Some great points from Ken Davidoff this morning regarding Hank Steinbrenner running off at the mouth yesterday. The upshot: though it’s hard to ignore what Hank Steinbrenner says because of his name and the sometimes outrageous nature of his remarks, we really can’t give them any weight beyond their entertainment value because the dude really has no power whatsoever in the Yankees organization.
I thought about this last night when a commenter said something about how Hank should have “kept this stuff in-house.” Actually, there is no “in-house” for this stuff. If Hank said it behind closed doors it would still be of no moment. No team executive with any power at all would actually criticize his star player for “building mansions.” In this, Hank’s ravings are no different than a fan hanging out with his buddies or a caller on a talk radio show. But he has the name and he has the office and he looks and carries himself way more like Big Stein than his brother Hal does, so we all understandably flock to it.
I don’t think it’s possible to ignore Hank Steinbrenner, if for no other reason than it would be kind of rude, after all of this time, for the beat writers to treat him as though he’s totally unimportant. He is notable in that way celebrities who don’t do anything are notable and nothing will ever change that. When he talks people will hold up the microphone, and I have no problem at all with this. But unless there’s a palace coup and Hank truly takes over, our analysis of Hank Steinbrenner’s comments should always end at “heh, that’s pretty funny/obnoxious/bizarrely insightful.” At no point should it extend to “what are the implications of what he said for the Yankees.”
As Davidoff notes, today people will ask Derek Jeter and Brian Cashman about what Hank said. They’ll dutifully respond because they’re professionals. My guess is the response will be akin to “he’s Mr. Steinbrenner and he can say what he likes and we understand that.” But they know and we should all realize that there is no actual significance to anything Hank Steinbrenner said as it relates to the Yankees.
The 2016-18 All-Star Games are spoken for, but the Cubs could play host not long thereafter according to commissioner Rob Manfred, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.
The Padres are hosting at Petco Park this year, the Marlins will host at Marlins Park next season, and the Nationals will host in 2018 at Nationals Park. That will make four consecutive National League hosts and five if the Cubs get it in 2019. In the past, the National and American Leagues have alternated hosting privileges. That is sort of important now since the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series.
The Cubs last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990 and have hosted a total of three times (1962 and 1947 being the other years) since its inception in 1933.
Wrigley Field has been undergoing renovations which are expected to be completed by the 2019 season. Manfred said that the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game “will provide the Cubs and Ricketts family a chance to showcase the unbelievable renovation they are in the midst of doing for Wrigley field.”
Update: Here’s a table showing the last time each team hosted the All-Star Game.
||Olympic Stadium (Expos)
||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
||Jack Murphy Stadium
||Oriole Park at Camden Yards
||The Ballpark in Arlington
||U.S. Cellular Field
||Minute Maid Park
||Angels Stadium of Anaheim
||Great American Ball Park
Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.
Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.
The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.
One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.
Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.
As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”
Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.
When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
The Marlins would like to add “another pitcher or two” before pitchers and catchers report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Among starting pitchers available, Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang, and Alfredo Simon are candidates for the Marlins, but they may hold out for the possibility of inking a major league contract. Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are other potential candidates, per Frisaro.
This offseason, the Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million deal and Edwin Jackson for the major league minimum. The back of the rotation, though, is still a question mark as Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino will compete with Jackson for two spots. David Phelps is dealing with an elbow injury and may or not be ready by Opening Day, but he could function in a swingman capacity as well.