As I type this, Fred and Jeff Wilpon are giving a press conference regarding the firings of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. There have been some high points. Fred Wilpon acknowledging that the Mets haven’t won enough and, for the first time I can recall, speaking passionately about the team and saying that it means a lot of him and his family.
This one didn’t ring true, though: Jeff Wilpon, when asked if the next Mets’ GM will have full autonomy to make personnel decisions:
“The old general manager had that.”
Fred Wilpon added that Omar Minaya’s lack of autonomy is “a perception that’s out there, and it’s an incorrect perception.”
I guess the reason that perception is out there is that there have been countless reports by well-connected reporters saying otherwise. This perception isn’t helped by Fred Wilpon going on to admit that he and Jeff “don’t know how to pick ballplayers,: and that “there
isn’t one major decision that hasn’t been made at the Mets that hasn’t
been made with the three of us,” referring, I presume to both of the Wilpons and Minaya.
If the owner and the team president are in on every major personnel decision with the GM, how on Earth does the GM have autonomy?
There is a disturbing report out of the Dominican Republic, yet to be confirmed by police, but in wide circulation thanks to a series of tweets from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. The report: that looters encountered a still alive Yordano Ventura after his automobile accident, robbing of him his World Series ring and other possessions, before leaving him to die.
The report comes from Dominican Republic journalist Euri Cabral, who made the claim on a radio station. His comments were picked up by Martinez, who tweeted about it in Spanish. The tweets, collected and translated by the Royals Review blog:
“How outrageous to know that a life like Yordano’s could have been saved had it not been that they looted him the way he was looted . . . Now it is more painful to know that Yordano remained alive after the accident and instead of someone to help him, they robbed him and let him die . . . I hope an investigation will be carried out, because if there is any specific evidence of this, I would feel a great deal of shame for my country.”
As for the state of details which are currently confirmed, Rustin Dodd and Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star report that Ventura crashed his Jeep after leaving an annual festival, losing control and hitting a guardrail in a mountainous area in foggy conditions. Ventura was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was ejected from the vehicle.
Ventura’s family is said to be pushing for further investigation and clarification as to Cabral’s claims. We will obviously followup with anything Dominican authorities say on the matter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.