Bobby Valentine continues to slam the Marlins

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I swear, this will be the last time I post on Bobby Valentine. At least for a long time. That is, at least if nothing interesting happens.  Screw it, we’re launching BobbyValentine Talk next Monday. I’m pulling the trigger on this bad boy!

Anyway, Bobby V. was on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Russo show today and he offered some more interesting commentary on his odyssey with the Marlins:

“You know, I mean, I was reading in the
paper I wasn’t a candidate,
you know?  And I don’t really like that stuff.  You know, we did have
conversations and then the next thing I know their leaks have people
writing
things that I’m no longer a candidate and they’re going in another
direction.  Well, you know, if that’s the case tell me.  I’m a big
boy.  It’s real easy.”

The most obvious explanation to that is that Valentine was only Jeff Loria’s candidate and that the front office bucked under Loria’s diktat and leaked that stuff to the papers to undermine Valentine’s candidacy and maybe to even tease out the very negative reaction from Valentine displayed in the above quote.

The alternative: the Marlins really are a bunch of sociopaths who all agreed to cut bait on Valentine at once and decided to simply not tell him.  I can’t decide which is worse for the Marlins long term: a house divided or a house united in idiocy.  At least the former has them thinking half-right.

Valentine also added something else, when asked about his interaction with the Orioles, that suggests that just maybe he won’t be managing anywhere in the big leagues any time soon:

“To tell you the truth, the in-season
stuff where you have all the
rules and regulations that are set forth – rightfully so, I guess – by
the
commissioner that you have to interview so many different types of
people from
in and outside your organization before you’re allowed to hire a person
you
want to, it’s a pretty tough process.  I don’t know that it’s tough. 
It doesn’t seem like it’s the way most industries do it.”

So he either doesn’t like how Major League Baseball wants its clubs to approach managerial hires or else he only wants to be a part of a process in which he’s the only candidate. I guess it could be a combination of those things.
Either way, it makes him a rather difficult candidate for almost any team to woo, does it not?

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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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.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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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.