As I type this, Fred and Jeff Wilpon are giving a press conference regarding the firings of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. There have been some high points. Fred Wilpon acknowledging that the Mets haven’t won enough and, for the first time I can recall, speaking passionately about the team and saying that it means a lot of him and his family.
This one didn’t ring true, though: Jeff Wilpon, when asked if the next Mets’ GM will have full autonomy to make personnel decisions:
“The old general manager had that.”
Fred Wilpon added that Omar Minaya’s lack of autonomy is “a perception that’s out there, and it’s an incorrect perception.”
I guess the reason that perception is out there is that there have been countless reports by well-connected reporters saying otherwise. This perception isn’t helped by Fred Wilpon going on to admit that he and Jeff “don’t know how to pick ballplayers,: and that “there
isn’t one major decision that hasn’t been made at the Mets that hasn’t
been made with the three of us,” referring, I presume to both of the Wilpons and Minaya.
If the owner and the team president are in on every major personnel decision with the GM, how on Earth does the GM have autonomy?
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.