Ayala's bad pitching, big mouth is strange combo

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Earlier this season Luis Ayala talked his way out of Minnesota by walking into manager Ron Gardenhire’s office and complaining about his role, suggesting that he should be the Twins’ eighth-inning setup man despite sporting a 4.18 ERA and .306 opponents’ batting average in 32.1 innings spent primarily in middle relief.
Here’s what Gardenhire said at the time:

When you walk into my office and tell me you don’t like your role, and he talked about his contract for next year, you lose me right there. I don’t deal with that. We’re talking about winning now. That’s why he’s out the door and another guy’s in there to pitch. And it’s not because he’s a bad guy. His theories are a little different.

After being released by the Twins he eventually signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins, who called Ayala up a couple times and let him go 0-3 with an 11.74 ERA in 10 appearances before designating him for assignment yesterday.
And naturally Ayala is now unhappy with how the Marlins treated him:

It was terrible what they did. I don’t know why they called me up if they were going to do this. I think it’s a lack of respect. I know it’s a business, but for me, it’s something they’ve handled poorly.

In fairness to Ayala, he’s more or less an expert on handling things poorly. Since the beginning of last season he’s been paid approximately $4 million to go 3-15 with a 5.68 ERA in 115.2 innings, and when not alienating his employers with his performance he’s burned bridges with his mouth. Or as Gardenhire put it: “His theories are a little different.”

Kris Bryant wants to be Cubs’ player rep, vows to “fight” for next collective bargaining agreement

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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was one of the most prominent examples of service time manipulation in recent memory. He was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball going into the 2015 season by Baseball America. He then had an incredible spring, batting .425 with a spring-high nine home runs and 15 RBI. The Cubs, however, didn’t add him to the Opening Day roster, instead keeping him in Triple-A for the first two weeks of the season, ensuring the club would get another year of control over Bryant because he wouldn’t accrue enough service time. He made his debut on April 17 and the rest was history. Bryant won the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

While the MLB Players Association filed a grievance on his behalf, Bryant didn’t say anything. But it was a learning moment for him. The same is true of the past offseason, which Bryant says “opened my eyes,” as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He now considers labor issues a priority, saying, “I need to study up, have my voice heard, continue to learn, because this is going to affect us for years to come. And I’d be foolish not to kind of offer myself out there.”

As Wittenmyer notes, Bryant hopes to replace Jake Arrieta as the Cubs’ player reprensentative. The players make that decision later this month. Bryant also vowed to fight for the next collective bargaining agreement. He said, “Maybe the focus was on other things rather than some of the more important things. But I think with this next one things are definitely going to change, and there’ll definitely be more fight on our side just because we’re going to get the chance to experience the effects of some of the things we agreed to. The only way to get what you want here is to fight for it. And I think you’re going to see a lot of that.”

It’s good to see Bryant motivated by recent economic developments in baseball. Hopefully more players take his lead and become more informed, arming themselves with all of the tools they need to create a better situation for themselves when the current CBA expires.