Sherman: Joe Girardi is evasive, paranoid and edgy

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post took a section of his Yankees scouting
report today to pass along some observations about Joe Girardi:

It is amazing how often scouts noted the look and body language of
Girardi. He
ended up being portrayed as something akin to a prisoner of war, going
gaunt and fidgety. He showed his dejection at bad moments much more
overtly than last year. In fact, after seemingly making some strides
last season in de-stressing his uptight persona, Girardi regressed to
the evasive, paranoid and edgy nature that marked his first year
managing the Yankees in 2008  . . Girardi tends to display his tension and short temper at the hottest moments.

Of course, why this is in a playoff preview is an open question, because none of those are observations* about how the guy runs his baseball team. How can you say anyone is “edgy, paranoid or evasive” based on the tactical decisions he makes or the lineup card he fills out? You can’t. All of those observations are things you can only get from talking to a person or, at the very least, watching him in a press conference.

In other words, Sherman has devoted a section of his “Scouting Report” of the Yankees’ playoff prospects to bashing Girardi because he hasn’t been as friendly and forthcoming with the media in 2010 as he was in 2009. Interesting choice, but pretty beside the point in a playoff preview, wouldn’t you agree?

*And these observations are attributed to “scouts.” Of course, reporters have been citing anonymous “scouts” to give them cover for their own opinions for years. Or, as would seem to be going on in this case, find a way to shoehorn a personal swipe at Girardi into a scouting piece.

(thanks to TYU for the heads up)

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.