There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today about what the Astros face in rebuilding and, more specifically, how their new owner and new GM are approaching it. The best news in the article: the color orange is going to make a comeback in the new uniforms for next year.
The most interesting part, however, is this. At least to me:
Symbolically, the most significant change might be in Luhnow’s office. Most general managers have depth charts of all 30 teams and their own farm clubs covering their walls for quick visual reference. Luhnow hates them.
“That board was in the office that I inherited back in December, and one of the first things I did was ask them to take it out,” he said. “Depth charts are something that I can get online at the stroke of a button.”
I’d be curious to know how many GMs actually have those things up on the walls still. That’s kind of mind-blowing to me. I mean, I don’t play fantasy baseball and I’m kind of a lame old man when it comes to technology, but how hard is this?
Even Brian Sabean could store those on his Commodore64, hooked to the Internet via GEOS.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.