"Muzzling" the "mouthy" Jimmy Rollins? Why bother?

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The New York Post is doing its best to try and turn Jimmy Rollins’ prediction of the Phillies in five into some big controversy, calling Rollins “mouthy,” saying the Yankees are prepared to “muzzle” him and doing whatever they can to get any actual members of the Yankees to go on record with something controversial. Not surprisingly, no one comes close to taking the bait. In fact, Johnny Damon basically says the only reasonable thing one can say in such a situation: “What do you expect him to say and what do you expect Phillies fans to expect? I wish he had predicted it the other way, but then there would have been a lot of angry Phillies fans.”

In other words a tempest in a teapot.  Faux outrage from a paper who lives to stir this kind of stuff up.  Fun to some degree, but ultimately meaningless.

Why the Post is bothering baiting people over Rollins I have no idea given that it is great at stirring up its own controversy from whole cloth.  Did you read yesterday’s cover story Bob was talking about?  Yeah, the “Frillies” stuff was cute, but the sheer Philly hate was something to behold. Some man-on-the street quotes from the article:

“Philly fans are a bunch of whiners and should learn how to dress. They should try reading GQ.”

“I don’t have hate for Philly exactly — they are like our redheaded stepchild. It’s like a nothing city. It’s just insignificant in comparison to New York.”

“Their fans are whiners, the food is lousy and there is nothing to do. New York is all about being on top, with no excuses — just like the Yankees.”

“The big meal there is a steak with cheese and onions on a hero, but they don’t even call it a hero. It’s a hoagie. What the hell is a hoagie?”

I’ve been to Philly before. Between my experiences there and the comments I get whenever I dare say a negative thing about the Phillies, I’m 100% certain that Philly fans can give it back to New York in equal or greater measure.  That the Post didn’t send a reporter to Philadelphia to get competing quotes was probably a function of them not wanting to pay thousands of dollars in emergency room bills.

So forget Jimmy Rollins and his predictions. Let’s focus on the real competition here: the competition to see whether New York or Philly fans can do the most to shock the nation.

The Baltimore Orioles did not try to get Shohei Ohtani . . . out of principle

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Shohei Ohtani made it pretty clear early in the posting process that he was not going to consider east coast teams. As such, it’s understandable if east coast teams didn’t stop all work in order to put together an Ohtani pitch before he signed with the Angels. The Baltimore Orioles, however, didn’t do so for a somewhat different reason than all of the other also-rans.

Their reason, as explained by general manager Dan Duquette on MLB Network Radio yesterday was “because philosophically we don’t participate on the posting part of it.” Suggesting that, as a matter of policy, they will not even attempt to sign Japanese players via the posting system.

Like I said, that probably didn’t make a hill of beans’ difference when it came to Ohtani, who was unlikely to give the O’s the time of day. I find it really weird, though, that the Orioles would totally reject the idea of signing Japanese players via the posting system on policy grounds. None of their opponents are willing to unilaterally disarm in that fashion, I presume.

More than that, though, why would you make that philosophy public? Don’t you want your rivals to think you’re in competition with them in all facets of the game? Don’t you want your fans to think that you’ll stop at nothing to improve the team?

An odd thing to say for Duquette. I don’t know quite why he’d say such a thing.