuesday night. The Bruins' stifling defense resulted in a myriad of turnovers, and they capitalized in a large way in transition. Geffen Academy, who was once again led by their "Big 4" of Maya Danovitch, Maddie Sugimoto, Mion Kamiya, and Ciahna McNairy, put the Aviators in a chokehold just minutes after the opening tip, with all four scoring in double-digits. McNairy once again destroyed the backline of the opposing defense, recording sixteen points and fourteen rebounds for yet another double-double, and Kamiya continued her brilliance scoring and facilitating, tallying ten points and seven assists. Despite jumping out to a 10-0 start, the Bruins continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal, pressuring the Aviators into forced shots and ill-advised passes, and held HMSA to a mere eight points in the first half. Looking like a well-oiled machine, the Bruins continued their domination into the second half, with nearly everything going their way. Instead of annihilating the Aviators in the paint like they had in the first and second quarters, the Bruins opted instead for a coordinated three-point strike. Both Sugimoto and Danovitch nailed multiple from long distance, and sophomore Morgan Ballard banked in a long jumper from the right corner for a cherry on top. By the time the Aviators figured out how to contain the Bruins' offensive destruction, it was too little, too late. As it's been for the last few weeks, the Bruins have been unable to do much wrong on the floor, and Geffen Academy is well on its way to a strong seed in the upcoming playoffs.

  • Is There a Legitimate Issue With The Timeline of MLB Free Agency?

    On his "Fair Territory" podcast and YouTube show last week, MLB Insider for The Athletic Ken Rosenthal stated a staggering fact: Just over three weeks before pitchers and catchers report to their respective training camps in Arizona and Florida, 175 free agents remain unsigned. Since Ken's episode, the Houston Astros have signed All-Star closer Josh Hader to a five-year, $95 million dollar contract and the Los Angeles Angels have inked reliever Robert Stephenson to a three-year deal, but the vast majority of the marquee free agents at the beginning of the offseason are still looking for a place to play as of today. Understandably, the market was held up by both Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but it's been more than a month since the Dodgers committed over a billion dollars to the two Japanese superstars. So why are teams so hesitant to sign these players? And is this slow, drawn out process harming or helping Major League Baseball? TV Deals A huge storyline this winter has been the collapse of many teams' RSN's, or regional sports networks. Bally Sports, or the Diamond Sports Group, declared chapter eleven bankruptcy in March, attempting to restructure debts more than $8 billion dollars. Bally Sports, which streamed games for 37 MLB, NBA, and NHL teams, has significantly impacted the incomes of many baseball organizations. MLB teams generate slightly more than sixty million dollars a season from their TV deals, and the collapse of Diamond Sports has limited the financial wherewithal for MLB teams like the San Diego Padres and the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers. Cost-cutting was the reason San Diego moved 25 year-old superstar outfielder Juan Soto to the New York Yankees, and dollar flexibility has been a key reason why the Rangers have been hesitant to resign free-agent starter Jordan Montgomery. While their television situation is up in the air, many owners have elected to reduce their payrolls and keep spending to a minimum for the upcoming season. The "Boras 4" Another large reason for the shortage of significant signings has been due to what is known as the "Boras 4." Montgomery, Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger, and Blake Snell are inarguably the top four free agents left on the market. However, the number of interested teams has dwindled since the beginning of December, for a myriad of reasons. All four players are represented by agent Scott Boras, who is notorious for his ability to land long-term, high annual average value deals for his clients. Boras has also been known to play by his own clock, and sign his players when their value is at its highest point. A key example of this tactic by Boras was during the 2018-2019 offseason, when Boras waited until the opening days of spring training to sign Bryce Harper to a thirteen year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Because Harper and Boras waited out the clock so much, many teams entered the bidding race towards the finish line, and Harper's value escalated to at the time was one of the largest guaranteed deals in MLB history. But perhaps the real reason teams are hesitant to sign Montgomery, Chapman, Bellinger, or Snell is because all of them come with stains on their respective resumes. Bellinger, who was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year in 2023, has advanced metrics that show he got very lucky this past season and that his actual numbers should have been closer to league average. Of course, Bellinger struggled mightily with the Dodgers from 2020-2022, and teams are wary of giving Bellinger a long-term deal when his future production is uncertain. Snell is a similar scenario, because despite the left-hander winning his 2nd Cy Young in six years, he led the league in walks. Snell was very fortunate that most of his free passes did not come around to score, but the law of mathematics show that Snell's luck is bound to run out soon, and his high walk rate will eventually hurt him. As for Chapman, his offensive production was down last year. He had a scorching April, but afterwards, he was one of the worst hitters in baseball. He's got a fantastic glove at the hot corner, but his defensive ability and third base may not be able to compensate for his lack of consistency at the plate in the eyes of general managers. Montgomery has the least