UPDATE: John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse gathered quotes from veterans Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney on the firing. Here’s Griffey:
“Let’s not go there. I have no comment.”
“It’s brutal. There are a lot of guys in here who deserve to get fired before him.”
Sounds like the Mariners, or at least those two vets, are a little embarrassed about the way they’ve struggled this year, and how those struggles have now cost Cockrell his job.
2:35pm: The Mariners cut ties with hitting coach Alan Cockrell on Sunday morning, according to Jim Street of MLB.com.
The M’s have an American League-worst 617 OPS through 30 games this season and have scored fewer runs than 28 of baseball’s 30 teams. Oh, and they’ve also lost eight straight games. Most of that has nothing do with Cockrell, but someone had to be the scapegoat.
Cockrell started his major league coaching career with the Rockies in 2002 as a special instructor and was hired as their full-time hitting coach in November of 2006. He was named Seattle’s hitting coach in the winter of 2008, but now that’s all over. Alonzo Powell will be promoted from Triple-A to take over the post for the time being. We’ll see if he’s any better at willing hits out of millionaire baseball players.
Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Matt Holliday‘s $17 million option for 2017.
And, not surprisingly, will not extend him a similarly priced qualifying offer, either.
Holliday will be 37 when spring training begins and he is finishing his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .242/.318/.450 with 19 homers over 424 plate appearances.
Injuries have not helped him — he’s missed the last six weeks with a fractured thumb — but it’s not like guys het healthier the older they get. Holliday will likely be looking at a massive pay cut for next year and a competition to make an Opening Day roster.
The Blue Jays are poised to make the playoffs for the second year in a row and are playing a critical series with the Orioles, the outcome of which will likely determine who gets to play at home for that one-and-done game next week. Big stakes! Must keep focused!
Or, alternatively, maybe it’s time to have a silly, juvenile feud with the press. Here’s Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, asking why the Jays are doing stuff like this while fighting for the playoffs:
Why, for example, would the leaders on the team allow someone to put up on a wall photos of two Toronto sports writers with an ‘X’ scratched on their face and the a message written on top reading, ‘Do not grant them interviews’ (or words to that effect)? . . . Things like: Someone cranking up the music just when the media arrives to conduct pre-game interviews.
Not that the Jays have been treated wonderfully by the press themselves:
There was an incident the other night when a couple of journalists tried to corral struggling closer Roberto Osuna for an interview, but he kept blowing them off. Finally, one reporter followed him right into a private part of the clubhouse and told him off.
That’s . . . not what you’re supposed to do.
Still, there is zero point to get into silly feuds with the media. If they overstep their bounds, there are a TON of Jays officials and, I suspect, newspaper editors, who will quickly and eagerly discipline the reporter. You don’t have to make wanted posters and act like children. Partially because it’s just a bad look. But also, because it leads to news stories about it like the one in the Toronto Sun.