Around The Web: Steven Cohen, Draft Auction, HOF Vote, NCAA & Amateurism

Los Angeles Times: Steven Cohen has been implicated in an insider trading scheme.

Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen had been implicated in a massive $276-million insider trading scheme.

Remember him? The guy who was once the front-runner for the Dodgers?

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd that’s why some of us didn’t want him as owner.


The Book: Tom Tango argues that since teams are now allocated draft money, why not use an auction system?

Players would declare themselves for the draft, and set their own reserve price. If no one bids for them at that price, then they go back into the pool the next year. So, if Mark Appel sets his reserve price at 7MM$, and no one bids on him, then too bad for him.

You can even have teams sell their slot money at whatever price they want. If the Astros have 11MM$ in slot money, maybe they figure that they could sell that for say 19MM$ to the Yankees. They can then take that money and get themselves a free agent on the open market if they wanted to. Or they can buy future slot money. The Yanks may give the Astros 14MM$ of future slot money for 11MM$ of current slot money.

And how about this: a player can also declare which teams he won’t sign with. 20% of the final bidding amount on each player goes to the teams he didn’t want to play for. If for example Mark Appel declared he didn’t want to sign with the Astros and Pirates, and the Yankees bid 8MM$ for him, then Appel only get 6.4MM$, and the Astros/Pirates each get 0.8MM$ that they can use in next year’s draft. So, a player can direct where he wants to go by taking less money.

Love this. Love this so much.

Plus, the draft is currently boring as hell. But this? This would make it exciting.


Buster Olney: Buster Olney goes hard in the paint at Hall Of Fame voters.

We can all debate about who should’ve done what to stop this, whether it was the union leaders or the owners or the clean players or the dirty players or the writers.

What cannot be debated is that over a period of more than 50 years, dating from the first use of amphetamines around the end of World War II into the early part of the 21st century, the institution of baseball generally did not respond to a rampant growth in the use of drugs. The union leadership didn’t respond. Major League Baseball didn’t respond. The players — current Hall of Famers among them — didn’t respond. Loose rules that were in place were not enforced.

In that vacuum, many, many players chose to use drugs, from the so-called red juice to good ol’ fashioned steroids. Many, many did not. We’ll never know exactly who did what, when they did it and what the precise impact was on their respective careers — and those of other players.

What we do know is that thousands and thousands of games were played, with thousands and thousands of players aided in one way or another by drugs, legal and illegal. We already have a Hall of Fame that includes former PED users, given the decades-long influx of amphetamines.

To stop a few of the participants at the door of a museum of history seems absurd, because the history occurred, whether we like all of it or not.

So the baseball writers ought to get out of the way rather than acting like overzealous crossing guards empowered by their ballots. The writers’ work should always reflect history, not determine legacies; that’s the work of the players, the good and the bad.

Yes. All of this.


The Chronicle Of Higher Education: David Pargman makes the case for allowing college athletes to major in … well … being a college athlete.

Why do we impose upon young, talented, and serious-minded high-school seniors the imperative of selecting an academic major that is, more often than not, completely irrelevant to, or at least inconsistent with, their heartfelt desires and true career objectives: to be professional athletes?

Acquisition of athletic skills is what significant numbers of NCAA Division I student athletes want to pursue. And this is undeniably why they’ve gone to their campus of choice. Their confessions about their primary interest are readily proclaimed and by no means denied or repressed. These athletes are as honest in recognizing and divulging their aspiration as is the student who declares a goal of performing some day at the Metropolitan Opera or on the Broadway stage. Student athletes wish to be professional entertainers. This is their heart’s desire.

Their family members, friends, and high-school coaches acknowledge and support that goal, so why not let them step out of the closet and declare their true aspiration­—to study football, basketball, or baseball? Why not legitimize such an academic specialty in the same manner that other professional performance careers, such as dance, voice, theater, and music, are recognized and supported? Why treat preparation for professional sports careers differently? Why not establish a well-planned, defensible, educationally sound curriculum that correlates with a career at the elite level of sports?

He has a point.

Besides, maybe they would actually learn something this way, instead of sleepwalking through history or sociology classes or whatever else. Or cheating.

About Chad Moriyama