SocraticGadfly

December 13, 2019

Should the Cardinals trade for David Price?

This is an update and tweaking of a post from yesterday. (I'd originally linked Matt Carpenter twice, once under the name of David Price, with B-Ref. Derp! But, breaking news from free agency land makes an overhauled post worthwhile, and those two names are at the center of it.)

First, per the question behind the question, and the poll at right, yes, the Cards really could use another starter.

Second, a lefty is preferable. Mo has said that.

So, would another starting pitcher on the mound help the St. Louis Cardinals next year?

I say yes. And, they've got money to do it, one way or another.

They don't need to replace Marcell Ozuna in the OF.

Since the Cardinals let Michael Wacha walk (the Mets just signed him, for about the $6M I expected if he hits most incentive clauses), they'll have room for a starter. And, with his money plus Ozuna's (let's say somebody, like the Reds, pays him $16M a year), that's $22M a year.

Not even close to the two priciest pitchers.

But that's not needed. Something, though, is needed, IMO.

Carlos Martinez may or may not be a starter, and his latest shoulder issues? Don't hold your breath. Plus, if you move him out of the pen, who's your closer until midseason? At the same time, while Adam Wainwright surprised last year on both health and performance? Don't circle him in as a guarantee to do that again. (And, his big bounceback on performance was only to a skoosh above league average.)

So,

Is $22M a year, dependent on contract length, enough to land Madison BumgarnerDallas KeuchelHyun-Jin Ryu. Possibly but not guaranteed on any of them.**

Any of those work at No. 2 starter level. MLB.com reports the Birds are interested in Bum. OTOH, it also notes he has high home-road splits the last three years, and some are of real concern.

Ryu, I'm kind of leery of, due to injury history. Bumgarner (other than in the off-season!), Keuchel and Hamels all have fairly long to long track records of durability. That said, Bum got the QO, so the Cards would have to give the draft pick back.

There's another consideration. Bumgarner isn't represented by a certain Scott Boras. The other two are.

So, riffing on David Schoenfield's blockbuster trade idea? To help the Red Sox get under the lux tax line, rather than trading for Mookie Betts plus not-needed-he's-a-righty Nathan Eovaldi, and giving up too much back? Send Carpenter (and maybe, but hopefully not, one or another of the OF players Schoenfield mentions) — for Price plus letting the Sox dump enough other salary to be it worth their while but not kill the Cards.

Cards get their lefty starter. Price may have a second gust of energy coming over to the NL.

It would have to be more than a 1-for-1 straight up, in all likelihood. With Carp's extension, the Sox would save "only" $13.5 million per year. Per Cot's Contracts, that move alone gets them close, but not under. But, if they combine that with some judicious cutting elsewhere? They get below the tax line one year, reset, and then maybe resign Betts.

And you know? Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't that expensive for the Cards, but he would be enough to get you just below. And, MLB Trade Rumors says he could be an outfield boost. And that the Cards are looking for lefty bats, which he is one of. (They'd lose one with Carp, of course.)

But, besides him being a righty the Cards just don't need, they just don't need the overpaid Eovaldi.

First, Mo is not trading for Betts as a rent-a-player. He's traded for players on the last year of a contract before, but with the expectation he could resign them. I don't think Mo has plans to shell out 8/$260 or more for Betts. (Likely more.**)

Second, Mo is not trading away Edman. Period.

Third, he is not trading for Eovaldi, period.

And, the Sox could use Carp, at his old stomping ground of 2B, where they have a black hole right now.

The salary diff? That's $24.5 million this year, just above the $22M I said the Cardinals could easily spend in free agency. It drops to $13.5M next year. The third year is pricier cuz the Cards have only two years of Carp contract* while Price has three. But, other players will be coming off current contracts by them.

* Carp's contract vests for 2020 with 500 ABs both of 2020 and 2021.