amount of baggage, but teams are still hesitant to pay the World Series champion $125 million dollars to likely slot into the middle of their rotation. Lack of Top-End Talent Aside from Ohtani, Yamamoto, and the "Boras 4," this free agent class has been very weak. There have been an abundance of deals signed by veteran players hoping to resurrect their careers, ailing starting pitchers, and below average bats. However, pitching has been at such a premium that teams are shelling out tons of money to any and all starting pitchers. Jack Flaherty, who was pitiful last season for the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles, recieved $14 million dollars from the Detroit Tigers. Lance Lynn, who gave up four home runs in an inning last season and was plagued by the long-ball all year long, got $10 million dollars from the Cardinals. Because of the going rate for pitching, a lot of general managers are opting to save their money for next offseason, when the free-agent class will feature Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Juan Soto, Max Fried, Zack Wheeler, Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, and more. Many organizations will treat this season as a year to develop young talent, or reset their Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) to help them spend more in future free-agent pursuits. MLB vs. NBA and NFL Compared to the NBA and the NFL, MLB's free agency is far less exciting. In basketball and football, essentially all of the top players sign within the opening minutes or hours of the allotted negotiation windows. The main reason for this is because the NBA and NFL have hard salary caps and floors, forcing teams to be more aggressive in signing players in order to put together a competent roster. Major League Baseball not only has no deadline, but no hard salary cap either. With the way the MLBPA (Players' Association) has objected to any discussions with commissioner Rob Manfred about enforcing a deadline for players to sign, it is unlikely that the timeline of MLB Free Agency will change, at least for the foreseeable future. Many fans dislike the current format because it draws out the process over months on end, when the majority of fans want to see players sign immediately so they know what their teams look like on paper. On the other side of the spectrum, however, there is a lot of support for the drawn-out process, as it keeps fans engaged throughout January and February, baseball's least exciting months. I personally enjoy the long months waiting for players to sign. It gives more excitement to the offseason, and results in more rumors and content regarding each team. But with spring training mere days away, this long offseason should finally be coming to a close, and rest assured, it will once again be time for baseball.

  • Geffen Academy Bruins eke out 55-50 win over Lennox Academy Panthers to keep their playoff hopes alive

    Following their big-time win over the California Math and Science Academy (CAMS) on Tuesday, January 16th, the Bruins were seeking a big-time win over a struggling Lennox Academy group. The Panthers, who were entering the Friday night primetime matchup against the Bruins dead last in the Coastal League at 0-8, found themselves shorthanded with only seven of their thirteen players registering as eligible for the contest. On the other side, Geffen Academy was sporting nearly their entire roster, save for veteran guard Nick Hunter. Both the Bruins and the Panthers had issues taking care of the basketball following the tip-off, with an abundance of turnovers leading to buckets for both teams. Additionally, Bruins' star point guard Nathan Muhumuza struggled to finish at the rim, effortlessly carving his way to the cup but leaving a profusion of layups on the iron. However, in his second game back after being reinstated, crafty Geffen Academy small forward Jordy Ohebsion notched seven points and four rebounds in the opening minutes. The Bruins, who were kept afloat by Ohebsion's buckets, found themselves knotted in a football score of 14-14 at the end of the first period. The Panthers relied on juniors Andrew Anderson and Mike Cruz throughout the match, as Lennox Academy lacked offensive firepower from most of their players. However, Anderson and Cruz were both terrific from behind the arc, knocking down a boatload of extremely challenging triples. Anderson even nailed a high-arching three-pointer late in the fourth from what would be an NBA three-point line, while simultaneously being hounded by multiple Geffen Academy defenders. For the Bruins, they did it by committee, as Muhumuza, Stevan Markovic, and Jonathan Katz all scored eleven points. Those three have been the Bruins' best players all year, and tonight was no different. Muhumuza also contributed twelve assists, many of which proved to be paramount in keeping the Bruins in the game down the stretch. Markovic, who struggled shooting throughout the game, knocked down two huge threes on plays drawn up by interim head coach Mischa Reiss. But by far the biggest shot was from Katz, who nailed a left-corner trey with just under a minute remaining to put Geffen Academy up 53-50. Despite head coach Devon McNairy's qualms on the sideline against Katz's late-game jumper, the Hebrew Hammer calmly drilled the jumper and skipped back on the defensive end to string music. After a critical Muhumuza steal and layup, the Bruins easily played keep-away and ran out the dwindling seconds. Despite the win, the Bruins yet again managed to play down to their competition. The win will look nice on their schedule and in their conference play record, but Geffen Academy is running out of time to get things right if they want to compete for a southern section championship. Needing to win nearly all of their remaining games, the Bruins' face a tall task ahead of them in the upcoming days.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have already had a historic offseason, but could it possibly get even better?

