Mariners’ CEO Howard Lincoln recently sent a would-be morale-boosting email to his employees in which he rips the media for not knowing how things really work on a baseball team.
Seems Lincoln doesn’t really know how the media works either. As in, they tend to have sources in the front office who like to do things like leak silly internal emails. Geoff Baker got hold of this one, and reprints it in full over at the Seattle Times. The juiciest bit:
“If it seems to you like the local media is going out of its way to
trash the Mariners, well, you’re right, they are! And you can expect
this to continue as the season winds down. We’re getting hit like never
before–or at least never before in recent memory! Indeed, if you read
between the lines, you get the clear impression that at least one beat
reporter would love nothing better than to step right in and run the
Mariners. (Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen!) . . .
. . . I want you to know that Chuck, Jack and I have very thick skins and
that nothing said by the folks in the media or, for that matter, the
bloggers, is going to distract us from continuing to do our jobs to the
best of our ability, with the goal of giving our fans a championship
It strikes me that if you really have “very thick skins” you don’t much care what the media says and you don’t send silly emails like this. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a blogger who spends my day trying to distract baseball executives from continuing to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP