When we all woke up this morning the buzz was that the Mets were poised to fire hitting coach Howard Johnson. Now Andy Martino of the Daily News hears from his sources that if they Mets were really going to can HoJo, they would have done it already.
I stand by my belief that firing a hitting coach over a team’s won-loss record is about as useful as a rain dance or rubbing a rabbit’s foot. Heck, maybe less useful, because at least rain dances and rubbing a rabbit’s foot are acts borne of some positive impulse that could at least give everyone involved some peace of mind.
Not that I’m alone in this. Indeed, I saw a number of people in the sporting press and the greater Mets Kingdom express similar sentiments today. Some even said that if Omar Minaya were to fire Johnson that he’d be doing so to distract from the more pressing need of firing Jerry Manuel or maybe even taking the fall himself. Part of me wonders if he saw some of that himself today and changes his mind.
If so, you owe all of us bloggers a beer, Johnson.
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:
He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.
Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.
After managing the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate to a 76-64 record this past season, the organization has promoted Joey Cora to third base coach for the major league club, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports. The Pirates fired previous third base coach Rick Sofield over the weekend.
Cora, 51, has plenty of coaching experience since retiring as a player in 1998. In the majors, he coached for the White Sox from 2004-11 and for the Marlins in 2012.
Cora briefly served as interim manager for the Marlins in 2012 when Ozzie Guillen was suspended, but has otherwise not been given a managerial position yet. He interviewed with the Brewers after the 2010 season and was a finalist but the organization ultimately chose Ron Roenicke. It’s easy to see Cora being a manager in the very near future, however.