Searching for empathy … searching for empathy … nope, can’t find any:
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he was disappointed that his club didn’t at least get a chance to “have a conversation” before Hamilton accepted any deal … “there was a relationship over time. I thought we understood that we had a chance to at least have a conversation.”
Thing about that relationship over time: it afforded you months, if not years, prior to the end of the 2012 baseball season to offer a contract extension to Hamilton without him being able to talk to anyone else. And nothing at all prevented you from talking to Hamilton since the end of the season until yesterday. Yet you never had any sense of urgency about that. Here’s Daniels two weeks ago:
“I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we’re not necessarily driving the timetable. There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it’s been fine.”
And during the Winter Meetings, when Hamilton was reported to have had serious conversations with the Mariners, Daniels did not meet with Hamilton — who actually went to Nashville personally — or his agents:
The Rangers are also ready to make an offer to Hamilton although Daniels has not yet met with agent Mike Moye since arriving in Nashville on Sunday. Daniels said he’s not sure if he will meet with Moye before the meetings end on Thursday.
“We may, but we don’t have anything set in stone,” Daniels said.
You snooze, you lose, Jon. And you snoozed. Which means that if you really wanted Josh Hamilton back, you blew it.
And if you didn’t truly want him back and had no intention of matching a five year, $125 million offer, you’re just grandstanding here in order to get your very angry fans to be mad at Hamilton, not you and Nolan Ryan. Which is pretty freakin’ weak.
On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.
The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.