Marlins infielders Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon completed a double play during Saturday’s game against the Dodgers that left the Marlins’ broadcast booth exclaiming, “Wow!”
With runners on first and second with one out in the fourth inning of a 3-2 game, Yasmany Grandal hit a grounder up the middle off of starter Tom Koehler. Hechavarria was playing close to the second base bag due to an infield shift, so he had to range to his right to corral the grounder. He made a backhanded toss to Gordon on second base, who then did a Derek Jeter-esque jump-throw to first baseman Jeff Baker to complete the inning-ending double play.
When you leave the broadcast team speechless but for the word “wow!”, you’ve done your job well.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).