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It’s Not Collusion!!!

“It’s Collusion! All Major League Baseball teams are colluding against this class of free agents!” Take a second and read that again. One more time.

Sounds absolutely crazy, doesn’t it?  There are people out there who actually believe this. Yep, it must be collusion, because who wouldn’t want to give a 31 year old outfielder, whose legs probably only have about 2 good years left, a 7 year $200 million contract? How about a 31 (soon to be 32) year old pitcher, who as of three years ago really found his stuff, but will never be able to top his 2015 season, a 5 year $175 million deal?  This is the way some people think. And it all starts with the agents.

I understand they have a job to do. They are trying to get the best contract they can get for their clients. If I was a top prospect or top player in the game I would want the best agent. I would want the agent who is going to fight for that last penny. The agent who will wait out a team no matter how long it takes. Those are the types of agents who more times than not get the deal. They know how to play the game. This year though is the exception.

They misread the market for their top clients. It’s plain and simple. They thought that the market that was there 3-5 years ago, when the players who were on the wrong side of thirty were getting the multi-year $200 million dollar contracts, were still there. Those days are long gone and the agents didn’t see it coming. So instead of actually coming out and saying that they misread the market, they have decided to divert the narrative and blame the teams.

Agent Joshua Kusnick put out on Twitter on February 2nd, his “2 cents.”

He said, “It felt like and external force has held things up.” He is saying that something is stopping the big contracts from being offered, but he doesn’t know what? He says, “On a daily basis I am being asked to believe that all thirty teams decided to evaluate talent and then value talent in the exact same way.” The answer is YES! I mean come on. We are in a new era of baseball. An Analytic Era. Teams are taking more stock in drafts and their farm systems and less on the free agency. Not to say that free agency is not a huge part of the game anymore, but gone are the days where they try to fill half their team with free agents.

It’s not like teams aren’t offering contracts. The offers just aren’t where the agents thought they would be. Alex Cobb turned down a 4 year $48 million deal from the Cubs, a team that was reported he was interested in playing for. He is seeking at least $70 million, and there is no way he gets it.

Basically, this boils down to the agents misreading the market. They will never come out and admit that is the case, because it will make them look weak in front of their clients and possible future clients. But I will assure you that at this time next year, when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are getting ready to go to spring training and they have their brand new $300 million deal with them, no one will be screaming collusion.

-Chipper-

Photo Credit: USA Today

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New Beginnings

As I sit here waiting for my vlog to upload to the brand new TheIvyBoys.com I was thinking about how far I have come in the 2 years since I have decided to start blogging and doing a podcast about baseball.

I had thought about doing this for awhile but I never really knew how to get started. It wasn’t until my wife (Christy) told me that I could start a blog on WordPress.com. We started setting it up and all it needed was a catchy name. I needed a pen name. This was pretty easy for me. When I was growing up I always loved Chipper Jones. He was my favorite non-Cubs player, and I wanted to be just like him. I started telling my family to start calling me Chipper! Naturally, it really never stuck and it wore off as I got older, but it would always get brought up as kind of a family joke. So when it came time to pick a name, Chipper Lewis was a no brainer. Christy came up with the strike3 part and my twitter handle was born.

Next, I started writing. My first piece was of course about the Cubs. I love this team. Honestly I think about them all the time, so it is really easy for me to write about them. My first blog is still my favorite one. I wrote about being a Cubs fan, and what it was like for me as a fan. It was perfect. I even tweeted it out to Chip Caray and Jake Arrieta and they both responded that they loved it. My first post and I got a response from both of those guys! I was on cloud nine!

After writing for awhile I got on a baseball website as writer! I did some blogs for them, but I wanted to do more. They approached every writer and asked who would be interested in doing a podcast. I loved this idea. I’m not the strongest writer, but I loved talking. I always thought I would be good as host of a radio show or podcast. This was my chance! I started to do the show with another writer from the website, but he got bored with it and moved on. Next thing I knew, the podcast was ALL MINE!

I did episodes by myself for a few months and everything was going good, but not great. I needed a co-host. After testing out a few applicants I came upon  Joel Fry. He fit in perfect. It also helped that he was die-hard Cubs fan like me. One of the best parts was that he started as my co-hosts during the same year the Cubs played in their first World Series since 1945.

The 6-4-3 podcast was born!

We did the podcast for quite some time, discussing topics on all of major league baseball. Then it came to the point where we just wanted to focus on the Cubs. We left the 6-4-3 podcast and set out on our own. We started The Ivy Boys Podcast! (Again, Christy came up with the name) Everything was going great and we even brought on a third person, Bryz Blue. She was perfect! We couldn’t have asked for anyone better. Joel and I did the podcast and she blogged.  We noticed her talent immediately as a writer. The Ivy boys were perfect!

About a month ago Joel informed us that he was leaving the website. We were shocked and a little heartbroken. We were going to move on, but I wondered, would it ever be the same?

That brings us to today. The answer to my question and where I was going with this blog is, YES! Today Bryz and I launched our new show The Chipper and Bryz Show. The Ivy Boys website got a whole new facelift and we are excited for this brand new journey! We are starting do things with this website and podcast that we only dreamt about doing. We are going to have merchandise. Blogs and Vlogs everyday. Poll questions. More interactions with our followers. More Facebook Live events. And much, much, more. We are taking this podcast and website to new levels!

So before I wrap this up I want to say one thing to all of you, THANK YOU! You guys are the reason we keep doing this. We are fans just like you guys, and we love that you have welcomed us into your lives and listen to our opinions about our favorite team, The Chicago Cubs. So, THANK YOU again.

-Chipper-

 

P.S. There are two people I want to say thanks to. First is my mom Rebecca Lewis. She believes in this podcast so much that she pays us to be a sponsor! Haha

Second is my wife Christy. Without her I probably would have never started this journey. She is my everything. She is my rock. Her believing in me is the reason I am still doing this. (She is also my editor)