The Mets clean house

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It’s a mystery to me why the Mets don’t want to fire Omar Minaya, but maybe getting rid of everyone who works for and advises him may be the next best thing. The Daily News:

The Mets have fired Ramon Pena, the organization’s top official in
charge of signing Latin American talent, the Daily News has learned. In
addition, vice president of scouting Sandy Johnson intends to retire,
and minor-league field coordinator Luis Aguayo has been let go, sources
said.

Tony Bernazard, who was fired on July 27 after a series of
over-the-top clubhouse antics, and Johnson were Minaya’s two top
lieutenants. More turnover could be coming since only Rudy Terrasas,
who oversees the amateur draft, is believed to be under contract beyond
this season.

Pena’s dismissal signals displeasure with the performance of a
number of high-caliber Latin American prospects signed as teenagers.

The Latin thing is interesting.  For the past couple of seasons, I have noticed increasing resentment among Mets fans about the team’s heavy interest in Latin players under Omar Minaya. My first impulse was to write much of it off as misplaced grousing at best, something more ugly at worst. After all, who doesn’t like Johan Santana and K-Rod? Wouldn’t Mets fans rather have someone besides Daniel Murphy getting so many at bats, even if his name was Gonzalez or Martinez?

But the Daily News article really does a good job of describing the failure of the Mets’ international operations under Minaya.  Jose Reyes was a Steve Phillips signing. No one else has made an impact, despite the Mets’ far greater need to make waves on the international market due to their constant forfeiture of draft picks due to free agent signings.  There’s nothing wrong with focusing so heavily on Latin players per se, but if you’re going to put all of your huevos in one cesta, you had better be good at it.

Assuming all of these guys getting axed were Omar Minaya hires — and assuming that Omar isn’t going to be trusted to pick their replacements — one wonders why Minaya still has a job himself.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.