We’ve mentioned before that Marlins President David Samson is going to be a contestant on “Survivor.” Yesterday his little bio for the show was released. In those things, the contestants talk up their accomplishments and explain why they’ll win. Here’s Samson:
Personal Claim to Fame: Got local government in Miami to contribute over 350 million dollars to a new baseball park during the recession.
He’s actually understating things, as overruns put the public part of the stadium bill over $400 million.
But either way, that’s totally something to be proud of. Misleading officials about the benefits of the stadium and the dire straits the team was in when, in reality, the team was not going to move anyplace and was consistently turning a profit. Setting in motion a process that resulted in the bilking of taxpayers for more than anyone thought without their approval, costing multiple public officials their jobs and leading to an SEC investigation. Getting fans’ hopes up about bringing a winner to Miami and then quickly gutting the roster and thereby souring local fans on the team and the ballpark.
As claims to fame go, not bad. Not bad at all.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.