Scene: New York Post newsroom, bottom of the tenth inning, Game 4 of the World Series.
Editor: He struck Cabrera out! It’s over.
Joel Sherman: Oh well. Season’s over. Good night.
Editor: Wait, where are you going? I need a column on how this relates to the Yankees, and I need it by morning!
Joel Sherman: But … what possible … I mean …
Editor: Do it!
In so many ways Lincecum is Alex Rodriguez: spectacularly rich, successful, famous beyond the contours of a baseball field and even the owner of a catchy nickname. He also lost his job in the postseason … Lincecum has done more with a lesser role while those asked to fill in for a superstar have done so brilliantly … Look, if Rodriguez would have hit in a reduced role or been picked up by those around him, you wouldn’t be reading this sentence. Instead …
I really can’t think of a column with less of a coherent point. If someone can tell me how a benched position player can contribute in the way a pitcher moved into a key bullpen role can, fine, I’ll accept it. But this is not just an apples and oranges comparison. It’s apples and rudimentary lathes.
Folks, it’s not always about the Yankees. Trying to make it so leads to nightmares like this.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.