    Signing Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and trading for Tyler Glasnow is arguably the best winter in not only Dodgers franchise history, but in the history of baseball. Andrew Friedman has not only managed to acquire one of the greatest players of all time on a record-breaking contract in Shohei Ohtani, but on a team-friendly deal as well. Less than 48 hours later, Friedman flipped Ryan Pepiot and Jonny DeLuca to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Glasnow and right-handed outfielder Manuel Margot. Glasnow, who is undoubtedly a premier talent and front-line starting pitcher, inked an extension with Los Angeles for five years and in excess of one hundred and twenty million dollars. A fortnight after Glasnow's introductory zoom press conference, the team announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, signing the Japanese Ace to a 12 year, $325 Million Dollar contract. For many clubs, this would be a great decade in terms of their offseason success. However, due to the massive deferrals in Ohtani's deal and the amount of money backloaded in Yamamoto's contract, the team only owes their two big-market signings a total of $7 Million Dollars this season, a minimal financial commitment compared to the amount of production they expect from Ohtani and Yamamoto. The dollar flexibility the Dodgers have been gifted this year, coupled with their perennial financial wherewithal, gives Los Angeles a boatload of options to continue to bolster their roster for the upcoming season. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (far left) and Shohei Ohtani (far right) The Dodgers have already addressed their most pressing need this winter, acquiring two front-line aces to headline their rotation. But as we know in baseball, you can never have too much pitching. Injuries are inevitable, and the rotation for the Dodgers certainly has a number of question marks. Yamamoto hasn't thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball. Glasnow hasn't exceeded 120 Innings in a year during his career. Walker Buehler is returning from Tommy John surgery and is expected to be worked back slowly. Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan are both 24 years old who shouldn't be expected to shoulder the bulk of innings. And of course, Clayton Kershaw will be out until at least the summer and is also currently unsigned. It would be devastating if Kershaw's final start as a Dodger was his disastrous appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the NLDS during which he surrendered six runs while recording only one out. Many fans believe he will return to Los Angeles for one last hurrah, but his hometown Texas Rangers remain an intriguing possibility for the Dodger legend. The Dodgers' payroll currently sits at $268 Million Dollars, still comfortably below the dreaded "Steve Cohen" tax at $297 Million, where Los Angeles would be taxed 110% on every dollar they dole out after the fourth luxury tax threshold. If Andrew Friedman, Brandon Gomes, and the rest of the front office elect to use the remaining money on a starter, there are a few key options. Clayton Kershaw Shōta Imanaga Shōta Imanaga is yet another Japanese star who was posted this off-season. Although he is expected to command more than one hundred million dollars an a multi-year deal, the Dodgers could be a good fit for a couple of reasons. As it stands right now, the Dodgers' rotation is comprised of five right handers. (Glasnow, Yamamoto, Buehler, Miller, Sheehan) The Dodgers should be interested in both a competent left-handed starting pitcher as well as a high-leverage lefty reliever, especially considering Philadelphia and Atlanta are their two main competitors for the National League pennant. The Phillies and the Braves boast three of the most electric left-handed sluggers in baseball, with Philadelphia featuring Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper while Atlanta sports Matt Olson. Imanaga would certainly help, as he posted a 2.80 ERA along with 174 strikeouts for the Yokohama Bay Stars in 2023. However, Imanaga does have a problem on his resume, as he allowed 17 home runs last year. I won't go as far to say he's the Japanese Lance Lynn, (By the way, Lance Lynn just gave up another home run) but the home run ball is certainly something the Dodgers should be wary of when it comes to signing Imanaga. The cultural benefits of Ohtani and Yamamoto could also convince Imanaga to sign with Los Angeles, and having two Japanese teammates alongside him could be very appealing for Imanaga. The Dodgers at this moment are not the favorite, but Imanaga's posting window from Japan concludes next week, which means a decision should be happening fairly quickly. Shōta Imanaga Corbin Burnes/Dylan Cease Cease or Burnes would be the dream scenario for the Dodgers. Burnes, who has been a perennial Cy Young candidate with Milwaukee for the last few years, is on an expiring deal and is expected to receive a large contract in free agency in 2025. However, it is unclear how motivated the Brewers are to move Burnes, as they may still try to compete in the NL Central despite recently seeing their longtime manager Craig