Maybe They Couldn't Afford Tickets

Ken Rosenthal updating the Cliff Lee situation:

The scouting presence at Cliff Lee’s start at Yankee Stadium was not as extensive as one might think.

The Mets, Yankees, Rangers and Phillies were the only teams represented. The Twins, Dodgers and several other teams with interest in Lee did not attend.

The relatively low turnout was somewhat surprising, but it is still early in the trading season, with the non-waiver deadline is a month away.

I'm only posting this because I wonder why advance scouts exist anymore. Or at least, why they exist for purposes of scouting players like Cliff Lee. Cliff Lee is a 31 year old Major League veteran who's been nothing short of spectacular over his last 600 innings. He dominated in Cleveland. He dominated in Philadelphia. He dominated in the playoffs. He's dominated in Seattle. Cliff Lee is not some nebulous, unknown entity. Cliff Lee is very much known.

So why advance scout him at all? You're just spending money you don't have to spend. Everybody knows Lee's pitches. Everybody knows his strengths and weaknesses. Everybody knows about his delivery. The scout's gun will be less accurate than the PITCHfx data. And if Lee gets hurt or something, it'll become news pretty fast, whether you have a scout in attendance or not. That's not one of those things Lee and the Mariners could keep to themselves.

I don't get it. I don't get why teams are always advance scouting some veterans they might trade for. And I certainly don't get why they couldn't just save money and watch those players on TV. On TV, you can advance scout several players at once!

It's one thing to advance scout, I dunno, some guy like Sam LeCure that you haven't ever seen before. But a player like Cliff Lee before a trade? Seems awful pointless.

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