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?
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.