Baseball Prospectus: “Maybe Joe Girardi does overmanage. Maybe Alex Rodriguez really is a choker Centaur. Maybe the new Stadium doesn’t have ghosts. What they all have now is a new championship banner and a set of rings on the way. Whether this was for George (as Selig said) or for their fans, #27 was memorable.”
IIATMS: “My oldest son was born Opening Day of 2000 and my little one was born in the Spring of 2003. They’re at the prime age to remember this title and this team. Guys like Jeter and Mo and Teix and CC will be like my Reggie and Gator and Goose and Thurman and like my Dad’s Mickey and Whitey and Hank and Billy. It’s a generational thing.”
Fack Youk: “I’m not a superstitious man, but I do believe that sometimes life taps you on the shoulder as it tries to get your attention . . . the same optimism I’ve felt the past two days knowing my favorite and most-trusted starting pitcher from my years as a fan was taking the mound tonight, turned to a cool confidence. Stupid, I know. The very idea of which is something I’ll surely scoff at in the years to come. But at that moment, short of the Almighty Himself offering me a glimpse to the future, I don’t think there’s anything that could have assured me of the future more than that.”
River Avenue Blues: “My father said many times that A-Rod would never win a title with the Yankees. At 4:11 EST on the morning of the Yankees’ 27th championship, I’d like to rub it in.”
The 700 Level: “The Phillies lost the World Series and it completely and totally sucks. Perhaps the only thing you can really hold against this team — a team that has taken us on such a magical run over the past two years — is the way they went out tonight.”
Crashburn Alley: “The Phillies have no reason to hang their heads, as they put together the most impressive two-year run in the franchise’s long history, and they are still primed for another run next year.”
Sliding Into Home: “First off, to all you Yankee haters out there, if the title of this post [“Back Where We Belong”] bothers you, check out this quote from The Captain: ‘It’s good to be back, this is right where it belongs.'”
Blue Jays hire Eric Wedge as player development advisor
In a move which will surely lead to some speculation about John Gibbons’ future, the Blue Jays have hired former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge as player development advisor.
John Lott of Vice Sports notes that the hiring has been rumored for a while, as Wedge knows new team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins well from when he managed in Cleveland. According to an announcement from the team, Wedge will work closely with the front office and new player development director Gil Kim “on strategies to enhance the Player Development system.”
Gibbons is a holdover from the previous front office, so as these situations often go, it’s not hard to imagine Shapiro and Atkins wanting to put in their own guy if the team disappoints.
When Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement was denied in December, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wrote that the all-time hit king had done nothing to change his habits from when he violated Rule 21, baseball’s anti-gambling rule. In a stunning lack of self-awareness, Rose informed Manfred during their meeting that he continues to bet on baseball where it is legal. Now that his banishment from MLB has been upheld, Rose has apparently decided to double down on his reputation.
In a commercial that will air locally in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl, Rose helps promote the William Hill sports betting app. Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman is also featured. As you’ll see below, Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is used as the punchline.
It’s a clever spot. Rose is free to make a living, so if he wants to own his reputation at this point, that’s cool. No judgment here. While Manfred’s ruling seemingly left the door open for the Hall of Fame to make their own determination about his status, Rose might feel that he has nothing left to lose.
Rose has often used not being in the Hall of Fame as a form of self-promotion. We posted the commercial here, so it accomplished exactly what it was supposed to accomplish for all involved. But Rose also can’t act shocked why he continues to stand outside the gates. We’re all in on the joke, whether he wants to admit it or not.
UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Chavez won his arbitration case and will make a $4 million salary in 2016.
10:47 a.m. ET: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Blue Jays and right-hander Jesse Chavez had an arbitration hearing on Friday, with a decision expected today.
Chavez, who was acquired from the Athletics this offseason, requested $4 million and was offered $3.6 million by the Blue Jays when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. Toronto is known as a “file-and-trial” team, so they bring these cases to a hearing unless a multi-year deal can be reached. The three-person panel of arbitrators will choose one salary or the other.
Chavez, 32, posted a 4.18 ERA and 136/48 K/BB ratio in 157 innings across 26 starts and four relief appearances last season. He’s expected to compete for the fifth spot in Toronto’s rotation this spring.
After trading Ender Inciarte to the Braves as part of the Shelby Miller deal, Yasmany Tomas will go into 2016 as a regular in the Diamondbacks’ lineup. Signed to a six-year, $68.5 million contract in December of 2014, Tomas batted .273 with nine home runs and a .707 OPS over 426 plate appearances during his first season in the majors last year while struggling defensively between third base and right field. Third base is out as a possibility at this point, but the Diamondbacks are mulling over another defensive change for him.
“We’re definitely talking about it,” Hale said. “(Outfield coach) Dave McKay and I, (General Manager Dave Stewart) and (Chief Baseball Officer) Tony (La Russa), we think it might be best to switch them around.”
When the third base experiment flopped, the Diamondbacks put Tomas in right because they felt he would be the most comfortable there. The metrics weren’t kind to him. He’ll now have a full spring training to work on things if the club decides to make a change. Peralta isn’t the defender that Inciarte was, but he’s better than Tomas, so it’s understandable why the Diamondbacks would change their alignment.
Tomas is likely to be a liability no matter where he plays, but the Diamondbacks won’t mind as much if his bat begins to meet expectations. For a team with designs on the postseason, he’s a big key for this lineup.