Counsell depart for the division rival Chicago Cubs. If the Dodgers were to try to acquire Burnes, they would likely have to part with at least one of their top two prospects in Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas. Busch and Vargas, who are twenty-six and twenty four, respectively, do not have much of a place on the current roster. Their primary position, second base, is occupied by Mookie Betts, who Dave Roberts announced would be the Dodgers' everyday second baseman during the Winter Meetings. Along with Busch and/or Vargas, the Dodgers would have to send pitching prospects to Milwaukee to replace Burnes, such as Gavin Stone, Landon Knack, or Kyle Hurt. Los Angeles always finds ways to restock their farm, but losing Stone, Knack or Hurt would certainly harm the Dodgers' farm system for the near future. Busch, Vargas, and a pitcher or two would be a large price to pay for a rental, but the Dodgers are all in, and trading for Burnes may be a move they consider pulling the trigger on if they view him as a guy who moves the needle. As for Cease, the haul Chris Getz and the Chicago White Sox would get could be even higher. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported around Christmas that the White Sox could land up to FOUR of a team's top ten prospects. Cease, who has only had one ace-caliber season in 2022, commands so much talent because he has two years of team control and a far cheaper salary than Burnes. In a potential trade package, the Dodgers would likely lose Busch, Vargas, Stone, and one of their top catchers in Diego Cartaya or Dalton Rushing. However, the Dodgers could unlock a new level of potential in Cease, and create a super-rotation for not just the upcoming season but the following year as well. Corbin Burnes Josh Hader The Dodgers, who have lacked an elite closer since the prime of Kenley Jansen, could benefit from signing Hader. A former San Diego Padre, Hader was sensational last season, logging thirty-three saves while sporting a minimal 1.28 ERA. FOX's Tom Verducci announced back in December that the Dodgers were interested in Hader, who could provide the Dodgers with some much needed southpaw stability in the back of their bullpen. Los Angeles currently only has two experienced left-handed relievers on their roster in Caleb Ferguson and Alex Vesia, both of whom struggled at points last season. Hader would not only be able to lock down the 9th inning, but could be utilized in the 8th inning if Dave Roberts opted instead to use Evan Phillips as the team's closer. However, despite Hader's obvious pros, he definitely comes with some cons as well. It was reported earlier that Hader is looking for a contract that would eclipse the 5 year, $102 Million dollar deal Edwin Diaz received last winter from the New York Mets (the largest contract for a reliever in baseball history). If true, the possibility of doling out yet another large contract could scare the Dodgers off of Hader's radar. Additionally, Hader comes with an attitude issue as well. Last season with the Padres, Hader simply refused to pitch when it became clear the team wasn't going to make the playoffs. After being questioned by media why he didn't appear for a four-out save late in September, Hader casually replied, "Are we in the playoff race?" It appears seems the Dodgers should be absolutely certain in Hader's ability to be a good teammate if they are to sign him, especially since Los Angeles has previously experienced players such as Trevor Bauer or Julio Urias who have negatively impacted team chemistry with their actions off the field. Josh Hader Teoscar Hernandez If the Dodgers are completely confident in their pitching, they could also opt to improve their offense. With Betts moving to second base this season, the Dodgers currently have an outfield of Chris Taylor, James Outman, and likely a right-field platoon of Manny Margot and Jason Heyward. Taylor is more of a utility player, Outman is someone who could go through the prudent "sophomore slump," Margot has been a below average hitter for his career, and it is unlikely that Heyward will continue his spectacular 2023 campaign as he is only getting older. Hernandez, who hit 258. with 26 homers and 93 RBI's for the Seattle Mariners last year and produced similar results with the Toronto Blue Jays for seasons prior, could fit well in Hollywood. Hernandez could not only slot into any of the three outfield slots, but would also lengthen a lineup that already features Betts, Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Max Muncy. However, there are many clubs very interested in Hernandez, and many of whom could offer the outfielder a more prominent role during the regular season than Los Angeles could. Teoscar Hernandez It will be fascinating to see what Andrew Friedman and company do for the rest of the off-season. Regardless, they've already accomplished their goal. The Los Angeles Dodgers have already done everything they've needed to do this offseason. They are already favorites or co-favorites to win the 2024 World Series. But as Dodgers president Stan Kasten stated at the Yoshinobu Yamamoto press conference last week, "We never stop. We will keep working."

