Joe Torre on being done in 2011: "I've lied before so it doesn't matter"

Leave a comment

That’s what he said immediately after saying yesterday that 2011 would be his last year. I like it when baseball people allow themselves to be honest like that.  The L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin spoke with Torre on a bunch of other topics as well:

  • He expects that Manny Ramirez will be back as “a middle-of-the-lineup guy” this year and thinks that his post-suspension struggles were all about mechanics and rust as opposed to human chorionic gonadotropin withdrawal or something.
  • He reminds us that Clayton Kershaw is only 21 and that “We can’t all of a sudden hook our wagon to him and say, ‘Take us there.'”  He expects the Dodgers to get another pitcher.  For what it’s worth, L.A. has been linked with Joel Piniero, may be watching Ben Sheets on Tuesday and, of course, is probably going to bring back Vicente Padilla.
  • He doesn’t know why the Dodgers didn’t offer Randy Wolf arbitration and says “it just didn’t seem reasonable to me he would come back for a year.”  This kind of thing is always interesting. I mean, if you asked Torre “hey, do you think Ned Colletti screwed up in not offering Wolf arbitration,” he’d always say no, he trusts Ned and The Plan and blah, blah, blah. But his dead-on assessment that Wolf wouldn’t take a one year deal to stay in L.A. makes the decision dumb by definition. No, I don’t expect Torre to slam his boss, but still.

If he had any comments about the McCourt divorce they were presumably off the record.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

Getty Images
Leave a comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.