I know this much: we won’t know who the next manager of the Red Sox is until the Red Sox hire someone. I know that probably blew your mind a little bit when I told you that, but it’s true.
Still, it’s fun to speculate and handicap the candidates, and today Gordon Edes does that, naming and assessing 15 potential candidates.
Many of the names are ones we’ve heard so far: DeMarlo Hale, Pete Mackanin, Trey Hillman. A couple of wild cards are Ryne Sandberg and Bud Black. Black is pretty insane, actually. His team’s owner basically said Black has a job for life if he wants it, and Black is a close friend of Terry Francona’s, so why on Earth he’d wade into the muck in Boston is beyond me.
And then there’s comedy: Jerry Manuel. Which I have to think would be vetoed by Fox and ESPN if the Red Sox seriously considered him. I mean, the Yankees-Red Sox will probably always draw big numbers, but there’s no sense in tempting fate.
Final name of note: Joe McEwing. Who, while I guess he’s been a White Sox coach for a couple of years, is still an active player in my subjective little mind. Sure, it’s been four years, but he still isn’t over that “wait, he’s not playing any more?” hump.
Oh well. Have fun with the list.
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.