Life is a thankless slog made occasionally bearable for humans by moments of surprising joy and glimpses of baby Yoda.

Those aren’t my words. Werner Herzog’s family and mine get together for Mandalorian Fridays, and these were Werner’s thoughts on the Dave Dombrowski firing when I told him I was writing up the Red Sox. 

I’m confident Chaim Bloom will be just fine in the top job. Will he be as successful as Dombrowski? Tough to say. Pretty high bar. What we can say is Bloom will be less handsy with ownership’s purse strings, which will grant him an extra level of job security. As might his ability to thread the needle between going for the win year over year and building up and protecting the minor league system. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Carlos Collazo of Baseball America started a Twitter thread last month with a poll meant to determine who fans thought was the team of the decade. The San Francisco Giants, winners of three World Series championships in the decade, were left off the four-team survey. Twitter did not like this and demanded an explanation, but we already know what happened. Nobody really cares about the Giants.

That’s not fair. 

You care about the Giants. 

That’s why you’re reading this: you’ve got at least some level of interest in Giants prospects. Still, it fascinated me that the Astros won the poll despite having won the one World Series and having lost almost as many games as they won over the decade. The Astros have become the image of success and a preferred model for how to win at baseball, while the Giants ended the aughts in the shadows, scraping up castoffs as they transitioned to a forward-thinking front office after a dynastic run of success under Brian Sabean. Farhan Zaidi and company are in this for the long haul, and their system looks better every day. So grab some flowers for your hair and let’s go to San Francisco.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As fate intended, the Padres dominated baseball news throughout their week as Razzball’s featured organization, trading SS Luis Urias and LHP Eric Lauer for OF Trent Grisham and RHP Zach Davies before signing LHP Drew Pomeranz. I think it was a pretty great few days for them, cashing out a hyped asset like Urias for a less beloved piece with better floor and topside in Grisham. In doing so, they’ve brought some balance to a righty-heavy lineup and secured an everyday outfielder to lead their island of misfit fly-chasers. They achieved something similar with Pomeranz, adding a burgeoning lefty to a bullpen loaded with the opposite. The move also opens a spot for Ty France, who hit .400 with power and limited strikeouts all season at AAA and has more than earned this opportunity. I even think Davies has sneaky upside in a better park for him. As a bonus, anytime you can move on from a guy named Lauer . . . right? 

Anyway, these are not your father’s Padres. Or your older brother’s Padres. Or even last December’s Padres. It’s hard to imagine how last winter’s San Diego fans would have reacted if you showed them today’s depth chart, but I’m guessing they’d be excited. Stay frosty! And stay tuned: there’s likely more moves where these came from! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Look I don’t hate the Dodgers and you don’t hate the Dodgers, but there’s a decent chance we all kind of hate the Dodgers. Even Dodgers fans kind of hate the Dodgers. 

Green might be the color of envy, historically speaking, but these days in the baseball world, dodger blue has taken the mantle.

The Dodgers occupy an extremely unique place in the baseball psyche as the model for what every owner wants: cost-controlled assets regularly cycling through the system to keep profits high and payroll low. Andrew Friedman was just awarded a contract extension—a smart move considering other owners would line up to pay him a top-of-the-market salary to bring his magic to their front office. This all feels slightly ironic in a world where Dave Dombrowski gets fired the year after winning the World Series while Friedman’s Dodgers fail to win the big game year after year. 

It’s quite a look into what’s valued within the industry. 

One off-shoot = you can expect this club to promote the players who might help them rather than shopping for a big trade. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had a nightmare the week I was researching the Rockies. In the nightmare, I was a late round pick crushing it in Colorado’s system while “living” on peanuts, eating the cheapest things I could find whenever I had time to find them, and knowing in the depths of my soul that I would never really get a chance to play in Colorado. 

Then I woke up and saw Evan White was signing an extension in Seattle, where Jerry Dipoto apparently thinks it’s a good idea to play prospects. The fool. 

Anyway, some organizations are fun to think along with and easy to like. Colorado is not one of those organizations.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s probably time to acknowledge that Arizona is good at this baseball thing. 