  • My Thoughts on Shohei Ohtani's Free Agency Saga

    Note: I've waited a considerable amount of time to give my opinions on this matter because I wanted every bit of information to be released. As a diehard Los Angeles Dodgers enthusiast, these last few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions, filled with nausea, exuberant enthusiasm, and everything else in between. But for this article, I'd like to put my obsessive fandom aside, and talk about Ohtani's record breaking deal from the perspective of a baseball connoisseur, and with no particular bias towards any organization. Shohei Ohtani has made his decision. He has received the largest contract in North American sports history. His physical has been completed. His introductory press conference has concluded. He is officially a Los Angeles Dodger. The drama began at the commencement of the 2023 Winter Meetings from December 3-6, a four day event where the front offices of all 30 MLB clubs dedicate their days and nights to talking with current free agents and discussing trades with other teams. Conducted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the Winter Meetings were eerily quiet on the significant trade and signing front, save for the blockbuster Juan Soto deal the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees executed on the final day. Soto, who is undoubtedly a top five hitter in the game and will likely command in excess of five hundred million dollars on the open market next winter, would've been the biggest name swirling around Tennessee had it not been for Japanese two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani was at the forefront of rumors, articles, and interviews throughout the week. Both MLB Network and the various writers and content creators who had made the trek out to Nashville heavily featured their content on Ohtani, despite the fact that the 2023 AL MVP winner was not going to decide on a team in the near future. The only tidbit of actual new news on Ohtani that occurred during the winter meetings was when longtime Dodgers manager Dave Roberts publicly stated that "Yeah, we met with him [Ohtani]. I'd like to be honest, and so we met with Shohei, and we talked, and I think it went well. But at the end of the day, he's his own man and he's going to do what's best for himself, where he feels more comfortable." Roberts' seemingly harmless comments were viewed as appalling throughout media coverage for the next forty eight hours. Ohtani's camp and his agent Nez Balelo from CAA had reportedly stated they did not want any information regarding Ohtani's free agency process being leaked, and if something did become public, it would "be held against that team in the remainder of the negotiation process." Numerous analysts, fans, and writers jumped to the conclusion the comments Roberts had made could (or would) cost them a once-in-a-sport player in Ohtani, and Dodgers fans all over social media became outraged with Roberts' outbursts. Roberts made one public appearance following the scrutiny he received in Nashville, a brief interview on AM 570 with Dodgers reporter and Dodger talk host David Vassegh. Roberts justified his previous comments in the interview, but refrained from making any further thoughts on Ohtani. For the next week, legitimate Ohtani news was non-existant. Although MLB analysts and insiders continued to provide updates on a potential timeline and destination for Shohei Ohtani, much of the news was speculation and personal predictions. The Blue Jays became more prominent in discussions, as many pointed out that the autonomy and controlled environment Toronto could offer would be unmatched by any other franchise. But again, nobody knew which team Ohtani would ultimately decide on, and his market remained at a standstill. Everything came to a head on Friday, December 8th. Early in the morning, insider J.P Morosi appeared on MLB Network and reported that a Shohei Ohtani decision seemed "imminent." Morosi, who had previously claimed earlier in the week that an Ohtani decision was likely before the end of the upcoming weekend, only further increased the amount of hands refreshing Twitter/X with this latest report. For a couple of hours, Morosi's statement remained at the top of news feeds, until it was eclipsed by another tweet: That Shohei Ohtani had made his decision. On Friday morning at 10:09 AM, baseball writer J.P Hoornstra released an article that essentially claimed that the Blue Jays had signed Shohei Ohtani to a record-breaking contract and that Toronto would be acquiring the two-time MVP. In retrospect, there were a couple of things strange about this announcement. For one, despite Hoornstra being a BBWAA (Baseball Writers' Association of America) accredited writer, someone of his status wouldn't be the one to typically announce a signing of this magnitude. It would be far more likely that ESPN's Jeff Passan or The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal would break the news. It would be even more likely that Ohtani himself would announce the decision, as he clearly seemed like the type of person who would want to break the news himself. Additionally, Hoornstra had been hired just days earlier by Dodgers Nation, a popular YouTube