Catching up on some KC Royals news while wondering who’ll blink first during the MLB lockout:
Is how ESPN ranked George Brett in its greatest MLB players list accurate?
By now, you may know ESPN recently unveiled its ranking of the Top 100 major leaguers of all time. Babe Ruth beat out Willie Mays for No. 1, a debatable result capable of generating weeks of discussion without even including the other 98.
Not surprisingly, George Brett made the list, ranking 43rd among the game’s greats, one spot better than Tony Gwynn and a slot behind Nolan Ryan.
Is No. 43 accurate? Arguments can be made ESPN ranked Brett too low—was Rickey Henderson (No. 23) really better than Brett? How about Pedro Martinez (No. 11)? And what of Joe Morgan (No. 37)?
Likewise, some will argue Brett ranks too high. Should he have finished ahead of 363-game winner Warren Spahn (No. 47), Bob Feller (No. 50), Cal Ripken Jr. (No. 66), Mel Ott (No. 62), or Reggie Jackson (No. 55)?
The discussion is primarily subjective, of course, and one almost impossible to conclusively resolve.
But from here, and giving or taking a couple of spots, Brett at No. 43 seems about right. His 21-year career .305/.369/.487 line complements 3,154 hits, 1,596 RBIs, a Hall of Fame plaque, 13 All-Star Game berths, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove, and an MVP award. Brett deserves Top 50 treatment.
The KC Royals provide a deserved boost to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The Royals, famous for supporting good causes, announced an important contribution to Kansas City’s own Negro Leagues Baseball Museum last week—Royals Charities is footing the bill for all admissions to the Museum through February.
The gesture honors Black History Month. The NLBM is open six days a week.
Will big league owners make any moves to end the MLB lockout this week?
After receiving another counteroffer from the players, the clubs seemed ready to counter with another proposal of their own last week. Then, they decided not to counter, opting instead to seek the union’s consent to mediation.
The players declined the invitation and, as of this writing (late Monday night), there is no public indication that the parties are ready to immediately sit back down at the negotiating table.
The owners, however, gather this week for their scheduled quarterly confab. Undoubtedly up for discussion will be the state of the lockout they called in early December. Whether they’ll change their positions on anything remains to be seen, but don’t expect any major shifts if they do. For now, management and labor seem too deeply committed to their respective points and demands for either to move much.
KC Royals minor leaguers will apparently report to spring camp as scheduled.
No matter where the big owners and players currently stand, it appears minor league spring training will go on as scheduled, an unsurprising development simply because only minor leaguers on their parent clubs’ 40-man rosters are locked out.
And “as scheduled” apparently means exactly that. According to The New York Post’s Joel Sherman, clubs have been barred from accelerating start dates for their minor leaguers—in other words, they can’t use the major league lockout as an excuse to accelerate the beginning of spring training for their farm clubs.
Minor league camps typically open around March 1, roughly two weeks after the usual opening of big league spring training.
While the Royals make occasional news during the MLB lockout, let’s hope the work stoppage news gets better.