Last week rumors were circulating that Don Mattingly was negotiating with the Dodgers to become Joe Torre’s heir apparent. I thought it was a bad move for Donnie Baseball to bypass offers and interviews from other teams because one never knows what the future might hold. For instance: the man you’re supposed to be succeeding may decide that he never wants to retire:
I hear Joe Torre is talking about extending his contract as manager with the Dodgers and remaining beyond next season.
“Where did you get that?” Torre says, the first time all weekend he seems to care where I’m getting my inside information.
But it’s true, Torre says, “we’re talking about it . . . We were talking about my coaches and I’ve been thinking about it,”
Torre says while mentioning General Manager Ned Colletti’s name and
plans to chat again once Torre returns from a charity function in New
York. “It’s been fun. When I came here, I was curious about how it might
go. But the last two years have been invigorating. You see progress and
your ego tells you maybe you had something to do with it.”
Torre had planned on retiring after 2010. Certainly he has earned the right to change his mind. But the longer he hangs around, the longer Don Mattingly remains in career limbo.
Memo to Donnie: go on some interviews. Put out some feelers. Don’t wait for Joe Torre to figure out where your life and career is going.
Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners and the Marlins are “fairly close” on a trade that would send reliever David Phelps to Seattle. Earlier Ken Rosenthal and others reported that the sides were talking, but that a deal was not imminent.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. Basically everything you want in a reliever, right?
The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation.
Corey Sager homered in the Dodgers’ win over the White Sox last night. It was his 45th career homer, 44 of which have come while playing shortstop. While that’s great given that the guy has only played in 270 games, it’s not a lot of homers in an absolute sense. Thousands of players have more homers than that, obviously. Baseball has been around for a long time!
But it’s enough to set a record. A Los Angeles Dodgers record, specifically, for the most homers from a shortstop. It puts Seager past Rafael Furcal, who hit 43 while wearing Dodger blue. The record for the franchise, including Brooklyn, is Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122.
It seems astounding that no other Dodgers shortstop has hit more than 44 homers in the nearly 60 years since the club has been in Los Angeles, but it’s true. If you had asked me before I saw the factoid mentioned on Twitter I would’ve bet my life that Bill Russell would’ve had more. Not because he had any power — he was, in fact, one of the more punchless players of his era — but because he simply played in L.A. so long, logging 1,746 games at short for Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. Nope. He only hit 46 in his 18-year career, with a handful of those coming as an outfielder. His season high is seven. Seager has hit seven homers in May of his rookie season.
Oh well, you learn something new every day.