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.
Chris Sale was recently suspended five games by the White Sox over a heated confrontation with front office staff over an issue concerning throwback uniforms the team was to wear against the Tigers. Sale was scratched from his scheduled start, forcing Matt Albers to make a spot start.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the White Sox players also collectively protested over another issue. The club was in Seattle for a three-game series at Safeco Field from July 18-20 last week. The Mariners have a new clubhouse policy that, as Rosenthal describes, redirects 60 percent of the dues into an account managed by the team. White Sox players did not agree with the policy because “Mariners management unilaterally entered a financial relationship that historically has existed between only players and ‘clubbies,'” Rosenthal explains.
Clubhouse attendants handle a lot of the players’ needs, typically doing a litany of chores throughout the day. They don’t get paid handsomely for their labor, so players often tip the clubhouse attendants for their hard work. The White Sox were protesting that the money was being redirected from the hardworking clubbies to the front office.
Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto confirmed that the White Sox were the first team to refuse payment to the visiting clubhouse manager Jeff Bopp. DiPoto also noted that other teams have reacted with “curiosity” and that the Giants backtracked after adjusting its clubhouse procedures last year following complaints from visiting players.
This is the third controversy in which the White Sox have been involved. Before the start of the regular season, some members of the club were upset that Adam LaRoche — now retired — often brought his son Drake into the clubhouse. Then there’s the Sale incident, and now this. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting year for the White Sox.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the entire Rangers “inner circle of front office personnel” was on hand to watch Edinson Volquez start for the Royals against the Rangers on Sunday. Volquez went six innings, giving up a lone run on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
Volquez, 33, is earning $9.5 million this season and can become a free agent after the season if his team chooses to buy him out for $3 million instead of picking up their end of his $10 million mutual option for 2017. GM Jon Daniels said he was hoping the club would be able to avoid considering rentals, but as the club has dealt with injuries, the strength of the starting rotation has become a concern. Colby Lewis and Derek Holland are both on the disabled list. Yu Darvish has made only five starts since making his season debut in late May. Meanwhile, Kyle Lohse — who has given up 13 runs in two starts — has occupied the back of the rotation. A reliable starter would go along way towards helping the 57-42 Rangers fight to keep first place in the AL West.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports also reports that the Rangers have shown interest in young Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez, but they would pay a much higher price for him than for Volquez. Velasquez has a 3.34 ERA with a 103/34 K/BB ratio in 91 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season.