Ken Rosenthal has a good column up today about Didi Gregorius’ play at shortstop for the Yankees this spring. He’s been fantastic defensively, and the Yankees are really excited about it. It will change the way they shift and takes the load off of Chase Headley at third. It’s cool because, while it seems like everyone is thinking it, no one actually comes out and says “man, we were really, really harmed by Derek Jeter’s crap defense the past few years.”
Best part of it, though, is Alex Rodriguez’s breakdown of Gregorius’ game. He does it in scout language, and sounds pretty insightful and intelligent doing so. Like, he’s auditioning for a scouting or coaching job in the future.
Which, my god, I really hope happens.
BSOHL is our favorite beat-like-a-dead-horse meme around these parts. Our third favorite one is the stuff about how Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson would’ve decapitated someone for, well, whatever somebody did in yesterday’s ballgame that an old sportswriter didn’t like.
But our second favorite one is “If the Boss was still alive!” columns. You know how those work: when a New York columnist lacks an angle and decides to channel the glory days of George Steinbrenner. And, of course, it’s almost always writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with those of George Steinbrenner.
Bill Madden of the Daily News is good for a couple of these a year. Here he is this morning, noting that George Steinbrenner often got upset when, as the 2015 Yankees just did, his Yankees dropped spring training games to the Mets. He sets up with an old (but good!) Steinbrenner anecdote, notes that people don’t take spring training games seriously like he did anymore and how, as such, no one with the 2015 Yankees had an outburst about the losses to the Mets like Big Stein would’ve. Then closes with, of course, a question to Joe Girardi about how The Boss would’ve reacted if he were still alive.
Which, hey, it’s New York and they’re gonna do this until every single person with a living memory of Steinbrenner has died or retired. I’d only wish that when they do do this they’d note for the record that, when it came to stuff like this, Steinbrenner was a certified crazy person who completely lacked perspective about certain things. And that, as such, wondering what he might do in the current situation is akin to asking what David Berkowitz might do if the next door neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.
You remember this play from the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the World Series, of course. The one in which Alex Gordon took third base on an outfield error and maybe — maybe — had a shot to go home and tie the game:
Most folks who have considered that play have concluded that, had Gordon attempted to go home, he would have been out. I was there in person, with a nice bird’s eye view of the play, and it looked to me that he would have been out. Matthew broke it down after it happened and it looked to him as if Gordon would’ve been out too. Just about everyone says so.
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has a story looking at that play again, breaking it down once more. The conclusions don’t change, but the article is interesting because unlike all of the frame-by-frame breakdowns you’ve seen of it, this is accompanied by quotes and insights from the players involved. What was going on in their minds, what they thought the chances of success were and everything.
Obviously they have all been asked questions about it before, but this is a bit of a deeper dive. They’ve had more time to consider it. And having it all together in a piece like this makes that play come alive in ways that it hasn’t been alive since last October. Definitely worth your time.
This is sad. And, frankly, as a bald-American it’s almost galling to see someone as follicly-gifted as Andrew McCutchen is squander his gifts in such a fashion. But it’s still a free country, I guess, and he can do what he wants.
I just hope he understands that this is like standing in front of someone who is starving and throwing a perfectly-cooked steak in a toilet.
Silver lining: Nesbitt reports that McCutchen’s hair will be auctioned off at MLB.com and the proceeds will go to benefit Pirates charities.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go bid on an auction. No reason.
This could be nothing. Or it could be something. It’s so weird that it’s hard to get a handle on it. But it’s something that, according to the Miami New Times, MLB is “looking into,” so it’s at least on the radar of interesting.
Short version: Miami Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart was in some weird Twitter exchange last night, the upshot of which suggested that he’s a gambler. Like, a big gambler:
The person who tweeted that is, apparently, involved in online gambling and the exchange was much discussed in those circles last night. After a lot of people started tweeting at Cosart he deleted his tweets and then deleted his account. This morning he’s claiming he was hacked, which, OK Jarred.
To be sure, it’s totally unclear what, if anything, Cosart “bets LARGE” on. This time of year it’s a decent bet that it’s college basketball or something. It’s also unclear whether, if there is actually gambling here rather than just big dumb talking, it’s illegal gambling or is otherwise violative of MLB rules. But hey, that’s why MLB is looking into it, right? And it’s entirely possible that MLB is more concerned with Cosart being a social media doofus than anything having to do with gambling.
In related news, why ballplayers don’t realize by now that tweeting things is equivalent to standing in front of an open mic and a camera crew is beyond me. As is why they think deleting tweets or their account solves anything. The internet never forgets.