Some interesting words from former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, who had to deal with Marge Schott back in his day. Schott, you may recall, dropped N-words on her stars Eric Davis and Dave Parker, praised the good works of Adolf Hitler and was generally the worst person ever. But Vincent thinks Sterling is worse:
“What she said was egregious, but what he said was probably worse,” Vincent, 75, told Bloomberg News. “There’s a question of where you draw the line. In this case with what this guy did and probably in Marge Schott’s case, you’re well over the line.”
Part of why Vincent thinks Sterling is worse is that Schott was a raging alcoholic and a more tragic and pathetic figure while Sterling is, presumably, saying the things he’s saying with a clear head and clear eyes. Your mileage may vary about how that all works, but I can at least see Vincent’s point. Another thing he says:
“You have to start with the proposition that the commissioner works for the owners, and for him to be disciplining the owners is a very awkward circumstance,” Vincent said.
It may have been awkward for Vincent as he never had the confidence of the other owners. But by the time Schott was actually disciplined it was Bud Selig calling the shots. And the single most important thing Selig ever did was to create a consensus among the owners and never do anything unless or until he had them in his corner. By doing this over a number of years, Selig has gained their trust to a large degree and could, I believe anyway, take unilateral action against an owner without ruffling too many feathers if he needed to. Whether Silver can do this in the NBA after a couple months on the job is an open question.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.