When we heard last week that Mitch Williams ordered one of his ten-year-old Little League players to bean another ten-year-old player — and that Williams called a kid on the other team a vile name — I said that if I ran the MLB Network I’d fire Williams. Well, the next best thing is happening:
The MLB Network told the Daily News Saturday afternoon that Williams is taking a leave of absence from the network.
“Mitch Williams has decided to take a leave of absence from his role at MLB Network at this time,” an MLB Network spokesperson said in an email to the Daily News. “We are continuing to look into the matter.”
I wonder if it was really Williams who “decided” the matter. Because doing so would require good judgment and Williams seems to have none at all.
Now, if we could get rid of Chris Russo we’d really be cooking with gas.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.