I don’t think the full article is up yet (UPDATE: Yes it is. I missed it. It’s Insider only, however), but Buster Olney writes today that ESPN.com is going to run the results of a baseball general manager survey in which the GMs rate one another on things like who’s the easiest to work with, who’s the toughest negotiator, etc. I’m loking forward to reading it.
But Buster does give us a delicious preview of the results, and it matches a gut feeling I’ve had for a long time:
Without a doubt, however, the GM who got hammered in a way I never
expected was the Giants’ Brian Sabean, for one simple reason — rival
executives say they cannot get him on the phone. They cannot get him to
return messages. In a couple of cases, some GMs say they don’t even
bother calling Sabean, they just go straight to assistant Bobby Evans.
feeling of the other GMs is that beyond the issue of simple etiquette
— “It’s just flat-out disrespectful to not return a call,” said one GM
— Sabean isn’t putting himself in position to hear trade ideas that
could benefit the Giants. “What happens if somebody calls to offer Brock for Boglio?” said one GM. “That’s what I get nervous about — what
if the other team is shopping a really good player and he gets traded
without me getting involved? That’s why I return all calls.”
People can’t really change what they are, and what we are comes out no matter how hard we try to hide it. In addition to hurting his own team, not returning calls is jerk behavior, and Sabean has shown himself to be a jerk before (read the part about former trainer Stan Conte’s disagrements with Sabean and tell me that Sabean isn’t a jerk of a boss).
Always fun to read some good Sabean slamming.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.