Hey, it was Crasnick who said that, not me:
Saunders relationship with the M’s has deteriorated pretty badly. After the season was over, GM Jack Zduriencik and manager Lloyd McClendon made the media rounds criticizing him for his conditioning and suggesting his extensive injury history is a result of shortfalls in this department. Saunders and his agent fired back. It was just not a great scene.
Saunders has value, of course. Despite multiple trips to the DL he hit 273/.341/.450 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 263 plate appearances. He’s team-controlled for two more seasons too. If the M’s want to shop him, there should be takers.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?