Hours after listing Derek Jeter as his designated hitter for Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he won’t deviate from the plan in order to help his superstar reach 3,000 hits as home.
But… that’s like… right after he listed Jeter as a DH…
The Yankees play their next 10 games at home and Jeter is 14 hits away from 3,000, so he could well get there if he heats up just a little bit. However, he’s likely going to have to be put on pace to play in all 10 of them, and that’s exactly what Girardi is thinking with the decision to let him DH tonight.
It is Jeter’s fifth start at DH this season. He went 4-for-19 with one RBI and no runs scored in the first four. Overall, he’s batting .260/.327/.325 while getting 100 percent of his at-bats from the first or second spot in the order. That’s certainly not something that’s going to change until after he reaches 3,000.
“You would love for him to do it here,” Girardi said. “We have 10 games on this homestand — 14 hits he needs. I would love for him to do it here, but you can’t physically wear him down or risk hurting him to do that. We are going to have to be smart about how we do this and we are going to probably play it the way we have all year long.”
Which basically means letting Jeter have his way and hoping that it doesn’t hurt the team in the process.
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.