It’s so rare that you hear a team owner talk frankly about the big picture decisions that come with running a team. They all say they’re always trying to win. When they tear down and rebuild, they all talk about it being some inevitable process that was forced on them by the laws of Man and Nature, and that even so, the rebuilding will be brief and glorious and the team will be fun to watch as it happens. This strikes me as hooey most of the time, and an interview Jerry Reinsdorf gave to the White Sox beat guys yesterday bolsters that belief.
It’s a great read in which Reinsdorf notes that the Chisox could have gone either way this season, either letting their free agents go and packing it in or else going a bit nuts and loading up to catch Minnesota. Notably, he includes his thoughts about the profitability implications to all of that. It’s not often that you hear a team owner admit that, yeah, gutting the roster could make the team turn a profit and that rebuilding can often be a long slog during which some bad baseball is played, but Reinsdorf was pretty frank about it.
And best of all, he dropped a rather self-aware line:
“The idea of being bad for two or three years is a horrible thought when you’re 75 years old.”
One gets the sense that super rich dudes who own big businesses — especially sports teams — think they’re going to live forever. It’s nice to see that that’s not the case for everyone.
Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.
While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.
Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:
Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.
Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.
Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.
Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.
The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.