ESPN - During a testy meeting Friday, Cleveland Indians players scolded teammates Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac for breaking protocol and going out in Chicago, and at least one player said he would opt out of the season if the two remained on the active roster, sources familiar with the meeting told ESPN.
Indians players' disappointment centered not only on the decision made by Clevinger and Plesac to leave the team hotel in Chicago on Aug. 7 but their actions afterward. Some players, sources said, believed Clevinger was not truthful with them about his involvement before he boarded the team plane Aug. 9. By then, Plesac, who had been caught trying to return to the hotel early on the morning of Aug. 8, had been sent back to Cleveland.
Probably the biggest player-specific story since the season started and for very good reason. We're talking about two of the best young American League arms and turns out their squad basically hates their guts. Obviously for breaking protocol and fucking with the rotation, but also because nobody likes a bold face liar. You want to tell me you've had 14 beers when it's closer to 10.5? Fine that's weird but whatever. But letting your teammates down and then actively covering your tracks to save face just doesn't fly with me and certainly not with the veterans inside the Indians clubhouse. Jeff Passan's sources basically say Oliver Perez (yes, that Oliver Perez) explicitly threatened to opt out if they didn't get demoted to the alternate squad. That's actually so bad ass to think about a 39 year old silver fox Oliver Perez telling these guys to fuck off. He had 195 career starts before Plesac even got to Junior High. You think he's got time for this bullshit?
But to me, the real story here is just how fucked Clevinger is because there's literally zero doubt in my mind that the Indians use this situation to their advantage. Specifically, they have all the control in the world to manipulate Clevinger's service time and thus delay his free agency an entire season. From the article:
Service time in 2020 operates on the following formula: 186*X/67.
That's to adjust for the 67 days of this season. Typically there are 186 but this year got delayed so there are 67.
"X" is the number of days spent on an active roster.
I think we're 23 days into the season. So 186 x 23 divided by 67 = 63 days of service time. This is important because when you get to 6 years (generally) you become a free agent. Or 5 years if you've been around a lot (super 2 status). It's pretty complicated to talk about on a blog like Barstool, but just know that the point is you want to be on the active roster. When you're not on the active roster, you stop accruing service time. When you stop accruing service time, your progress towards free agency and money stops in time:
If Clevinger remains on option for 20 days, the maximum number of rostered days he can get is 47 -- which, under the formula, would equal 130 days of service this year.
The Indians could theoretically punish Clevinger this year for lying and cheating his teammates with a 20 game punishment on the alternate squad. That would mean he's not on the active roster and thus not picking up any service time. Let's see the specifics:
That would leave him with 3 years, 171 days -- one day short of reaching four years of service. By keeping Clevinger down, Cleveland could delay his free agency by a year.
Imagine even giving the goddamn Cleveland Indians the chance to reduce your free agency window. We're talking about one of the best pitchers in the American League over the last 3 seasons who is destined to get PAID. (Unless you think 153 ERA+ sucks?) No doubt he's due a truckload of money when the day comes and there's now an opportunity that the Indians manipulate the situation under the guise of punishing him for COVID related infractions while "keeping the team safe." It's quite possibly the most perfect set of circumstances and you'd be a sucker to think they don't manage it to their best advantage. That's why it's a business.
Personally and as a Cubs fan, it's stories like this that have me so proud the Cubs still haven't had a positive test. Those guys won't even leave the hotel on the road to see their families or go to a TGIFridays. Won't even go outside for a walk when it's 75 and sunny because that's a stupid risk and everybody needs baseball. That's the kinda leadership that gets my cherries nice and ripe and it's no surprise that it's coming from the dugout.
Told you guys David Ross was the real deal.