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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 2/16/19

The future for Harper and Machado; Bill James on collusion; a manager’s soft skills

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Of the top 50 position players in WAR through age 25, only nine are not in the Hall of Fame, and that includes Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. While they aren’t Mike Trout, there is relative certainty that one of those players will be enshrined, and they have a solid shot at the major milestones like 500 home runs and 3000 hits.

Bill James Online | Bill James: James comments on collusion, and argues that previous owners performed as such because of their relative inexperience with labor law and did not understand how unions worked. It also was not done in secret, and they announced they would do as such. That certainly differs it from today, but in this writer’s view, that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it, per se. It just means they understand there are ways to do it legally per the NLRB and provide rhetorical cover. They also did this three times in the 80s, so it’s not like they ran for cover and corrected course once they were found out; they changed tactics with each collusive effort. I’m not saying one way or the other, and I agree with James’ overall point that the color of the conflict is different.

Banished to the Pen | John LaLoggia: Pretty much every manager has to understand analytics at this point, and there’s no turning back from that. But managers also need to have “soft skills,” which is why new managers like Alex Cora and Aaron Boone were hired; they had communication skills that translated to skills beyond just hitting the right button.