And, doesn't he have a no-trade option? Yes, but it doesn't kick in until the start of the 2020 season, along with the higher pay of the extension, and we're in the 2019 offseason.

It's a gamble on Price's health, yes. But, even when injury-struggling, he's still been above average. When injury free, he's still well above average. And, if it feels like too much of a gamble? Ask the Sox to throw in a draft pick or two. Or minor league talent, if only "filler" level.

Here's another way to put it, Mo, Cards fans, all. Go beneath that "fold."

==

** notes here.

Stephen Strasburg, with his own injury history, just got paid to the same length and $3M more per year than Price started at on his contract.

The price for Keuchel, Ryu and Bum just went up, and will go up even more with Gerrit Cole signing before any of them do, especially with him blowing Strasburg out of the water by a full $80 million.

Keuchel and Bum are surely both wanting somewhere around 6/$150. Maybe more. With opt-out clauses possibly part of that. And, somebody will pay it, for sure for Bum and possibly for Keuchel. I could see one or the other getting a 7/$180 offer. (Keuchel's a year older, but has a lot fewer innings on his odometer. Price is only 170 innings or so above Bumgarner.)

Ryu, even with injuries, will surely get 5/$120. Zach Wheeler just got $5/118 with less of a record and more injury history, although he is younger.

Anyway, this trade seems more win-win (if gambles pay off on both sides) than does the Schoenfield proposal. And, it makes a fair chunk of sense within the current free agent world and prices. So, Cards fans who think trading for Price in any way, shape or form is crazy? I respectfully suggest you think again.

December 12, 2019

Goodbye to all that, Jezza Corbyn

Were the antisemitic smears against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn real? Hell yes. I just blogged about the disgust of Bomis founder, and creator of this W-thing, Jimmy Wales, pushing them.

But sorry, US pergressuves, while the antisemitic and other smears were real, as was media bias, they weren't the only reasons Corbyn lost. Corbyn refused to take a firm stand either way on #Brexit, whether #Leave or #remain, and refused to accept this was the center of the campaign.

The same was true with Corbyn in 2016, even though the Parliamentary Labour Party and the unions both took a strong #Remain stance. Corbyn only timidly spoke for Remain the last weekend of the #Brexit referendum.

A caucus vote, as I see British parliamentary politics, on an issue like #Brexit, is like a triple-line-whip vote in the Commons. If Corbyn couldn't ardently support #Remain in 2016, he should have stepped down as party leader back then, no matter his desire to reform Labour.

And, this is nothing new from me. I said all this at the time of the referendum. Three and a half years ago, I called him a British Tom Mulcair, and if anybody knows what I thought about Canada's then-New Democratic Party leader, they know that's a slam indeed.

In this way, and not just on #Brexit / #Remain / #Leave, the New Statesman may be half right about Corbyn. Beneath the surface, perhaps he's a trimmer on some issues. Even Just.Another.Politician.™

And, yes, I’m serious. Frankly, I think Corbyn himself has been, and remained, a closet Leaver. In 2016, he said just enough pro-Remain at the end of the campaign to keep from getting turfed as party leader.

But, then, in the 2017 election, and in the just ended election, while he had no problem calling out Tory lies on other issues, he never would  call out — at least not ardently and as a full laundry list — the laundry list of Tory lies about Brexit.

And that would make him Just.Another.Politician.™

In turn, it would make the campaign to defend his conduct as party leader another example of twosiderism. And regular readers of this blog know I loathe that.

I also, to some degree, love seeing it, because it gives me an easy opening to be a deliberate contrarian, at which I’m damned good.

Anyway, it’s already out there. Some Berners are touting this.

Someone who definitely knows better, the allegedly outside the box steno Aaron Maté, is also already pushing this line.

Why not just admit that part — not all, but part, and not a small part — of the problem with Jeremy Corbyn was Jeremy Corbyn, and his stance on Brexit?

Maybe some part of it was Corbyn the campaigner. That said, per Zoe Williams' description of this issue, I think it folds up into Corbyn the closet Leaver.

