The reason for the collapse of the Brewers-Mets deal? Depends on who you ask.

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It’s becoming quite an interesting morning in the wake of the Carlos Gomez-to-the-Mets deal unraveling.

The initial report last night, which apparently came from the Mets, was that the deal fell apart because of Carlos Gomez’s medicals. The Mets, it seems, were worried about his hip.

This morning, however, the Brewers, as well as Scott Boras, Gomez’s agent, came out firing, claiming that there’s nothing wrong with Gomez:

This, on some level, is semantics. It was widely reported back in June that Gomez had hip problems. He even commented on it himself. This was from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Carlos Gomez came into Friday 0 for 12 with eight strikeouts against Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann. But the reason he’s out of the lineup for the third consecutive game was a troublesome right hip that’s been bothering him for the past couple weeks.

“I’ve been playing with a wrap around it for the last two weeks,” he said. “I don’t like to (complain) about it, but I haven’t been completely 100 percent. I’d be feeling it running to first base and it got worse, so we stepped back and I’m resting.

“I could play through it, but it’s better to play one or two less days (than make it worse).”

He even had an MRI on it!

Now, some have said the issue was more with his groin, not his hip. And Boras’ use of the term “hip doctor” is curious in that doctors who work on hips are not called “hip doctors,” they’re called “orthopedic surgeons.” If Gomez saw an orthopedist for whatever was ailing him — and something was ailing him — saying that he wasn’t a “hip doctor” may be technically true in some weird corner of the BorasVerse. But it’s also clear that Boras and the Brewers are trying to whitewash the notion of Gomez ever being unhealthy. Both those reports from June and his decreased speed and mobility as reflected in his stolen base and defensive numbers strongly suggest something amiss below his waist, be it his hip or something nearby.

Of course there is more pushback on this:

Plausible! [UPDATE: More details here]. It is the Mets we’re talking about. But it’s also worth noting that the Brewers — who are no doubt Haudricourt’s source here — have a strong incentive to have the deal fall apart for non-medical reasons. Given the Mets’ recent history the money thing is a believable alibi, but their own motivations can’t be discounted either.

What are we left with? Murk, mostly. And perhaps a new medical specialty known as “hip medicine.” Which I’m sure the doctor who saw Gomez was into way before it was cool. You probably never even heard of it.

 

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

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HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”