Peer-reviewing the GMs

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The Buster Olney story I mentioned earlier today in which he got the inside dirt from general managers about general manager is up. It’s Insider only, however, and will be in the July 12th edition of ESPN the Magazine. Some highlights:

  • Easiest GM to make a deal with: Jim Hendry, Cubs. And no, it’s not because he’s a bad GM who is easy to fleece. It’s because he’s a nice guy and people just like him. And because he’s easy to fleece, I’d guess.
  • Toughest: Brian Sabean, for the points mentioned in today’s earlier article. Ned Colletti is an honorable mention because GMs don’t know that he really has any authority when they talk to him.  Probably because he’s being steered by a couple of psycho owners and V-Energy and everything.
  • Great quote about Omar Minaya being a “card player”: “He’ll offer you a $5 bill and ask for two 10s in return.”
  • An intriguing vote of confidence for Theo Epstein: “Theo’s career has been helped by being in Boston, but I think that if
    you had put him in Kansas City five years ago, they’d be pretty good
    right now.”
  • And finally, something I’ve heard said about the Rays’ Andrew Friedman before, though I’m not sure we know enough about what GMs do all day to really say for sure: “He’s the best GM in the game.”

Anyway, it’s a pretty neat article. One of the few that ESPN puts out there that, in my opinion anyway, justifies an Insider subscription.  If they did more stuff like this I’d tell everyone to put their money down for it.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.