There’s one other issue.

In refusing to accept the 2016 PLP vote on Remain, Corbyn comes off as trying to make the parliamentary election system more like the American presidential-focused process.

Just like Corbyn’s Labour BFF stood accused of doing.

Congrats, Jeremy. You’ve finally caught up with Tony Blair on something.

In the nonce, per the title, and Robert Graves, let's see how bitter the parting is.

So, I don't feel sorry for Corbyn as ex-party leader.

I do feel sorry for British Labour, which is now going to have New Labour say that it's right after all, and unionism wondering if it's going to become almost as dead as its American version.

 I feel sorry for the British people, who are now going to be governed for five years by an uncouth elitist-populist toff and yob who will have an ironclad majority to do whatever he wants to the NHS that he and Farange lied about and many other things. I feel doubly sorry because your economy is likely to crap out.

I feel sorry for Scotland, where its Remainers from its independence vote of a few years ago will surely now have buyers' remorse, even as Johnson blocks any attempt at a second referendum.

I feel sorry for Northern Ireland / Ulster, which is going to get royally screwed simply because Johnson will continue to not accept that he can't force the EU to do what the EU doesn't want to do. Since the DUP lost seats, it's weakened anyway, even more so with Johnson in a strong majority, not a coalition.

Jimmy Wales tried to seduce me with his WT:Social

We've all seen the #DeleteFacebook hashtags on Twitter, which is semi-ironic in that, while Twitter isn't nearly as much a privacy vacuum, it can be a bigger cesspool.

We've seen Google+ go to tumbleweeds then have its plug pulled. We've seen Ello now become a British MySpace. Mastodon and other would-be replacements for Twitter + Facebook have flopped due to clunkiness or other issues.

Enter Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. (And founder of Bomus and other things, but let's not talk about that.)

Wales recently rolled out WT:Social. He touted that it wouldn't be a privacy gobbler like Facebook, and other things.

One slight problem, or rather, two, which combined, are a bigger problem.

WT:Social has, or appears to have, a real-names policy.

So, with my real name, I joined, got approved etc.

I made one post, then realized that, unlike Facebook, but like Twitter (sort of), there's no provision for posting settings. When I applied to join, I was asked to select various interests, and I assumed that, when I was approved, these would be like the "circles" of Google+ and that I could post to "friends," "circle X," "all circles," or "circles of circles," which on G+ was kind of like Facebook's friends of friends.

So then Wales sends a link to a Reddit that he's having about FAQs. I ask the posting question. And he says it's all public because "it's a wiki."

Erm, not exactly sure what that "it's a wiki" means. In context of my question, it could mean that it's for people sharing knowledge. Well, Jimmy, people often use Facebook to share personal stories and events, not knowledge.

Second, it sounds like this could mean "it's a wiki" for YOU. No thanks at all.

Third, even Twitter has "protected posting."

So, I haven't posted more and likely will delete my account soon.

No, I will DEFINITELY delete my account after one or two more posts.

Because he's sleaze. I didn't realize how much of one until he slimed Jeremy Corbyn. But, seeing that, and then getting a fortuitous Medium piece? It's bad. REAL bad. Read here.

This is about more than WT:Social. It means that the Wikipedia articles on antisemitism and antizionism are untrustworthy. I've long known to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt on anything current affairs, living politicians, etc. This is the first time that I've had some direct angle on that.

Also, presuming that WT:Social is, if not now, ultimately going to be a for-profit venue, I can't support his money aiding this. In addition, since he said "it's a wiki," it's likely that many of my comments might face some version of Wiki-scrubbing.

Next, since the Wikimedia Foundation is nowhere near broke, Wales' annual solicitations on Wikipedia must be seen in a more critical light. And, since MeWe is free in a basic version, without any solicitations I've seen, that light must become yet more bright and critical. (That said, WT:Social ties to Wales' forprofit Wikia, which is surely even more not broke than his foundation.)

