HDWEB: Qualifying offer fixes, #beardtracker, Royals embezzling TV money, and the Rays are CUTE

Today in HOW DARE WE ENJOY BASEBALL: An important beard status update, looking at a potential fix for the qualifying offer system, some seriously cute things from the Tampa Bay Rays, an awesome story about giving back to the troops, and more. YES!

Good morning HDWEB'ers, it's February 12th and baseball kicks ass. Here are today's awesomest baseball things to inspire, entertain, educate, and amuse.

If you have ideas or suggestions, send 'em my way at @justinbopp.

Why are we all here right now?

IMPORTANT BEARD STATUS UPDATE

We'll probably just need to make this section of HDWEB our #beardtracker. Please submit these important updates in the comments if you have them. (h/t Over The Monster)

These are smart:

  • Demystifying BABIP - Beyond the Box Score -- Alex takes the long way around making a pretty simple point: using batting average on balls in play can help identify beneficiaries of luck, yes, but it shouldn't be used to project "looming dips in production." Keep this in mind if you start freaking out about Chris Johnson's league-leading BABIP of .394.

  • Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has an idea on how to improve the qualifying offer system, which is essentially to change the limited-time offer from the team to a non-expiring, standing offer available throughout the offseason. I'm not so sure it's a good idea. First it assumes that the system isn't working exactly as intended, which by my estimation is designed to protect smaller-market teams from losing talent to bigger market teams. Can't keep your stars? Here's a draft pick. And the QO is just high enough that free agents in a certain tier (say, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, etc) risk getting burned by rejecting it. Seems to me Dave's change would protect those players at the expense of the teams the system is designed to protect.

  • The problems with the Diamondbacks off-season - Jim at AZ Snake Pit untangles the Diamondbacks' offseason and suggests that GM Kevin Towers and company, in moving volatile-but-upsidey for consistent-but-averagey, have really only found a way to keep the club in that impossible middle of not-sure-what-we-are teams.

  • Where the hell is all the Royals new TV money going? Craig at Royals Review asks the question on every Royals fan's mind:

It's too bad the Royals don't appear ready to make one more aggressive move to position themselves for October baseball. One more starter. But I guess the Royals are tapped out. The flip side is when you look at the roster as constructed, there's waste all over. Luke Hochevar at $5.2 million. Vargas at $7 million. Wade Davis and Chen at a combined $8 million.

Then there was the whole Emilio Bonafacio deal. Why tender a contract to a player who was essentially your 38th or 39th player on your roster? Sure, it's only going to cost the Royals around $500,000 when he clears waivers, but as always with the Royals, it's the little things. Some fiscal mismanagement here, wasteful spending there... It all adds up. And when a team allegedly is in some dire straits at the current, self-inflicted, payroll.

Let's just say this doesn't bode well for the future of this team.

Awwwwww:

Oh. (h/t DRaysBay)

Hanidog_medium

An actual serious story for once:

Mikedunn_foxsports_ftbragg2U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William Reinier, 2/82 PAO

One for the road:

In honor of A-Rod's moment of clarity, here's a pic of him just bein' A-Rod:

Have suggestions or want to be featured in HDWEB? Send links to Justin at @justinbopp.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Roy Oswalt retires of Hall of Almost Famous | Remember when Roy played OF?

Alex Rodriguez really, really wanted to join Red Sox

How to get Giancarlo Stanton to stay with the Marlins

Brisbee: Baseball teams and the windows that define them

Why trade Homer Bailey when the Reds can win now?

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