Jon Heyman has a lot of managerial speculation in his latest column. One of the fun ones: while it’s highly unlikely Joe Girardi won’t be back in New York, if he does bolt, “Bobby Valentine likely would be one candidate to replace him in the Bronx.”
I just love this because it proves that we cannot go a single week without hearing some Bobby Valentine speculation. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if his name came up for vacancies with the Seattle Pilots, the Baltimore Terrapins and the Cleveland Spiders.
In other news, Heyman says that while Ken Macha is likely out as Brewers’ manager, Willie Randolph is not a candidate to replace him.
None of us can know what happens on the inside of a major league clubhouse, but I’d be curious to hear the reason why he’s not considered a candidate. While he left the Mets under a cloud, history, I think, has shown that the people who ousted him — Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, who reportedly snitched about Randolph’s alleged shortcomings to management — were perhaps a bigger problem.
Personally, I thought Randolph was a decent manager in a bad situation. While he probably did need to go because of all the craziness that was surrounding the Mets at the time, I also think he deserves another chance to manage someplace.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?