Link-O-Rama: Marlins stick with Gonzalez, Rays fire Henderson

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* All the hub-bub was apparently for nothing, because FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins will stick with Fredi Gonzalez as their manager in 2010. Gonzalez won 87 games this season and 84 games last season with an extremely limited payroll and relatively modest talent, so it’s tough to see an on-field reason for why the Marlins were even thinking about canning him.
* This season the Rays set franchise records for runs scored, homers, on-base percentage, and walks, yet they fired hitting coach Steve Henderson. According to team president Andrew Friedman “there were some inadequacies offensively this year,” which is a tough sell given that Tampa Bay ranked fifth among AL teams in offense after ranking ninth in scoring during their World Series run last season.
* Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that former Indians, Mariners, and Orioles skipper Mike Hargrove “has reached out to the Astros” about their managerial opening. Hargrove had a ton of success in Cleveland throughout the 1990s, but had losing records in Seattle and Baltimore, hasn’t managed since 2007, and turns 60 years old later this month.
* Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Omar Minaya reached out to recently fired general managers Kevin Towers and J.P. Ricciardi about possibly joining the Mets. Given his shaky job security following the Mets’ disastrous season, bringing in either former GM and putting an obvious successor in place would be an awfully risky move for Minaya.

The Cardinals lost because Trevor Rosenthal forgot to cover first base

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The Cardinals dropped Thursday afternoon’s series finale to the Mets in heartbreaking fashion. With the game tied 2-2 in the ninth inning, closer Trevor Rosenthal was trying to see his way out of a jam. The Mets had runners on the corners with two outs.

Jose Reyes swung at the first pitch he saw from Rosenthal, grounding it down the first base line. Matt Carpenter snagged the ball and it looked like it’d be an inning-ending 3-1 putout, but Rosenthal didn’t cover first base. By the time he made his way to the bag, it was too late. Yoenis Cespedes touched home and Reyes stepped on the bag safely, walking the Mets off 3-2 winners.

The Cardinals, now 46-49, have dropped both series since the All-Star break.

MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh has post-game quotes from Rosenthal and Carpenter:

Survey says: Yankees still the most hated in baseball

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FiveThirtyEight commissioned a survey through SurveyMonkey, polling 989 self-described baseball fans about their baseball fandom. They were asked which teams were their favorites both overall and by census region, which teams they found favorable among 10 randomly assigned teams, and which teams were their least favorite.

The good news for Yankees fans: the Yankees had the highest share of respondents who selected them as their favorite team. They came in at 10 percent, followed by the Red Sox, Cubs, and Braves at eight percent. The Yankees (28 percent) and Red Sox (23 percent) also made up more than half of the favorites in the northeast census region. The Yankees were third in the south (nine percent), 10th in the midwest (three percent), and sixth in the west (six percent).

The Yankees, however, were the only team with a higher unfavorable rating than favorable. 44 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the Yankees while 48 percent were unfavorable. The Phillies were next at 33 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable. The Yankees’ unfavorable rating was by far the highest; the Mets came in second at 35 percent.

A whopping 27 percent of respondents selected the Yankees as their most hated team. The Red Sox came in second at 10 percent followed by the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks (what?) at five percent. The Yankees were also selected as the most hated team in all four census regions: 34 percent in the northeast, 25 percent in the south, 28 percent in the midwest, and 26 percent in the west.

There has been some thought that the Derek Jeter-less Yankees, replete with up-and-coming players like Aaron Judge, may actually be likable. But this survey shows that, at least right now, they’re still the bane of many baseball fans’ existence.