This is probably not going to result in any major changes with the Washington Nationals, but it’s worth noting today that Major League Baseball approved a change of ownership from Ted Lerner to his son Mark Lerner.
Mark Lerner, of course, has had a large hand in running the Nationals for years, but in baseball, each team has a designated “control person” who is officially listed as the team’s owner and who casts the team’s vote in league-wide decisions. Until this morning that had been Ted, who is now 92 years-old. Mark Lerner is 64. For what it’s worth, Mark told the Washington Post today that Washington Nationals decisions have long been family decisions and that “I don’t think you’ll see much difference in the way Dad and the family running it vs. myself and the family.”
The biggest decision facing the Nationals in the coming months is going to involve whether to offer — and how much to offer — Bryce Harper when he hits free agency, of course.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.