A good way to tell that Major League Baseball’s free agent marketplace is not working the way that it’s supposed to work is the insistence of various establishment baseball media types that it is in fact working just fine. “Free agency is alive and well,” the former MLB GM Jim Bowden tweeted after Bryce Harper belatedly, finally signed with the Phillies last Thursday. “Free agency is fine” was how Tom Verducci put it after Manny Machado caught on with the San Diego Padres the week before that. This is not the sort of thing that would ordinarily need to be noted, and somehow becomes less reassuring with every new iteration.
Anyone that has watched the way that baseball’s cold stove has clanked and smoked over this offseason and the last knows that it is not cooking right, and that it is also probably leaking at least one kind of highly dangerous gas. But as the season draws closer, some of the bigger free agents on the market have begun to find new and lucrative homes. This week, we started with a discussion of Bryce Harper and the strange combination of seething overreaction and inaction that defined his market and then dove deeper into the strange incentives and bad ideas that helped shape it. It’s marginally more fun than it sounds!
And then it was on to the groaning barnacles of the NFL Scouting Combine and their strange anonymous vendetta against Kyler Murray. Following a wan attempt at defending Josh Rosen—it was too hard and my heart was only sort of in it—we moved onto and into the Funbag. Just a week after delivering a Trump question so viscerally unpleasant that it quite literally broke the podcast, the Funbag came back strong, offering us an opportunity to unpack both the phrase “weaksauce” and discuss variously weak sauces; some speculation on the pluses and minuses of a Jon Kitna Cyborg, the hard truths about Rich Guy Sex Parties and how they fall short of the idealized Eyes Wide Shut standard; a frank discussion of sitting down in the shower; and a Trump question of the week that, for all its other merits, stays admirably clear of our president’s bathing suit area.
All of which is to say that the Deadcast is fine. It’s back to normal. It’s always been normal. We’re good. You hear it.
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