I’ve chafed at the notion — increasingly repeated by some of you out there in Internet Land — that Andy Pettitte is “pulling a Brett Favre.” He’s not. Favre retired and then un-retired and each time he did it he used his many, many friends in the football media to play the drama up to his maximal advantage. Pettitte may be privately dithering, but he has gone home and he has stayed quiet and hasn’t been yanking anyone’s chain as far as I can tell.
Not that Brian Cashman hasn’t worried about him doing that a bit. Here’s Cashman, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast today, as reported in the Trentonian:
“Andy has talking about being home for years. Being from Texas and having to be in New York for six months out of the year can be hard because he has kids and he’s missing important time with them. He’s opting not to play right now but that might change it might not. I told him don’t ‘Brett Favre’ us. You got to be all in and fully dedicated to play. Do I need him? I need him, but I don’t want him to play if his heart’s not in it.”
I know the Pettitte situation is unusual and that we all want some resolution to it one way or the other, but I think Cashman and Pettitte have handled it about as well as anyone could have handled this. No one has said anything dumb. To the extent anyone has said anything at all it has been to correct media reports that have overstated this or that.
I would have told Pettitte not to “Brett Favre” me too. And good for him for not doing so.
But any time you want to tell folks what you’re doing next season, Andy, that would be great. And remember: the “don’t Brett Favre us” rule probably applies to manner in which you tell Cashman what you’re doing too, not just the substance. So please: no texting.
(link via BTF)
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.