I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they are kind of proving they belong in the circle of trust. 

They’re going to make the occasional mistake like any organization, but the entire baseball world jumped down Arizona’s collective throat when people saw Paul Goldschmidt sold to the Cardinals for Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver and Andy Young. Now maybe Luke Weaver can’t stay healthy and maybe Carson Kelly is not as good as he looked last season, but you could argue that each comes close to the value of Goldschmidt in their own right, which does not account for Goldschmidt’s impending free agency and the Diamondbacks’ desire to get something in return for him while they still could.

And while I don’t mean to say anything negative about Jazz Chisholm, I think the Marlins sold a little early on Zac Gallen, which worked out well for Arizona, who has more positional players than places to play them with another couple talent waves cresting on the horizon.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Even after harvesting the farm to add star-level MLB bats (Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt) each of the last two off-seasons, the Cardinals’ system remains solid. 

We’ve known for years the Cards get more out of their fringe types than just about every organization. We even invented a phrase to encapsulate this quality, letting “Devil Magic” explain everything Cardinal for years before the Astros and Dodgers captured the zeitgeist. You’ll still hear the phrase, but not every ten minutes like once upon a time. These days, we know everyone’s just cheating and hacking and scratching and clawing for every little inch of advantage they can get, but hey, that’s the American Dream personified via sport. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. You can always find a fall guy no matter how ugly it gets. (See: Correa, Chris)

That’s a link to just one story, but the whole saga is pretty good lore if you get on an injustice kick.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The baseball Pirates could learn a thing or two from real pirates. Some tips from the Pirate-code Handbook:

  • Wear one eye patch—not two 
  • Find treasure 
  • Collect treasure 
  • Guard treasure with your life

The baseball Pirates have been sailing blind, making the worst and weirdest trade in recent memory when they sold low on Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz so they could buy high on Chris Archer in July of 2018. Baz alone is probably worth more than Archer on the market today, almost 16 months after the move. 

So first things first, lose an eye-patch and watch where you’re going. And maybe don’t listen to the parrot panicking on your shoulder. 

To be fair, Pittsburgh’s Pirates have actually been quite good at finding and collecting treasures, arguably too good at collecting during their best contention window, which is one reason it’s so wild they bought Archer when they did at the price they paid after they’d sold Gerrit Cole for chestnuts over the winter. Thus it’s this last Pirate-code piece about guarding your treasure that seems lost on Pittsburgh. Stop giving away your booty!

All that said, the Andrew McCutchen trade that netted Bryan Reynolds was a stroke of brilliance. If they can get similar return for Starling Marte, they’ll be a nautical mile closer to their next window. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Let’s hope there’s beer.”

This quote can be attributed to multiple sources:

  • Humans traveling toward a gathering of humans
  • Especially me on the way to Thanksgiving 
  • Farm-focused Brewers fans reading organizational rankings this winter

I’m sorry to say there’s not. 

Beer here, I mean. 

Well, there is, but it’s at my desk with me, and maybe there at your location with you, but it’s not in this next sentence. 

Maybe someday we’ll have that? There could be an advertisement on this page, and you’d click it, and a six pack would be teleported to your desk.

Where’s Bill Gates on this one?

Frightfully counting his billions, I guess. 

Back in beer country, Milwaukee’s system has been fermenting fruits for years. From Keston Hiura to Brandon Woodruff to the straw Rumplestiltskin spun into Christian Yelich two years ago, nobody’s complaining over their Miller at Miller Park, even if the barley farm currently looks a semi-successful house party at 3 a.m.? 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Whatever we each believe about politics, whatever  we’re rooting for in Impeachment Fest 2019, we can probably agree things aren’t ideal right now in America. 

Reds fans know the feeling. They might have differing ideas of what’s wrong with the recipe and how to make it better, but they can probably all agree the chili hasn’t been good. The front office chefs are still trying though, wheeling and dealing and hiring Driveline pitching guru Kyle Boddy to sprinkle his secret sauce into the pot. Combine him with pitching coach and off-speed whisperer Derek Johnson, and you’ve got a must-stop hotspot for pop-up pitching prospects. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?