Lincecum showing leadership with contract stance


Lincecum showing leadership with contract stance

Giants fans are, pun intended, freaked out over Tim Lincecums stated preference to play things year-to-year while waiting out his final two season of arbitration eligibility before hitting the free-agent market.Words to the wise: Simmer down.The panic that surfaced after Lincecums comments on his contractual future are understandable. Wholly. The man is a god here. Nearly as big an icon as -- gasp! -- Joe Montana, after just four full seasons in San Francisco; two Cy Youngs and a ring have earned it.Of course you want him to stay. And of course you have every right to read into his stance that hes paving the road away from AT&T Park, in search of ungodly (Gotham?) riches and an offense that doesnt make him feel as though nothing short of a shutout is a recipe for an L next to his name in the next days box score.But theres another, more flattering and sensible way of looking at the whole deal.

Lincecum is a leader on the Giants. Not the traditional, fire-and-brimestone, give-an-impassioned-speech-when-the-chips-are-down type of leader, but a leader nonetheless. Whether they like it or not, the best players on every team are leaders.So consider that Lincecums public stance is a show of that leadership. Hey, if the big dog, no matter how small in stature, is barking, you damn well better listen. And what Lincecum is barking about isnt money. Hes not that guy. Hes barking about the aforementioned lack of offensive support, and in even remotely suggesting that hes open to moving on after the 2013 season, hes saying one thing and one thing only, and hes not saying it to fans or the media. Hes saying it to anyone and everyone in control of the Giants purse strings.Dudes. Seriously. We appreciate you telling everyone that keeping us pitchers is your priority. But for the love of Willie Mays, understand that we wont commit unless you prioritize putting a complete team on the field. Were sick of carrying the load, so get off your wallets -- yeah, we saw the 81 sellouts, guys -- and get us some bats!Hes not just sticking up for himself. Hes standing up for Matt Cain, for Ryan Vogelsong, and for the many relievers who entered about 150 one-run games over the past three years.Hey, Lincecums not going anywhere for a while. Hes under club control. But hes shrewd enough to realize that his status as an icon in this city means the club, to an extent, is under his control.Question is, is the club shrewd enough to read between the lines?

Dodgers trade top pitching prospect to Rays for 2B Forsythe

Dodgers trade top pitching prospect to Rays for 2B Forsythe

The Dodgers' months-long search for a second baseman is over.

Los Angeles has acquired infielder Logan Forsythe from the Rays, the team announced Monday afternoon.

The Dodgers are sending top pitching prospect Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay.

In 127 games for the Rays in 2016, the 30-year-old Forsythe hit .264/.333/.444 with 24 doubles, 20 home runs and 52 RBI.

Forsythe is set to make $7 million in 2017 and has a team option worth $8.5 million or a $1 million buyout for 2018.

De Leon, 24, made his major league debut for the Dodgers during the 2016 season. In four starts, he posted a 6.35 ERA while striking out 15 batters in 17 innings. In 16 startts for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2016, De Leon registered a 2.61 ERA and struck out 111 batters in just 86.1 innings.

A native of Puerto Rico, De Leon was recently ranked as the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect Baseball America.

For most of the offseason, the Dodgers had been linked to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, but the two sides couldn't come together on a deal.

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

NEW YORK -- For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way - a little, anyway.

Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.

The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.

The change was tied to spreading each team's 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.

Players' association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union's goal was to create more days off during the season "in a way that doesn't just chew up offseason days."

"We have heard for years and I'm sure we will continue to hear that spring training is too long, that guys are really ready to go well before opening day, but I think what the commissioner's office would tell you is that there are big challenges for the clubs in substantially shortening spring training because they have various commitments to put on a certain number of games," he said Monday.

Late arrival times ahead of regular-season series openers also were addressed.

Starting in 2018, the latest possible start time on getaway days when either team is traveling to a game in another city the next day or a home off day will be calculated by subtracting the time of the flight over 2½ hours from 7 p.m.

There are cutouts for Sunday night games broadcast by ESPN and games after June 1 at Texas' current home ballpark - where the Rangers avoid afternoons for much of the season because of the heat.

Another new rule for 2018 says no game in the original schedule may be set for before 5 p.m. when a team played the previous night in another city starting 7 p.m. or later. There are exceptions involving flights of 90 minutes or less for home openers and holiday weekends. Current cutouts are carried over for up to six exceptions each season at Chicago's Wrigley Field and rescheduled games involving flights of 90 minutes or less.

"We fully recognize that our players play a very demanding schedule, and we're always looking for ways to ease the burden on players while at the same time scheduling games at a convenient time for our fans to watch them," MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said.

Sunday night games on holiday weekends followed by afternoon games still seem likely to occur.

"We have contracts with various national broadcast partners that limit our ability to schedule day games in certain instances," Halem said.

Nussbaum said if the players had their way, there would be "a flat rule that says all getaway games are day games" but understand why that would cause difficulty for teams.

"There's still going to be some challenges in the schedule," he said, "but we think what we've done with these two prongs is pare back the most egregious of the travel."

As part of the agreement, one game in the major leagues may be scheduled each year on the Thursday after the All-Star Game starting in 2018.