What a week for baseball. There were several tradesa��though none were Earth-altering. On top of that, it’s been your basic dose of ordinary minor moves like waiver claims, predictable roster cutsa��well, actually, John Axford was cuta��and plenty of drama.
Oh, the drama.
Trouble in Miami?
The Miami Marlins are trading JosA� FernA?ndez, folks.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 19, 2015
Or are they? If so, it’s because of his attitude. Or is it?
That's not something I said. Anywhere. https://t.co/YpMkjBMJxK
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) November 19, 2015
Let’s not split hairs here, guys! Miami’s Andy Slater reported on the 2015 Marlins a�?clubhouse circusa�? and boy did it sound like a doozy, but on Tuesday came the report which suggested FernA?ndez was on the trade block:
a�?The Marlins also are not happy with Fernandez’s attitude, which may come as a shock to many. ‘Jose is a different person on and off camera,’ one player source told me. ‘Jose talks to management like they are children, he added.a�?
Oh, this is good, but how can we make it better? This, from Wednesday’s report, should do the trick:
a�?’There were times this season where, not all, but some players and coaches hoped Jose would go out on the mound and get shelled,’ a player source told me. ‘We thought it would get him to be more humble.’a�?
I have neither been nor will I ever be a player, coach, general manager, or owner of a sports franchise, but I sure do know toxic when it’s staring me straight in the face. If even the slightest bit of this information is true… but wait, there has to be something that can take this to the next level. I demand it.
Enter Scott Boras.
That’s right ladies and germs, super-agent Boras will be involved in talks discussing FernA?ndeza��his clienta��and the potential workload he’ll face during the 2016 season. Keep in mind, the youngster is recently coming off of Tommy John surgery and they want to monitor their future (maybe?) ace. But this is the best part:
a�?Marlins ace JosA� FernA?ndez says any conversations regarding his 2016 workload will include his agent, Scott Boras, contrary to what the team has said… Marlins President David Samson last week pledged to exclude Boras after the agent complained about the team’s handling of another Boras client, Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna.a�?
Outstanding. Someone get Vincent Kennedy McMahon on the phone, gosh dammit. And since we’re here, even though this has nothing to do with anything, let’s just go ahead and make Jeffrey Loria MLB’s commissioner. Why? Better question: why not?
One More Year for Ortiz
Am I allowed to get serious for a moment?
Let me preface this by saying one thing: I couldn’t care less about PEDs or steroids in baseball. They’ve made MLB plenty of money indirectly or otherwise, and the arbitrary line so many people tend to draw on the issuea��this player should be banned, but this player is just finea��is incredibly ridiculous.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about Boston’s David Ortiz. He’s 39 years old, he’s played for 19 years, and he’s announced his retirement after the 2016 season.
Read up on his PED story here if you’re interested.
Ortiz is a career .284/.378/.547 hitter with 503 home runs so far. He’s hit .295/.409/.553 with 17 home runs in the postseason (357 plate appearances)a��not to mention a .455/.576/.795 slash line in three World Series appearances over 57 plate appearances. I know, small sample, but…
In my book, he’s a Hall of Famer. And yes, Jonah Keri, I believe Edgar Martinez is as well.
If the final season of Ortiz is anything like 2015a��.273/.360/.553; 37 doubles, 37 home runsa��we’re in for a treat.
And then baseball will never be the same. Again.
2015 Seattle Seemed Like a Fun Place, and Other Tales
Boy oh boy, if I could go back in time I’d like to be a fly on the wall, grass, or in the air during the 2015 Seattle Mariners spring training and regular season. And I owe that all to former player and currently unemployed coach, Andy Van Slyke.
On Seattle’s 240 million dollar man, Robinson Cano:
a�?…he had probably the worst single year of an every day player that I’ve ever seen in 20 years at the big league level.a�?
When the host chimed in saying, a�?It wasn’t work ethic. He tries,a�? Slyke added a�?He does sometimes.a�?
Perfect. Perfect. Anything else?
a�?Robbie’s not a bad guy, let me say that before I say anything bad about how he played. But Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place, every-day player I’ve ever seen a�� I’ve ever seen for the first half of a baseball season. He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second base…
a�?Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano. And the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.a�?
Coaches lose their jobs all the time when players or teams under-perform. This is nothing new.
Can Van Slyke be Loria’s second-in-command? Or, how about co-commissioners?
In all seriousness, Cano playing better in the first half could have helped Seattle (76-86) earn a wild card berth, but something tells me a lingering stomach illness and the death of his grandfather had something to do with those strugglesa��regardless of whether or not he used those as excuses. (He didn’t, for what it’s worth.)
He hit a putrid .251/.290/.370 with six home runs in 86 first half games, but .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs in 70 second half contests. That’s more like it, and it’s slightly harsh to pick out one bad half of a season from any player as the reason for multiple coaches to lose their jobs. I suppose if you’re getting paid that much, right? Anyway…
As for Van Slyke, he can just continue talking about things such as Clayton Kershaw a�?wanting Yasiel Puig off the team.a�?
But again, allow me to be serious for another moment: listen to the entire interview, and you’ll be happy you did. And not just for those tidbits. Unfortunately, Cano and Kershaw will be all that’s talked about from this point going forward. Probably.
See you next week, baseball. If you bring plenty of trades again, throw in some blockbusters, will ya?
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference