Sticking with Heyman, who reports that people in the Cubs’ organization expect Lou Piniella to retire at the end of the season.
This would shock me about as much as the sun coming up tomorrow morning. The Cubs are on the brink of a massive tear-down, one would assume, and given how weary Piniella has seemed at times this year, it doesn’t seem like he’d be up for that even if the Cubs asked him to come back.
Heyman says Ryne Sandberg is the top choice to replace Piniella. This is something many have said and it makes sense. Heyman thinks that Sandberg could maybe use a year or two as someone else’s bench coach, but I’m sure why that would be the case. It’s not like he hasn’t managed — he’s worked up the ladder in the minors — and it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around Wrigley Field or the Chicago media. Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who would be better prepared to just jump right in than Sandberg.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.