A little over a week ago 33% of the words in the headline would make so sense to any of us. Anyway:
Major League Baseball officials have asked the Miami News Times for records the alternative newspaper obtained for a story on alleged use of banned substances by several players. Miami New Times editor Chuck Strouse said Tuesday the paper had not yet decided how to respond. Strouse described the MLB move as a request and noted that the league does not have legal subpoena power.
Bud: Wait, we don’t have any subpoena power? Manfred! Torre! Get in here!
Rob Manfred and Joe Torre: [in unison] Yes boss?
Bud: This fella from the newspaper said I don’t have subpoena power. How is that possible?
Manfred: Because you’re not the government, sir.
Bud: I have control of a monopoly, do I not?
Torre: Yes sir.
Bud: And I have had federal agents do my bidding in the past, have I not?
Manfred: Yes sir.
Bud: Then get me one of those subpoena things and let’s get cracking, OK? [presses button on desk, pneumatic tube descends upon him, he is sucked into another room, possibly for lunch]
Manfred: [sigh]. Joe, get George Mitchell over here. Tell him to wear his governmenty suit.
A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.
Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:
Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .
Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?
That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.
Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?