There is a conventional wisdom floating around that, though Omar Minaya is totally deserving of being fired, he won’t be because he has years three years left on his contract and the Wilpons — who got fleeced by Bernie Madoff — aren’t too interested in paying for another GM.
Birdies squwaking in the Mets’ front office, however, have identified assistant GM John Ricco as Omar Minaya’s successor as GM, and are telling the New York Daily News that “installing Ricco as GM if Minaya is pushed aside makes financial sense . . . because much of the front office and other staff can remain intact if Ricco ascends to the role, avoiding the type of costly overhaul that could ensue if a new general manager is hired from outside the organization and wants to replace 12 front-office members, plus dismiss the on-field staff.”
Ricco is a stats and financials guy who has been with the team since 2004. I don’t know much about him, but it strikes me that two things Omar Minaya doesn’t understand are stats and financials, so Ricco may be a very good choice. Assuming Minaya is canned, of course, which isn’t a lock given that the article itself calls this all “speculation.”
Speculation or not, how poorly run is the Mets’ front office if the Daily News is routinely able to get people in position to know this kind of stuff to blab about it as often as they do?
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, Bob Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.