Sean Marshall, unlike Dusty Baker, is sure he can thrive as the Reds’ closer

11 Comments

Dusty Baker may be unsure if Sean Marshall can step into the closer role for the injured Ryan Madson, but Marshall’s performance over the past two seasons suggests he’d be fantastic in the ninth inning and yesterday the left-hander made it clear that he’d “like the opportunity to pitch in that role.”

Part of Baker’s apparent hesitation comes from wondering if Marshall would do well pitching three or four days in a row, to which Marshall told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com: “I’ve definitely pitched at least three days in a row and been hot and ready to pitch a fourth game, too, and felt good. … I’m more than capable of doing it.”

He wants the role, he’s fine with the potential workload, and he’s got a 2.45 ERA, 169/42 K/BB ratio, and .222 opponents’ batting average in 145 innings since 2010.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

Getty Images
14 Comments

The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?