David Wright

Hapless Marlins sweep Haplesser Mets

41 Comments

The Mets had Matt Harvey on the mound today and they got three homers for the offense. That should be a sure recipe to snap a little two-game losing streak, right?

No, not even close. The Mets blew a 6-4 lead as the bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings Sunday in an 11-6 loss to the Marlins. It gave Miami its first three-game sweep of the season.

The Marlins were 13-41 and were averaging 2.7 runs per game this season before busting out for 24 runs in the three games against the Mets. Ed Lucas, a 31-year-old who just made his major league debut Thursday, went 4-for-4, and rookie Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs. Greg Dobbs punctuated the win with a three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth.

Harvey had a rare off day for the Mets, giving up four runs in five innings, but he still left with the lead. Of course, that didn’t last. Scott Rice came in to start the sixth and followed up a groundout with three straight walks. For some reason, he was allowed to continue, and Ozuna delivered a two-run double to erase the lead.

Rice, whose only value is as a lefty specialist, was allowed to face seven batters in all and gave up four runs. He took his fourth loss to go along with three victories. It’s a truly remarkable number of decisions for a guy who should be getting one or two outs most games. He’s been involved in three more decisions than anyone else who could be considered a lefty specialist (Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee and the Yankees’ Boone Logan are both 2-2). It doesn’t make Terry Collins look good that the most inconsequential pitcher on the staff has been that much of a factor.

The lone good news for the Mets today was that Ike Davis had a two-run homer and an RBI single. The homer, which was estimated at over 420 feet, was his first since April 25.

The Mets are now 22-32 on the season. Only the Marlins and Brewers have worse records in the NL.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates Rajai Davis #20 two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $5 million contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

Sarasota County to build the Braves a new spring training facility

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-10-30-29-am
8 Comments

The Braves have trained at Walt Disney World for several years. The lease is up, however, and they’ve been on the hunt for a new facility for some time. Disney is just too geographically remote from most of the Grapefruit League facilities so they’ve looked on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for some time.

Their search appears to be over, however, as they have reached an agreement to move to Sarasota:

The Atlanta Braves formally plan to move the team’s spring training home to North Port in 2019, the team and Sarasota County announced Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement set the stage for final negotiations this spring on a contract to bring the Major League Baseball team to a new complex in the West Villages district just south of West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41, near the State College of Florida campus in North Port.

It’ll be a $75-$80 million complex on 70 acres. The story says it’s envisioned to anchor a “town center” commercial and residential district. If anyone has ever been to a spring training facility, however, one knows how ridiculous such an idea is. There is nothing more geographically un-centered and dispersed than a spring training facility. It’s a sea of open fields which private citizens generally cannot access and large parking lots. These facilities typically require major arteries, not quaint town streets, for reasonable access. The best any facilities do to integrate with surrounding communities can be seen in Fort Myers with the Twins and in Surprise, Arizona with the Rangers and Royals, where the facilities are part of larger community parks and recreation centers. That’s OK, and certainly better than nothing, but they’re not the anchors of the vibrant live/work/shop developments like the Braves and Sarasota are describing here.

But of course everyone involved has to say that, because selling such facilities as the engine of pie-in-the-sky development is a key part of making the large expenditure of public funds seem more palatable. And yes, there will be a big expenditure of public funds here: the Braves will be getting $56 million in taxpayer subsidies for the new place, some from the state, some from the county. The amount from the county, by the way, is calculated to fall just below the threshold required for a public vote on the expenditure. The Braves have always been blessed with the ability to avoid public votes for their corporate welfare, of course.

One wonders how many other wealthy private businesses owned by multinational corporations get tens of millions in tax dollars to build employee training centers. Not many, I’m sure. The Braves always seem to luck out in this regard, however.