Joe Torre, Bud Black conspire to ruin John Lindsey's major league debut

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Recall from Tuesday that John Lindsey was finally called up by the Dodgers after 15 years in the minor leagues. Last night he was poised to make his big league debut against the Padres, but the fates — and a little over-managing — ruined it.

Lindsey didn’t start, but he was sent to pinch hit for Scott Podsednik — facing lefty Joe Thatcher — with one out in the top of the eighth inning. After his name was announced, however, Bud Black replaced Thatcher with righty Luke Gregerson. This caused Joe Torre to call Lindsey back and send up Andre Ethier instead. Ethier promptly hit into an inning-ending double
play. Lindsey ended up with his name in the box score, but no actual game action to show for it.

I suppose you can’t expect Bud Black not to play the matchups there. He’s in a tight pennant race after all. But jeez, he did have a 4-0 lead. Torre has less of an excuse. I mean, everything we’ve seen from the Dodgers over the last week or two suggests that they’ve quit already, so what’s the harm in letting a righty face a righty in that situation?

Oh well, unless Lindsey is hit by a streetcar this morning it won’t much matter, as Torre says that he’ll get a start on Saturday in Houston. Still, what do you think was going through Lindsey’s mind as he prepared to take his first major league pitch, only to here zombie Joe Torre call him back to the dugout?

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.