Ken Rosenthal goes full Minority Report with Wander Franco take

Wanna see a whiff?

X, previously Twitter, isn’t all the time the easiest way to evaluate somebody’s work, as all we see are headlines or tweets particularly designed to draw eyeballs. However Ronsethal’s precise column doesn’t get significantly better than you see right here, as he equates the horrific crimes that Franco is accused of (which Franco denies) to being unable to hit for energy or indulging in regular actions of a younger man with hundreds of thousands of {dollars} at his disposal. However being unable to catch as much as excessive fastballs or spending an excessive amount of time in da membership isn’t the identical as, y’know, being a pedophile.

From Rosenthal’s piece:

“Perhaps the team should have proceeded with greater caution, knowing few people in Franco’s age range are fully formed adults.”

One must think about that each group is very conscious that gamers of their early 20s aren’t absolutely fashioned adults, however that doesn’t imply they’ll anticipate one in every of them carrying on a sexual relationship with a baby. For Rosenthal to lump each participant 25 or underneath into Franco’s class is insulting, at greatest.

And extra:

“Teams undoubtedly will continue awarding such contracts, understanding some will not work out, mostly for performance reasons. But small-market clubs such as the Rays, in particular, stand to benefit if a player of Franco’s ability fulfills his potential. The player becomes a major asset at a below-market price when otherwise he might grow too expensive in arbitration and free agency.”

Rosenthal even takes outing from one way or the other equating the sexual abuse of a minor to all the opposite methods younger gamers don’t work out to carp for possession, declaring that the Rays should get these items proper as a result of all their gamers should outperform their contracts as they merely can’t afford to pay gamers what they’re price. Which is rubbish. Once you’re taking a flame-thrower to your self, it’s essential you don’t miss a spot.

Whereas MLB may actually use a greater vetting strategy of the youngsters within the minor leagues or who’re draft eligible, and higher coaching for everybody, the concept that groups ought to be cautious of signing any younger participant to a contract extension as a result of they could be a secret intercourse pest of some kind is nearly as cynical because it will get. And definitely one thing various homeowners would use as a false flag to maintain their cash in their very own pockets, one thing they by no means want extra impetus to do. Had been the Rays supposed to rent non-public eyes to observe Franco, and all their gamers, round 24/7?

Rosenthal continues:

“As it stands, Franco’s presence at spring training and availability for the start of 2024 appear to be in doubt. And even if the Rays get long-term financial relief, they still would lose a switch-hitting shortstop who made the All-Star team last season.”

Franco’s availability to the Rays at any level isn’t a priority, not with what he’s been accused of. Nobody cares, or nobody ought to, and the Rays actually aren’t any form of sufferer right here. It shouldn’t be talked about.

But, there’s extra:

“If Franco, listed at 5-foot-10 and 189 pounds, outgrew the position but failed to add power, he might prove to be nothing more than a singles-hitting corner infielder — and not worth the $25 million salaries he would receive in each of the final five years of his contract.”

Once more, Franco flaming out as a result of he didn’t develop in a baseball trend isn’t the identical galaxy as what he’s accused of. The 2 of them can’t be linked, and even hinting at placing different gamers who didn’t get it performed on the sector as younger gamers in the identical group as Franco is offensive to them to a level we are able to’t actually calculate. It’s not the identical factor.

Rosenthal goes on to say Franco’s benching for entering into it with Randy Arozarena or not hustling on the bases, which once more, aren’t in the identical universe. They usually’re actually no indication of what was to return, one thing the Rays ought to have picked up on. The throughline from “didn’t run out a grounder” to “statutory rape” isn’t precisely a standard one.

Rosenthal continues to hyperlink Franco’s state of affairs to Fernando Tatis Jr.’s issues in San Diego, like his bike accident and his PED suspension. Whereas Tatis actually made some actually dumb selections, and his apparently lack of motorbike abilities can and did put others at risk, IT’S STILL NOT STATUTORY RAPE. One wonders what Tatis may consider being linked to Franco on this piece and whether or not he may need a thought to share with Rosenthal for doing so.

The article then says that Franco’s probabilities of enjoying in MLB once more are nonetheless alive, irrespective of how distant, which isn’t something anybody ought to be fascinated with, a lot much less stating. Definitely, nobody needs Franco again in MLB at this level, and it will take some main revelations for that to be even a risk. We’re already coping with the opportunity of Trevor Bauer returning, and he was by no means charged with a criminal offense, nor ought to he ever play in MLB once more both.

Rosenthal ends his column by beseeching groups to take much more care in handing out contracts, which sounds an terrible lot like saying each group ought to assume all their gamers which might be younger are attainable intercourse criminals. As if groups don’t already do loads of due diligence on maturity ranges and make-up, and to reiterate, maturity stage and make-up and help methods are nonetheless 1000’s of miles from statutory rape.

MLB gamers already face an enormous problem in getting paid for his or her primes and free company continues to be locked in for when most of them have handed it, and even present free brokers like Jordan Montgomery or Cody Bellinger seemingly can’t get the cash they’re price in the meanwhile due to baseball’s cheapness. Rosenthal throwing out the chance that fewer gamers ought to receives a commission earlier than getting out of arbitration as a result of one may need turned out to be a intercourse prison is just doing the homeowners’ work for them, in addition to being the peak of distasteful.

Comply with Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky