Four days before Christmas and the news is slim. Well, worse than slim, with the lockout and Christmas.
And it is the first day of winter. I don’t know about anyone else, but I consider winter to have started when it is really cold and there is snow. It has been really cold for a couple of weeks here.
A few years ago, my dad had a cognitive test. It was early December and one of the questions was ‘what season is it?’. Well, it was 25 below and miserable, he said winter. One wrong mark.
Anyway, he got enough of the other questions wrong that this one didn’t matter, but I thought that one I would have got wrong.
Here is some nice news:
Congrats to former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who will get a World Series ring from the Atlanta Braves. Jonathan Schuerholz and Gibbons scouted the Astros leading up to the Braves meeting Houston in the World Series @Braves @BlueJays @astros— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) December 21, 2021
Gibbons was a New York Met back in 1986, when they won the World Series (but he only had 22 at-bats that year and didn’t play in the playoffs). He’ll have a World Series ring from then.
The Athletic has a list of Rule 5 draft candidates from each AL team (whenever that happens). They figure Joey Murray is the most likely to be picked from the Jays. “We want to be smart and make sure we don’t have just him in our starting rotation from Day 1 and see how far he goes,” Jays general manager Ross Atkins said last month. “Factoring in the past couple years of missed time, if there’s a way to create a bridge here, where he’s getting exposed to longer outings, and being built up, it may mean he’s not always in a starting role … Maybe there’s an extended outing way to do that, whether that be starting, (pitching) out of the ’pen, or some combination of the two.”
An elbow injury kept Murray off a game mound pretty much the entire season, but he still seems likely to attract attention in the Rule 5 draft. He struck out 31 percent of batters in his first two pro seasons (2018-19) with the help of a deceptive high-spinning fastball. But the heater sits in the low 90s, so there’s also some skepticism that it would play in the majors. If he is healthy, the analytics department of another team might take a pass at Murray.
I don’t know, I’d guess Samad Taylor might be the most likely to go, but you never know, the Jays were talking up Murray.
Gregor Chisholm tells us that the Blue Jays have to decide if Nate Pearson is a starter or reliever:
“We want to be smart and make sure we don’t have just him in our starting rotation from Day 1 and see how far he goes,” Jays general manager Ross Atkins said last month. “Factoring in the past couple years of missed time, if there’s a way to create a bridge here, where he’s getting exposed to longer outings, and being built up, it may mean he’s not always in a starting role … Maybe there’s an extended outing way to do that, whether that be starting, (pitching) out of the ’pen, or some combination of the two.”
I don’t know that they have to decide one or the other now. See what the team needs during spring and go with that. If a new need comes up change.
The Mets signed Buck Showalter to be their new manager. His work in the AL 2016 AL Wild Card game made him my favourite opposition manager for a time there.
The Athletic has a story quoting Manny Machado, saying that Showalter “kept him humble”. Humble isn’t the first word that comes to mind when I think about Manny Machado, but ok.
“He’s been a guy that taught players how to play the right way, how to lead the right way,” the 29-year-old Machado said. “Obviously, for the veterans, he’s always had their backs, making them be the best they can possibly be out on the field. (From) a manager’s standpoint, he was awesome, one of the greatest managers I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. Obviously, me as a young player, I learned a lot from him. It made me the player I am today by learning and observing everything he did, how he handled everything on the baseball field.”
The story heaps a lot of praise on Buck. He does seem very well-liked by the press.
The Oakland A’s found a manager too. They hired their 2020 third base coach, Mark Kotsay. I do like the idea of hiring from within. I’d imagine he won’t be paid as much as Showalter.
Some minor league team owners (or former minor league team owners) are suing MLB for the way MLB downsized the minors. I don’t see any chance that they will win their suit. I guess the point is to embarrass MLB, but then I have never noticed MLB caring about their public perception.