Jon Daniels on Mets’ GM possibility: “My mom is loving this”

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That whole Mets-Jon Daniels thing? Not dead yet. At least not in the eyes of the New York media.

According to Bill Madden and Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, though the Mets haven’t asked permission to speak with Daniels, “executives following their search” say they might once the Rangers’ postseason run is over.

With his team preparing to take on the Yankees in the ALCS, Daniels dodged many questions when asked by various New York media outlets Thursday, but seems to be taking the speculation in stride.

“It’s not appropriate for me to comment on this during the playoffs,” Daniels said at first. When pressed further about the Mets, he added a more lighthearted comment, “My mom is loving this.”

Daniels is a native New Yorker and his mother still lives in Bayside, Queens. He also grew up a Mets fan, so the questions are inevitable and probably warranted. It doesn’t make him a realistic candidate for the job, though. Daniels has a team on the brink of the World Series, new ownership, a massive television deal and one of the best farm systems in the sport. Pretty hard to walk away from, even if it would make mom happy.

Wild Card, Division series umpires announced

Angel Hernandez
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Major League Baseball just released the umpire assignments for the Wild Card Game and the Division Series. As always, the basis for these assignments is a proprietary, scientific calculation undertaken by Major League Baseball, mixing in (a) skill; (b) seniority; and (c) trolling of baseball bloggers who, unlike 99% of the rest of the world actually know the names and track records of various umpires and who are easily riled.

Which is to say that, while we have no Joe West in the early playoff rounds this year — too obvious, perhaps? — we do get an Angel Hernandez.

Here are the assignments. The asterisks represent the crew chief of each unit. Guys with little up arrows next to their names are regular season crew chiefs in their own right. Print this out and keep it near your television so you know who to yell about before the broadcasters tell you who to yell at:

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Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon

I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.

First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:

+24 Cubs
+21 Rangers
+16 Astros
+15 Diamondbacks
+13 Twins
+11 Mets
+10 Blue Jays
+10 Cardinals
+10 Pirates

The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, seven made the playoffs. Only the Twins and Diamondbacks improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.

Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:

-20 Athletics
-16 Tigers
-15 Orioles
-14 Brewers
-13 Nationals
-13 Angels
-12 Braves
-12 Reds
-11 Mariners

Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.