While there are four seasons to go before a new collective bargaining agreement needs to be worked out, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post says that’s sooner than it may seem. He discusses the matter with several players and provides another worthwhile perspective on a story that isn’t going away any time soon. Those interested in that topic will also want to check out recent articles from Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times and Billy Witz of the New York Times on the MLBPA Spring Training camp, both of which feature chats with some notable players and union chief Tony Clark.
Here are some other pieces worth a look on topics of broader interest:
- The recent MLBPA grievance action may be about broader issues on some level, but in substance is tied to the use of revenue-sharing funds. As Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper explains, the spending of those dollars is increasingly cabined in light of changes to the CBA rules — including stricter definitions of permissible uses as well as the reduction of what can be doled out to amateur players.
- Elsewhere at BA, Cooper also discusses a new five-a-side baseball concept that has been proposed as a means of engaging youngsters in the sport. And while we’re still a ways off from the 2018 draft, it’s prime time for amateur players looking to firm up their standing. The Baseball America team has issued an updated version of its top-300 draft board.
- The increasing propensity of baseballs to leave the yard during MLB contests has certainly been documented in many quarters. And plenty of analysis has been dedicated to understanding why. Rob Arthur and Tim Dix of FiveThirtyEight helpfully round up some of the work on the topic and add to it by presenting the results of an x-ray analysis and core sample. You’ll need to read the post in its entirety, but the net of it is an identification of a reduced weight that, along with increased bounce off the bat and other changes, helps explain the surge in the long ball.
- Comings and goings between the majors and the Korea Baseball Organization are of greater and greater relevance. There’s also plenty of intrigue for players who are established and intend to stay in the KBO. Writing for Fangraphs, Sung Min Kim has an interesting look at the experiences of newly-knuckleballing southpaw Ryan Feierabend.