Joel Sherman reports that that new Mets GM Sandy Alderson wants to bring Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi on board. Both of these guys, you’ll recall, worked under Alderson in Oakland before going off on their own GM frolics. Depodesta’s was, in hindsight anyway, pretty successful with the Dodgers, even if they still don’t realize it. Ricciardi’s in Toronto, not so much, but not terrible either. Whatever you thought of them as top dogs, though, both are smart baseball guys and rarely do you go wrong by assembling a team full of smart people.
Sherman also says that Alderson is likely to go with an Oakland A’s-style manager: low key, low profile, and totally subservient to the front office. This would seem to eliminate Wally Backman from consideration. That won’t make a lot of Mets fans happy — the fascination with Backman seems to be taking on epic proportions — but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring him in as a third base coach or something. Whatever happens, I have this feeling that Alderson will navigate that PR minefield just fine.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.