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David Wright to be activated on September 25, likely to retire at season’s end

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The Mets just held a press conference to announce what they’re doing with third baseman and captain David Wright. The plan: they will activate him on September 25 and he will start at third base on September 29, during the Mets’ final home stand of the 2018 season.

Wright strongly implied during the press conference that this will be it too, and that he will retire at the end of the season, saying that playing baseball is “debilitating” to his health and that “there’s not going to be an improvement” in the problems that have cost him so much time. He said that September 29 is “obviously very important” to him. Wright, speaking to his teammates who attended the press conference with him, added, “it’s truly been an honor to take the field with you, and serve as your captain. To the fans, words can’t address my gratitude.”

Wright, as you know, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 27, 2016 due to neck, back, and shoulder injuries. He had been rehabbing in the minors until the first of September and has been with the Mets, rehabbing on the side, since then. As is typical for the Mets there has been confusion as to what the actual plan was, with Wright strongly suggesting he was ready to play while the Mets seemed inclined to hold him back.

Some have suggested that the Mets’ inclination was financially-motivated in that, as long as Wright is on the disabled list, insurance will cover much of his salary. If he’s active, the Mets are on the hook. If Wright does, in fact, retire, the Mets will be off the hook for the $27 million he is still owed for the final two seasons of the eight-year, $138 million contract he signed with the team December of 2012.

As of the season’s final week, however, that question will be resolved, at least for a couple of days. Wright will be active and in uniform, perhaps pinch hitting and stuff during their series against the Braves mid-week, but starting at third base against the Marlins on Saturday the 29. Then, after that, he appears poised to walk off into the sunset, having left the game as an active player.

Expect a full house at Citi Field.

Report: Orioles expected to replace Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter
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Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.

Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.

While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.