Blue Jays reliever reliever Aaron Loup had a family emergency that caused him to miss Game 4 of the ALCS yesterday and Game 5 today. That leaves the Jays one man short. Why? Because there is no bereavement leave in the playoffs.
As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains, the Jays even petitioned the league to allow them to put Loup on the disabled list. They did this knowing that, if he was DL’d, he’d be lost for the World Series if the Jays get that far too. That rule makes sense in that it keeps teams from making phony DL designations.
The no bereavement rule, however, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Perhaps it’s there in order to prevent roster shenanigans as well, but this isn’t middle school and no one is going to lie about their grandmother dying or come back with a phony excuse note signed “Epstein’s Mother’s Doctor.” In this day and age such a thing would not be able to be kept a secret either, and any team which tried to game the bereavement list in the playoffs would have to deal with a huge fallout. It’s just not worth it and is pretty self-policing, one would think.
A team should be allowed to replace a player if real life intrudes and deprives them of his services. Here’s hoping Major League Baseball revisits this rule.
Ned Yost was on MLB Network radio’s pregame show with Grant Paulsen and Jim Bowden this afternoon. As you may be aware, his Kansas City Royals are poised to clinch the AL pennant this evening in Toronto.
Which would immediately be followed by a flight back to the United States. If so, Ned Yost has something he’s looking for:
“I told the coaches today, if we can win this game, it’s going to be really really fun watching 35 drunk guys try to get through customs . . . That’s what I’m hoping to see.”
Which is fine. If they do it tonight they’ll have five days off to recover.
If you’re Terry Collins, there isn’t a better time than now to ask for a contract extension. Of course he needn’t actually ask — the Mets were already likely to do something this offseason given that he’s not under contract for next year and they’d certainly want him back — but he certainly has the leverage.
Against that backdrop Jon Heyman is reporting that Collins is “telling friends” that he’d like a two-year deal. That’s not excessive for a guy about to win a pennant, but Collins is 66 now and Heyman says he likely doesn’t want to manage forever. There’s life to be lived and stuff.
Collins has 11 years as a manager under his belt and is 838-850 overall. With the Mets he’s 394-416 in five seasons. 2015 was his first first place finish ever and, for that matter, his first trip to the postseason.