Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman runs down what he considers to be “October’s Disasters.” Top of the list? The manager of the team that’s probably going to win the World Series:
It may be a little odd to put the manager of the team that’s leading the ALCS 3-2 in games atop this list [note: this was posted before last night’s game]. But Girardi has had a very strange postseason indeed. Joe Torre wrote a bestseller this year, and I can’t wait for Girardi’s new tome, Over-Managing 101. Girardi apparently already has a dreary book of overwrought stats in the dugout, and he’s gone to it once or two or maybe even three times too many.
Girardi’s blunders have been well-documented, but at some point doesn’t the outcome trump the mistakes? The definition of a “disaster” is “a calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction; a sudden or great misfortune or failure.” Girardi has been less than ideal, but with the talent at his disposal, any one decision he makes is fairly unimportant. And obviously the outcome hasn’t been too terribly affected by anything he’s done.
Given the other possible choices — Matt Holliday, Chip Caray, the umpires, Mike Scioscia, and anything having to do with the Dodgers’ NLCS performance — I think Girardi needs to be moved down that list quite a bit.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.