White Sox right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon has elected free agency. Rondon was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte last week, but declined the assignment and will try to latch onto another organization before the end of the year.
Rondon, 27, signed a minor league pact with the White Sox in February. He never quite hit his stride with the team, however, and finished a four-month run in the majors with an underwhelming 8.49 ERA, career-worst 8.2 BB/9, and 12,1 SO/9 through 29 2/3 innings.
While there are still some things working in Rondon’s favor — a fastball that tops out around 97 m.p.h. and a SO/9 that regularly crests the 12.0 mark — it’s highly unlikely that he’ll return to the majors again this season. His track record suggests he’s far better suited to the minors, where he holds a career 2.72 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 over 10 seasons.
As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?