Last week we heard how, once again, Mets manager Terry Collins is all bent out of shape about the fact that his shortstop, Ruben Tejada, didn’t report to camp early. Via the New York Times we learn that, over the weekend, Tejada (a) reported on time; and (b) still got chewed out about it by Collins, who had a “one-way conversation” with him.
And of course Collins won’t let it go:
“I told him the importance of what it meant to be here and be a part of this team and what an impact it would have made on his teammates,” said Collins, who has insisted for days that he was disappointed, not angry. “He’s such a good kid, and he was very upset to think he messed up.”
“To think he messed up.” Only thing making him think that, Terry, is you, as you hold him to different standards than that to which just about every other manager in baseball holds their players.
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?