The New York Mets announced today that Paul DePodesta has been named Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson. He joins J.P. Ricciardi in the “Former GMs Who Made Their Bones While Working for the Alderson/Beane ‘Moneyball’ Atheltics Teams Club.”
DePodesta’s tenure as Dodgers’ GM was kind of a pain for him. He only got two seasons — and only one offseason — as the Dodgers GM. Hired just as spring training was getting underway in 2004, he was let go right after the 2005 season ended. Not all of his moves worked out, but he was hounded by the media — Bill Paschke and T.J. Simers called him “Google Boy” in ignorant disdain of his sabermetric background — and ultimately cut loose by Frank McCourt.One wonders what would have happened had he actually been given a chance to breathe. Oh well, a lack of respect for DePodesta seems to be a common theme, sadly. In the upcoming “Moneyball” movie he’s being replaced by a fictitious character played by Jonah Hill, who probably could not be a more polar opposite from DePodesta physically speaking. I’d think that would bug me more than getting canned by McCourt.
The important fact here, though, is that DePodesta is bright. As is J.P. Ricciardi. As is Sandy Alderson. And in them, the Mets have a sharp-as-a-tack front office team working for them now.
The Yankees guaranteed their place in the postseason with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Sonny Gray led the charge against their division rivals, clinching his 10th win of the season with six innings of four-hit, one-run, four-strikeout ball.
Gray worked into a little trouble in the first inning, putting runners in scoring position after Josh Donaldson drew a four-pitch walk and Justin Smoak advanced him with a single. The Yankees’ ace induced two quick outs to end the threat, but was overpowered by a Teoscar Hernandez home run in the third inning, the rookie’s fourth blast of the season:
Thankfully for the Yankees, that was the only run that slipped through the cracks. Gray finished the remainder of his outing with two hits and two walks and was backed by another three scoreless innings from the bullpen. Greg Bird supplied the go-ahead run with a three-RBI shot in the fifth inning, plating Chase Headley and Starlin Castro to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.
Todd Frazier tacked on another solo homer in the eighth, while Starlin Castro returned in the ninth to cap the win with an RBI single. Aroldis Chapman did the rest, wielding just 10 pitches to get three straight outs from Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar and Rob Refsnyder.
Following Saturday’s win, the Yankees have at least secured one wild card berth, though they’re not out of the division race just yet. They still sit a full four games back of first place in the AL East, with eight games left to play.
Brian Dozier had a bonafide Little League moment during Saturday’s contest against the Tigers. In the first inning, the Twins’ second baseman squared up a bunt against Detroit left-hander Matt Boyd, which was scooped by Jeimer Candelario halfway up the third base line. The throw to first skirted the bag, allowing Dozier to touch all the bases and slide home to score the Twins’ first run of the game.
In other words, it was just your run-of-the-mill bunt home run:
Officially, the play was scored as a single and run scored on a throwing error. Still, if this is a sampling of the kind of plays we can expect to see from the Twins this October, it’s shaping up to be one wacky postseason.