I have instead joined MeWe. It's free, and ads-free, for basic accounts. It has tight memory limits, so if you're the type of Facebooker who posts 30 cat GIFs or 30 PokeStops a week, it would not work for you in free version. But, it also has paid premium versions, which don't cost too much.

I did the smart thing of joining with a non-real-name version. I did not real first name and last initial as "known elsewhere" as. And, no, I keep my social media carefully siloed. So, because that's on there, I won't link here.

Jimmy Wales: Zionist-backing Corbyn slanderer,
lover of Blairite dictator friends AND Randian Objectivist

Turns out Jimmy Wales, whether because he hates Labour's anti-neoliberal turn under Jeremy Corbyn, or he really does believe that antizionism is antisemitism, has promoted the recent smears running around Corbyn. And even signed a group op-ed in The Guardian about that.
When I called him out on Twitter, he claimed to not be conflating the two, but posted a new piece from Medium that did just that.

I responded with:
And he blocked me.

Because he went to private prep school in the US, the dual-citizenship Wales may be a New Labour version of a Tory toff as much as anything. That still doesn't excuse him. Oh, Jimmy? The Guardian piece I link has about 5x the signatures of yours.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of sleaziness in the name of Wales and his empire. That link is longform, but WELL worth reading. Wales personally seems to have a decade-plus of sleaziness that means his Corbyn smears are par for his course. No, it does more than that.
 Blair is a close friend of Wales, whose wife Kate Garvey previously worked as his diary secretary. Wales is fiercely defensive of his famous friends, and Blair’s own Wikipedia entry barely mentions Blair’s vast financial wealth (37 homes — 10 houses and 27 flats — worth £27 million, plus millions of pounds distributed through a network of companies); his PR work on behalf of dictators and human rights abusers in Kuwait, the UAE, Colombia, Egypt, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan; his utter failure to support Palestinian rights during his time as Middle Eastern peace envoy; and the human consequences — over half a million civilian casualties — of the Iraq invasion he continues to defend.
Well, there you have it. Read on. There's lots of good stuff about him palling around with dictators, stiffing winners of prizes he has created, and more. (You can skip most of the last one-quarter; the author's pretty much wrong about alt-medicine, most of which is actually pseudomedicine. The rest, though, is spot on.)

Sounds like Jimmy Wales never really moved beyond his Bomis roots.


Finally, since today is the day of Britain's snap election, let's hope Wales has failed, while acknowledging he may not have. (How much Labour slumps based on Jezza's schwaffling on Leave/Remain is an issue itself, of course.)

==

While we're here? If you see anybody touting WT:Social as an alternative to Facebook, or replacement? Don't fall for it. It's Wales-founded and likely has Wales grifting issues behind it. Details here.

December 11, 2019

Texas Progressives talk politics, sports, more

The Texas Progressives say Boomer, and you say Sooner, while on the pro football side, we wait to see if Jerry Jones is finally going to fire/non-renew Jason Garrett.

This corner of the world also offers congrats to Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller being named to the Baseball Hall of Fame, while saying that Lou Whitaker and Thurman Munson got hosed again. Details from my pre-vote analysis piece.

In the meantime, dig in to this week's Roundup.


Texas politics

Who's running for what? With the filing deadline Monday, the Texas Trib's spreadsheet has you covered. If not, on the "further right side" of the duopoly, hit the Texas GOP website. The Doinks still can't get their asses together enough to have such a simple webpage listing. (And, yes, Hinojosa, I've complained about this before. You've got a link for recruitment, but nothing like the simple GOP webpage of who's already filed.) And, although the Greens and Libertarians nominate by convention, Monday was also the deadline for their candidates to file, even as our nutbar Secretary of State, apparently having her legal briefs written direct by Kenny Boy Paxton, has appealed her ass getting handed to her over minor party candidate filing fees (or not, and an injunction thereunto, where she got her ass handed to her). It's also interesting to note some of the vanity candidates and other things, per my Twitter:
and
Turns out I missed a "Guerra." Dad, with that on his surname, is running as an R; son Rocky is running as a D. Dad is the perennial. (So far; I'm sure the son is eyeing taking up that mantle.)

