In an earlier post today I talked about how two things can be true at the same time. Here are two things that are both true: 1. Joe Maddon and the Cubs won the World Series; and 2. Joe Maddon didn’t optimally deploy Aroldis Chapman in the World Series.
I hope people can get their head around that, because it seems pretty obvious. He was used far too long with a big lead someone else could’ve protected in Game 6 and was obviously gassed in Game 7 as a result. Was it somewhat understandable that he wanted to nail down Game 6 in no uncertain terms? Sure. Did it all work out fine? Yes, of course it did. But it was still pretty riksy, many who know what they are talking about questioned it both at the time and after the fact and Maddon continues to be asked about it. With good reason.
Today Aroldis Chapman, his deal with the Yankees official, met the New York press. And he echoed the criticism of Joe Maddon:
Despite all of the criticism Maddon has received, it’s unusual for it to actually come from a player. Typically, even if a manager is hacking a pitcher’s arm off with a rusty chainsaw (figuratively speaking), the pitcher will say “I’m just doin’ what my manager asks of me and trying to help the ballclub win.” Thats often BS — and, like I said, I agree with Chapman’s assessment here — but it is notable that he’s saying it publicly. I’m guessing this will lead to a new round of people asking Maddon for comment on it all.
Which, in keeping with the two-things-can-be-true ethos, he would be totally justified in answering via fax on “2016 World Series Champion” stationary with a cover sheet made out of press clippings of Chapman’s $86 million deal. That stuff works both ways, you know.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.