Coffee and Clippings: Checking the facts … yup, MLB still has greater parity than the NFL

Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) of ESPN weighs in on the parity of the MLB over the NFL…

Yeah, if only baseball could be more like football. If only baseball weren’t a sport where (sing along with me) The Same Teams Win Every Year. If only baseball had a little parity, like the almighty NFL. If only …

Wait. What’s that? The facts say that baseball actually whomps the NFL’s posterior in the old competitive-balance mano a mano? Why, that’s just shocking.

Or at least it’s shocking to those of you who have been getting outraged by this column for a decade now. As if I’m just inventing phony facts to annoy you. Or because I cover baseball. Or because I feel like being a troublemaker one day a year….

Scott Lauber (@HeraldRedSox) of the Boston Herald on Travis Shaw and the importance of his versatility moving forward…

Never mind that Shaw hit 13 home runs in 226 at-bats as a rookie for the Red Sox last season, or that he’s more similar in stature to David Ortiz than David Eckstein. The way he sees it, his best chance of staying in the big leagues, at least with the Sox, is to turn himself into Brock Holt 2.0.

Shaw, you see, is no dummy. The 25-year-old Kent State product watched closely from Double A two years ago as Holt cemented a spot with the Sox by playing seven positions, including all three outfield spots, despite coming up as a middle infielder. It was the same path taken nearly a decade ago by Ben Zobrist, a jack-of-all-trades for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 before eventually becoming an All-Star at one (second base) in 2013….

Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) of Baseball America highlights minor league manager Shelley Duncan for his work with the Diamondbacks…

PHOENIX—If more proof is needed that the apple does not fall far from the tree, consider the success of short-season Hillsboro manager Shelley Duncan.

In his first season as a minor league manager, Duncan helped the Hops to their second straight Northwest League championship, and he will return in the same capacity in 2016….