I had this headline coming in August, not June, but hey, the early bird gets the rage-induced aneurysm.
This is less notable for what Collins actually said than because it is, by far, the biggest Mets managerial outburst since that time last year when Jerry Manuel put down the book he was reading, readjusted his position in his chair, cleared his throat, took a sip of iced tea and picked his book back up again.
Anyway, here was what Terry Collins had to say to the press last night after he blew up at his players for a while:
“I sit up every night trying to figure out, what can we do to get us over the top. Should we hit and run more? Well, who do you have up there – you have guys up there you shouldn’t hit and run with. Should we bunt more? Well, if we don’t get bunts down, you’re putting them in situations to fail … Guys are pitching good and we get in situations where we’ve got to make a pitch, we don’t make a pitch. I don’t have the answers. I’m searching. I’m wringing the rag dry of coming in here and looking at you guys [the media], and having you look at me like I’m a stinking fool.
“They’re big league players. They should be able to do it,” he said. “I told the coaches, ‘We’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to take responsibility for this. I mean, I’m the manager. It comes back on my shoulders. Maybe I have to make some adjustments. And by God, they’ll be made. I don’t know if it comes with finding different players, but something’s going to be changed.”
The Mets are losers of eight of 11, but I probably don’t need to tell you that.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.