That’s the speculation from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While Terry Francona likes his ESPN gig, he’s expected to consider returning to the dugout as some team’s manager next year.
The problem right now is that there don’t project to be many openings. Houston, obviously, but Francona probably isn’t a fit for what will surely be a long-term rebuild. Boston almost surely will have one, but there’s no way that’s happening.
That’s why Heyman links Francona to Detroit and Cleveland. Jim Leyland’s contract will expire at season’s end — he’s only been working on one-year deals of late — and the Tigers might be ready to make a change if they fail to reach the postseason in what, thus far, has been a disappointing campaign.
As for the Indians, they’ve already said Manny Acta is coming back. Also, it’s not all that attractive of a job with ownership having such tight purse strings of late. Even if Francona was open to the possibility, they might not be interested in making Francona one of the game’s highest-paid managers while still on the hook to Acta for another year.
One would think Francona will be pretty picky about his next job. Detroit would be a good situation. But barring a surprise (Dusty Baker moving on? Charlie Manuel retiring? Mike Scioscia getting fired?), there might not be any particularly attractive openings this winter.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.