channel headlined by host Doug McKain. Dodgers Nation, which has eclipsed 70,000 subscribers on YouTube and also features a highly-read blog, is a great outlet for Dodgers content and information. I listen to their podcats quite frequently. But McKain or any of their writers do not have nearly enough credibility or information to break any major news, let alone the Ohtani signing. Sure enough, Hoornstra's report was shot down just mere minutes later when ESPN's Alden Gonzales tweeted that "Shohei Ohtani has not made a decision yet. That’s not to say it won’t ultimately be the Blue Jays; my understanding is that, at this point, that decision has not been made." His tweet was quickly backed up by other reporters, and the beat went on. While Hoornstra's report was being refuted, an event of other significance was simaltaneously occuring; there was private plane flying from Anaheim to Toronto. Anaheim, was Ohtani's previous home with the Los Angeles Angels and with the Blue Jays being heavily rumored to be frontrunners for Shohei, it made sense that he could be flying to Canada. There were additional signs as well: Blue Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi had booked a private reservation at a sushi restaurant in downtown Toronto for 50+ people, and Canadian hockey player Max Comtois posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, "LFG #BlueJays." An hour later, Morosi made another appearance on MLB Network and this time stated that Ohtani was flying from Los Angeles to Toronto. By this time, the private jet flying to Canada was the most tracked plane in the world, with thousands of hopelessly devoted fans (myself included) watching throughout the entire day. At this point, Ohtani's free agency had already risen to an absurd level of insanity. And it was about to get crazier. A couple of hours after Morosi's report about the plane supposedly carrying Ohtani, USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted out, "Shohei Ohtani is not in Toronto. Ohtani is not on a flight to Toronto. Ohtani is at home in Southern California." The tweet garnered over fourteen million views, and the report was met with disbelief and shock. Nightengale had been notoriously critized for his inaccurate reporting such as jumping the gun on the Trevor Bauer signing in 2021 and his infamous tweet in 2015 saying the Cubs and Braves were swapping Javier Baez and Shelby Miller. When Nightengale's statement about Ohtani's whereabouts was seconded by other insiders, the baseball world was yet again left in the dark about what was really occurring and why these "trusted sources" had once more provided egregious misinformation. For the rest of Friday and into Saturday morning, all was quiet throughout Major League Baseball. Then, on Saturday, December 9th at 12:05 PM, lightning struck. Shohei Ohtani himself posted on his Instagram a blurry logo of the Dodgers with this sentiment underneath: "To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team." He went on to express his gratitude for the six years he spent in the Angels organization, pledged his dedication for the game and to always do what is best for the Dodgers and Major League Baseball as a whole, and promised it his all until the day he retires. Seconds later, the terms of the contract were reported: 10 years, $700 million dollars. With a record $70 million AAV (Annual Average Value) Ohtani's contract with the Dodgers was already revolutionary. But until Monday evening, we didn't know just how revolutionary. Earlier on Saturday, ESPN's Jeff Passan posted that Ohtani's contract contained significant deferrals. It wasn't thought much about at the time, as deferrals had been frequently utilized throughout baseball history. The most iconic one is Bobby Bonilla's contract, an All-Star who the New York Mets signed in 1991 to a five year, 29 million dollar deal. However, the Mets and Bonilla opted to defer the money, and Bonilla has been recieving just over a million dollars each year since he inked the deal and will continue to be paid for the next dozen seasons. Bonilla is not the only example of a deferred deal; Rangers star pitcher Max Scherzer had half of his contract deferred when the signed a megadeal with the Washington Nationals, and Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has shown a particular aptitude for deferred money as well, delaying the payments on the deals of both outfielder Mookie Betts and first baseman Freddie Freeman. Many thought Ohtani could defer ten million a year. Maybe twenty million. But when the Athletic's Fabian Ardaya released an article explaing how Shohei Ohtani is deferring $680 million of his $700 million dollar contract, the baseball community was not only confused, but enraged. The Dodgers, who already have every advantage in the world, (great television deal, geography, weather, money, superstars) are only going to have to pay the greatest talent in baseball history $2 million dollars a year for the next decade?! This is where we are at the current day. Ohtani's introductory press conference has concluded, but I don't feel a pressing urge to cover that press conference in this article. If you'd like to watch it, it's about a half hour long and is located on MLB's YouTube Channel as well as the official YouTube channel of Los Angeles Dodgers. I'm at the point where I'm now going to give my opinions on the whole process of the free agency. Let's start with what many in the MLB industry are calling, "Black Friday." In my opinion, that Friday last week was the epitome of what journalism has become. Too many people have prioritzed being first over being right. They have prioritized speed over accuracy. This doesn't just go for sports journalism; it goes for investigative, political, broadcast, buisness, etc. It is a travesty that in sports journalism, people will simply take a guess and attempt to claim the credit should they stumble upon the truth. Every reporter will make mistakes, I get it. But it's always easy to tell the difference between someone who made a mistake and someone who misreported information because they were trying to break a story. Both Morosi and Hoornstra apologized for the reports they made. I appreciate it. It's always appreciated when someone takes accountability. But here's what I'll say. Apology accepted, credibility gone. Bob Nightengale released a sentiment similar to what I have shared here in his Sunday notebook for USA Today, and he says that, "we need to be better as journalists." For Nightengale, he's been spot on in the last couple off-seasons and the baseball community needs to stop ridiculing him for past failures and start giving him the credit he deserves. Here's what I'll say about the way Ohtani conducted his free agency process. I have no ill will against Shohei himself. I understand that he's a private person, and that he didn't want numbers and figures being leaked to the public. But holding leaks against teams is unfair. There are reporters that have jobs to do. They will dig and dig and dig until they strike gold. We had people out here tracking flights and theorizing what the name of Ohtani's dog was. (Many thought the name of the dog had something to do with his decision. His name was later revealed to be Decoy). Remember Kikuchi's restaurant reservation? It was a surprise party for his anniversary, and because of all the traction the reservation gained on social media, the surprise was ruined for his wife. Remember the plane heading to Toronto? It was carrying billionaire Robert Herjavec, renowned judge for the popular television show Shark Tank. When reporters found out about who was really on the plane, they spent time researching connections about Herjavec and Ohtani, and found out they were both represented by CAA. This report was later plastered all over Twitter on Friday night. It was yet another unwelcome distraction for baseball fans from the actual truth. The last thing I'll talk about is the contract for Ohtani. While Shohei is technically being payed two million a year, it's not as simple as that. The CBT (competitive balance tax) hit is actually $46 million dollars, because only a part of the deferred money is exempt from the luxury tax. Ohtani will easily make more than forty million dollars in endorsements and advertisements, so it's not like he is pining for money. Ohtani will be paid six hundred and eight million from 2034-2043, but if he leaves California, he will not be subject to the outrageous state taxes. The money Ohtani will be paid from 2034-2043 will not count towards the CBT for the Dodgers. As a Dodger fan, I love this. It gives us an additional twenty four million dollars (70-46) to play with each year to add to our team, and Ohtani has a stipulation in his contract that essentially forces the Dodgers to spend the saved money. They've already added to their roster this offseason following the addion of Ohtani, trading for Tampa Bay Rays All-Star starter Tyler Glasnow. But as a baseball fan, I certainly think that this is detrimental to the game. The MLB loves this contract, ok? Ohtani in a big-time market, more money being spent by big money teams, and higher ratings. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will probably be ecstatic about the Dodgers and the Yankees being in the World Series for the next decade because it gives the MLB more money. I mean, Ohtani's introductory press conference got more views than this past World Series! But for the overall health of the game, this is bad. The only teams that will be able to do this are the Dodgers and the Mets and the Yankees and the Red Sox and the Cubs. Teams like the Royals and the A's and the Marlins and the Pirates will never able to compete with the financial wherewithal of these big market clubs. As a Dodger fan, I can root against the San Diego Padres all I want, but you have to praise them for spending big. I don't have an issue with anyone spending. But to me, this deferral system feels like a loophole that the Dodgers have used to exploit the CBA. (Collective Bargaining Agreement.) As a Dodger fan, I can't wait for this upcoming season. The big three of Betts, Freeman, and Ohtani will be incredible. We can talk about salary caps and journalism and deferrals but at the end of the day, we're here for one thing and one thing only: the great game of baseball. And with all the talent the Dodgers are going to have this year, I only have one thing left to say, "It's time for Dodger baseball!"

bottom of page