Evidently, I picked the wrong target last week in suggesting that the Royals fire general manager Dayton Moore.
If I wanted attention, I should have instead recommended the dismissal
of trainer Nick Swartz. That’s what Baseball Prospectus writer and huge
Royals fan Rany Jazayerli did recently. As a result, he’s been banned by the team:
“Just to be clear here, since I think everyone’s taking my words a
little too literally: I don’t think I’ve been “banned” in the sense
that they’re going to have security guards outside the stadium making
sure that I don’t buy a ticket. It does mean that the Royals have cut
off any access I may have from the team for my radio show, and – this
is critical – have intimated that any other radio show which has me on
as a guest faces the same penalty.”
Obviously, that last part is very nasty business if true. Regardless,
Jazayerli’s column was well reasoned and not at all inflammatory; that
the Royals are going after him is truly bizarre. Jazayerli’s piece,
which was published on his own blog and not Baseball Prospectus, was
going to be overlooked by most. Now it’ll be the talk of our little
corner of the Internet, and one can expect ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer and
SI’s Joe Posnanski to present their takes.
A lot of us Gen-Xers who grew up reading Bill James and later Neyer
and BP should have soft spots for the Royals. That we don’t, or at
least I don’t, is the result of an amazing run of incompetence still
going strong today. That they’ve turned on the one writer who has
expressed more Royals optimism on the Internet that anyone else over
the last 10 years or so is just the latest embarrassing act.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.