The New York Times’ David Waldstein speculates today that the Mets would be wise to look into hiring Stan Kasten, who resigned as President of the Nats yesterday. He’s got a great track record, Waldstein says. He’s from New Jersey!
Both of which are true. Also true is that, if Jeff Wilpon takes it upon himself to micromanage baseball operations to such a degree that no reputable GM would want to take the job, why on Earth would he ever consider bringing in a guy who basically does the same thing he does, but has done it much, much better over the years?
I’m not trying to trash Waldstein’s premise here — I like “what if” thought experiments like this. It just strikes me that Mets fans — and in Waldstein’s case, Mets followers — are entering into some psychological state, borne of suffering under the Wilpons, in which they’ll entertain any thought that could solve the team’s problems, no matter how unrealistic it is.
It’s not their fault. They’re victims here.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.