Don’t blow it again, Pirates: say no to Van Slyke! Hire Barry Bonds for the manager job!
Andy Van Slyke, in town with fellow alumnus Dave Parker for a
season-ticket holder event, took the opportunity to inform president
Frank Coonelly about his interest in the club’s managerial opening.
Van Slyke acknowledges that he may not be an ideal candidate, what with no managerial experience on any level. But that doesn’t matter, because his philosophy is sound:
“I think it would be absolutely arrogant for any manager to come in
here and think he’s going to be the difference. [As if] by his mere
presence, he could be the one to turn it around. I don’t care if Casey
Stengel stepped out of the grave and walked into spring training, any
manager would need a pitching staff with an ERA and numbers that [the
Pirates’ staff] didn’t have this year. Everything begins and ends with
pitching. Until that aspect improves dramatically … it’s an unfair
expectation for anyone to expect different results here.”
This is pretty brilliant when you think about it. Van Slyke is freely admitting that he has no experience and going one step further in saying that, if he were hired, the team should not expect positive results from anything he himself does.
He still may not get the job, but man, if he does, he’s gonna have some awesome job security.
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.