UPDATE: Andy Martino asked around and he says that Collins has not named Hernandez his second baseman. He’s merely in the mix, as they say. We could parse this I suppose — Martino is reporting peoples’ “sense” of the matter while Mike Puma says he got it from someone who has “direct knowledge” of the matter, but at some point the news is so small that if you parse the crap out of it you don’t have anything left to parse. It’s a job battle in which the established favorite is Luis Castillo. That is, by definition, small potatoes.
8:43 AM: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Terry Collins has settled on a starting second baseman for the Mets. And it’s not Luis Castillo. Or Daniel Murphy. Or even Brad Emaus. No, it’s Luis Hernandez:
Disenchanted with what he has seen from Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner this spring, manager Terry Collins is preparing to name Luis Hernandez the starter at second base, a source with direct knowledge of Collins’ plans told The Post yesterday. The move will be contingent upon Collins convincing the front office to find roster space for Hernandez.
Hernandez has only had 12 plate appearances this spring, so it seems that Collins has made his choice by default rather than on the merits of Hernandez himself.
Not that Hernandez has much of a track record to begin with. He’ll be 27 this year and has spent parts of four seasons in the bigs, but has never had more than 91 plate appearances. His highest OBP was an even .300 in 2007 with the Orioles. He has 3,324 plate appearances in the minors, however, where his career OBP is … .302. And his career high in home runs was six, which he did back in 2004 while bopping around the Braves system. One hopes that with such a demonstrated inability to hit that he’s a whiz with the glove, but if he was all that you’d think he’d be a shortstop or something.
Baffling move if true.
You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.
There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:
I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.
There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.
The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.
In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.
The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.
As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:
An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”
Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.
Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.