And ...
And, yes, I know he's actually "Jack Daniel." So was the man who made the Tennessee sour mash, but because the whiskey is known as "Jack Daniel's," that's the way I rolled.

A GOP county chair sending racist texts? A GOP state rep in Fort Bend County saying two of his opponents are running just because they're Asian? I am shocked there's racism in this Republican small tent. (In both cases, the "targets" are also Rethugs. Have fun trying to grow that party.)

Texas Monthly's political roundup notes Rick Perry slipping out the back door of Energy and Bob on a Knob O'Rourke campaigning for state House candidates. You know, an actual good gig for him would be Texas Dems booting state chair Gilberto Hinojosa out the door and replacing him with Beto.



Texana 

SocraticGadfly looks at all the huzzahs and handsprings for the Texas Tribune turning 10, and offers up a pretty contrarian take

Uninsured and pregnant in Texas is a bad place to be.

Austin segregated and racist? Yes and yes according to the Observer. The former piece notes that in addition to high housing costs, Austin's sprawl — worse than the Metromess or Helltown — is an additional problem.

Robert Rivard urges the University of Incarnate Word to settle the Cameron Redus wrongful death case.

Jessica Huseman emphatically explains why she loves Texas.


Texas sports

HornsDown and GagMeAggies in some backwoods Toilet Bowl head-to-head match? Yes! Unfortunately, whether because of a written SEC rule, an unwritten SEC rule, or more likely, just urban legend, or more likely yet, cuz of the Longhorns being chicken, the Ok State Cowpokes will face the Aggies.

The stRangers' outfield dimensions at new Globe Life Field are too cutish by half and generally suck. (Having spots deeper than straightway center to BOTH the left and right is part of that suck.)


Dallas-Fort Worth

A lesbian pair of spouses are fighting Mansfield ISD on discrimination in hiring. (One's a teacher.)

Schutze dives back into Dallas' affordable housing situation. I'm surprised he has nothing on Cowtown making its interim police chief permanent; that was the first thing I went looking for as he wrote a related piece a month ago. OK Jim, as in OK Boomer. In light of this, and reflecting that it's generally news-lighter than the Dallas Observer, the Fort Worth Weekly also has nothing. Just the Startlegram (and the Snooze, briefly) report on Ed Kraus.

Meredith Lawrence reports on the sad state of affairs with refugee asylum.


National

In his weekly 2020 update, Brains talks about Kamala Harris and the other two dropouts, plus the mayor of New York not named Giuliani.

Juanita points and laughs at Devin Nunes.

Mean Green Cougar Red appreciates the countercultural cartoons of Sesame Street.

Paradise in Hell is here for the blood red White House Christmas trees.

December 10, 2019

NO, Tulsi, you wouldn't be my Commander in Chief

No president in my lifetime, R or D, has been my commander in chief.

Presidents are only commanders in chief of the "armed forces of the United States," and I've never served in the military.

We went down this road two presidents ago with Shrub, then a lesser degree with Dear Leader. Trump, surprisingly, hasn't invoked the "commander in chief" schtick much. Maybe because his fear of blood (which is likely linked to germophobia) means that he doesn't do the serious military talk that much. Or it cold be that businesses don't have a "commander in chief."

Anyway, presidents have not been, and are not, "commanders in chief of the United States."

So, Tulsi, this language on your fake national health care, about how you as "president and commander in chief" will allegedly do X Y and Z to get better health care, is disconcerting coming from the alleged "peace candidate."

Which you're not, anyway.

So, the militarization issue is? Disgusting.

SMH.