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.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.