To the extent we think about relatively minor transactions, we never think about the limbo period. We hear about a guy getting DFA’d and then we next hear when he signs a minor league deal someplace, but we never think of the in between. What he goes through. What his family goes through. The logistics of getting your stuff from one locker room, making or canceling living arrangements and then waiting to find a new job.
Today Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal has a great story in which he followed David Aardsma from the final exhibition game of the spring — after which Aardsma was cut by the New York Yankees — through his two-weeks of waiting and worrying about where his next job would be. Among the many things Aardsma and players in his position do: pretend to be general managers:
Aardsma stayed up on player movement around baseball, noting which other teams cut players, or needed bullpen help. He would talk himself into thinking that this trade could happen, or that one.
“As a player, you start thinking that way, and then you starting thinking that’s a deal they’re going to do—you start playing that GM game,” he said.
“And it never works out. Never. And then someone else picks up the guy you were thinking about, and you get pissed.”
Great story. Part of the game we rarely consider.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.
The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.
Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.
Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.
In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.