What They're Saying About Trey Hillman Getting Fired

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Trey Hillman closeup.jpgContrary to popular belief, people still do pay attention to the Royals. Here’s what the blogosphere, allied media and one Royals player is saying about Trey Hillman’s firing:

Zack
Greinke
:
It’s the players’ fault. If we win (more
games),
this doesn’t happen.

Joe Posnanski: Why didn’t Hillman have more success as manager? There are numerous
reasons, none more significant than the lack of Major League talent the
Royals have put on the field day after day. As the old line goes, Casey
Stengel, Earl Weaver and Joe McCarthy combined weren’t winning with this
team . . . make no mistake, the big reason they have lost the last three years is
not because of Trey Hillman, it is because they are a bad baseball team.*

Sam Mellinger: This is a good thing, because Hillman was a problem, but only in the
sense that a broken arm is a problem for a patient in ICU.


Rany Jazyerli:
Wow. I thought it was coming – I didn’t think it
was coming today . . .
And for the record, I take no great pleasure in this. Hillman
earned this, but he was dealt a losing hand. I really do wish him the
best of luck.

Matt Klaassen: Trey Hillman needed to go, if for no other reason
than showing that there is some level of “accountability” within the
organization.

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not entirely sure why the Royals allowed Hillman to stick around
for one last game, fully aware of his inevitable fate, but in my head, I
like to think they were just giving him a chance to go out on a high
note . . . That, of course, is giving the Royals the benefit of the doubt, and
ignores any ulterior and/or incompetent motives. I don’t know that they
deserve that, but at least as far as Hillman’s concerned, anything’s
better than going out on a 4-0 shutout loss to Fausto Carmona.

Michael Engel: it’s not his fault entirely. Hillman may wear the uniform, but he
doesn’t step up to bat or toe the rubber. But he’s also made enough odd
decisions that worked to the detriment of the team and their chances to
win ballgames . . . that he had to go.

Can’t say I disagree with any of that.

*A substantial portion of Posnanski’s
post
is devoted to the idea that Hillman’s biggest problem was that
he simply had never been in a Major League clubhouse and that his lack
of experiencing led him to all sorts of mistakes.  It’s definitely worth
reading. Most writers would simply assert Hillman’s lack of big league
experience as a problem and expect us to believe it because they said
it. But Posnanski provides multiple examples of how the lack of
experience worked to Hillman’s detriment, transforming what often sounds
like a cliche into strong analysis.

Chapman has trouble remembering convo with Cubs management about off-field behavior

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CHICAGO — Star closer Aroldis Chapman joined the Cubs on Tuesday, arriving to a mixed reaction in Chicago and saying he couldn’t remember what management told him about off-field expectations and behavior.

After Chapman’s awkward introductory news conference, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein insisted Chapman understands what the Cubs expect of him after an offseason domestic violence incident.

When the Cubs announced the trade with the New York Yankees on Monday, the team released a statement from Chairman Tom Ricketts saying they were aware of his 29-game suspension to begin the season under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

Ricketts said he and Epstein talked by phone with Chapman before the deal was completed and “shared with him the high expectations we set for our players,” adding that Chapman was “comfortable” with them.

But when asked repeatedly about that phone conversation before Tuesday’s game against the crosstown White Sox, Chapman said through an interpreter that he couldn’t recall details because he was taking a nap at the time the call came in.

The question was asked several more times. A Cubs spokesman once asked the question himself to the interpreter, coach Henry Blanco.

“It’s been a long day,” Chapman said. “Trying to remember.”

Asked again several minutes later during the group interview if he could now remember what Ricketts said, Chapman shook his head.

“I still don’t remember,” he said in Spanish.

Epstein called it a misunderstanding and that Chapman was “pretty nervous” as he faced seven cameras and more than two dozen reporters.

“I was on the call, Tom was on the call, Aroldis was on the call and Barry Praver, his agent, was on the call. It happened and it was real,” Epstein said before the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to the White Sox.

Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots in the garage of a Florida home in October. The woman later changed her story and no charges were filed.

“You learn from the mistakes that you make,” Chapman said.

The case caused the Los Angeles Dodgers to back out of an offseason trade for Chapman. Cincinnati eventually traded him to the Yankees, and after his suspension, the 28-year-old Cuban converted 20 of 21 save chances for New York.

The Cubs have long boasted of stocking their roster with high-character players, helping earn the “lovable losers” label they’ve carried for decades since their last World Series title in 1908.

But the Cubs (59-40) have retooled their roster under Epstein and have the best record in the major leagues despite Tuesday’s loss in which Chapman didn’t pitch. Chapman, who threw a 105 mph fastball last week, fills perhaps the team’s largest hole as he replaces Hector Rondon as closer.

The Cubs sent four players to the Yankees, including shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, to get one of the game’s top relievers. Epstein said they wouldn’t have made the deal if not for the phone call he and Ricketts had with Chapman.

“Tom laid out the exact same standards that he lays out to everyone in spring training,” Epstein said. “He said, extremely clearly, `Look, Aroldis, I tell all the players this in spring training and it’s important you hear it and I need to hear from you on this. We expect our players to behave. We hold our players to a very high standard for their behavior off the field. And we need to know you can meet that standard.’

“Aroldis said `I understand. Absolutely, I can.'”

The Cubs activated Chapman before Tuesday’s game and designated left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.

Reaction to Chapman’s acquisition in Chicago has been tepid. While there were supportive fans on talk radio, the Chicago Tribune carried a front-page column Tuesday criticizing the move. The back of the Chicago Sun-Times tabloid read “Spin City” over a picture of Epstein.

Chapman said he expected a “good reaction” from Cubs fans. He was also asked during the 20-minute meeting with reporters in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field if we would consider working with organizations looking to prevent domestic violence. Chapman said no.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon defended Chapman.

“He did do a suspension, he has talked about it, he’s shown remorse,” Maddon said. “Everybody else has the right to judge him as a good or bad person. That’s your right.

I want to get to know Aroldis. I think he could be a very significant member and he’s got the potential, yes, to throw the last out of the World Series. And if he does, I promise you I will embrace him.”

Report: Padres working on trading Andrew Cashner

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Starter Derek Norris #3 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Padres are working to trade starter Andrew Cashner. He notes that a deal may be consummated before he takes the hill for Tuesday’s start in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Marlins, Orioles, and Rangers have had reported interest in Cashner.

Cashner is 4-7 with a 4.79 ERA and a 61/27 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings. He missed over three weeks between June 11 and July 2 due to a strained neck.

The right-hander is earning $9.625 million this season and will be eligible for free agency after the season.