New Yorkers fail to bring the Manny-hate

Leave a comment

New York fans — who take pride in their passion and hostility, even when it’s misguided — need to take a long look in the mirror today after being shamed in the pages of a Los Angeles newspaper:

Reporting from New York — Manny Ramirez, you’re not in San Diego anymore. Or are you?

The Dodgers’ left fielder sparked some boos Tuesday night during an
abbreviated appearance, but he mostly generated indifference from a
Citi Field crowd that displayed something resembling SoCal cool. The
heckling was especially mild among those seated behind Ramirez in left
field during the 4 1/2 innings he played before being ejected for
scattering his bat, helmet and arm guard on the field after a called
third strike.

“I’ve been in some hostile environments,” Daniel Nussen, a Santa
Monica-born Dodgers fan who now lives in Manhattan, said from his seat
in left field. “This is just like another Mets game.”

The only possible explanations for this are (a) Citi Field has priced
out your typical, obnoxious Mets fan in favor of a bunch of
mild-mannered white collar types; (b) the Mets’ recent struggles have
simply demoralized the fan base, to the point where they can’t get
their dander up over much of anything; or (c) Manny Ramirez isn’t
nearly the villain in the eyes of fans that the press desperately wants
him to be. What say you, Manny?

“I get that support everywhere I go. “The fans have been great to me, especially in L.A. . . . People really like me.”

Makes sense to me. Now, can we finally get over the phony outrage?

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
20 Comments

There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
14 Comments

Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

*

Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

*

Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.