Barry Larkin has signed on to be Brazil’s manager for the World Baseball Classic and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has news of another big name taking a WBC gig:
Eric Gagne will be France’s pitching coach (he’s a French-Canadian from Montreal).
My first reaction was to be amused, but that only lasted a few seconds before I thought, “Wow, I’m old.”
Gagne debuted in 1999, won the Cy Young award in 2003, and last pitched in 2008 for the Brewers. He’s now 37.
I’m looking forward to a whole pitching staff throwing Vulcan changeups.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: