How much of this is politeness towards the Cubs upon being asked a question about them and how much of this is Bobby V. actually wanting the job is hard to say, but . . .
The ESPN analyst and former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager
says he’s interested in taking over for the retiring Lou Piniella after
Valentine, who led the Mets to the pennant in 2000 and managed the
Texas Rangers, calls the Cubs job “one of the most coveted positions in
all of sports” and adds “anybody who thinks of himself as a manager
would love to be considered as one of the people who might take his
place.” Valentine spoke before Sunday’s game between the Cubs and Cardinals.
He returned to ESPN during the 2009 playoffs after his second stint
as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League. He says
he won’t leave the network “unless something very special came up,” and
the Cubs job “falls in the category of very special.”
I still can’t see how the Cubs could go in any direction but Ryne Sandberg. He’s a local legend who has clearly stated that he wants the job and, most importantly, he has put his time in down in the minors for the express purpose of getting it. If he isn’t given the job he leaves the organization, right?
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.