Bobby Valentine continues to slam the Marlins

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I swear, this will be the last time I post on Bobby Valentine. At least for a long time. That is, at least if nothing interesting happens.  Screw it, we’re launching BobbyValentine Talk next Monday. I’m pulling the trigger on this bad boy!

Anyway, Bobby V. was on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Russo show today and he offered some more interesting commentary on his odyssey with the Marlins:

“You know, I mean, I was reading in the
paper I wasn’t a candidate,
you know?  And I don’t really like that stuff.  You know, we did have
conversations and then the next thing I know their leaks have people
writing
things that I’m no longer a candidate and they’re going in another
direction.  Well, you know, if that’s the case tell me.  I’m a big
boy.  It’s real easy.”

The most obvious explanation to that is that Valentine was only Jeff Loria’s candidate and that the front office bucked under Loria’s diktat and leaked that stuff to the papers to undermine Valentine’s candidacy and maybe to even tease out the very negative reaction from Valentine displayed in the above quote.

The alternative: the Marlins really are a bunch of sociopaths who all agreed to cut bait on Valentine at once and decided to simply not tell him.  I can’t decide which is worse for the Marlins long term: a house divided or a house united in idiocy.  At least the former has them thinking half-right.

Valentine also added something else, when asked about his interaction with the Orioles, that suggests that just maybe he won’t be managing anywhere in the big leagues any time soon:

“To tell you the truth, the in-season
stuff where you have all the
rules and regulations that are set forth – rightfully so, I guess – by
the
commissioner that you have to interview so many different types of
people from
in and outside your organization before you’re allowed to hire a person
you
want to, it’s a pretty tough process.  I don’t know that it’s tough. 
It doesn’t seem like it’s the way most industries do it.”

So he either doesn’t like how Major League Baseball wants its clubs to approach managerial hires or else he only wants to be a part of a process in which he’s the only candidate. I guess it could be a combination of those things.
Either way, it makes him a rather difficult candidate for almost any team to woo, does it not?

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.