Shaun Marcum

Shaun Marcum calls out Mets TV announcers


Shaun Marcum has a lot of spare time on his hands right now since he’s recovering from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, so he took to Twitter early yesterday to criticize the Mets television announcers.

Marcum was apparently compelled to write after Ron Darling criticized Frank Francisco for hitting Jayson Werth with a pitch on Thursday. Here’s what Darling said on the SNY broadcast, courtesy of MetsBlog.

“Boy, that was obvious,” Ron Darling said during SNY’s broadcast. ”For you folks at home — and you hear me all the time say ‘That wasn’t intentional.’ Well, this one was intentional. I mean, that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. Base open, behind in the count, nails him in the back. You know what that does? It gets one of your players hit in the next inning. Put [Francisco] up to bat next inning. These things aren’t forgotten, and if it’s not forgotten this season it won’t be next year, either.”

And here’s what Marcum had to say on his Twitter account:

Marcum went 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA in 10 starts and two relief appearances with the Mets prior to surgery in July. Darling, Gary Cohen, and Keith Hernandez are widely regarded as one of the best television crews in the business, so such overt criticism is odd and unexpected, but let’s just say that Marcum will not be picking up one of their bobbleheads.

Nationals fire reigning Manager of the Year Matt Williams

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.

Today the Nationals fired Williams and his entire coaching staff following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.

Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.

His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.

Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.

Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.

Dan Haren plans to retire after the playoffs are over

Dan Haren
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Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.

At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.

However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:

That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.

Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.