Once, in spring training a few years ago, I was talking to a ballplayer — I think it was Jake Lamb, but it might’ve been another Diamondback — and I mentioned something happening “on Wednesday.” The player nodded and said, “wait, what’s today?” I chuckled, he chuckled and said something about how every day in spring training is the same and it’s hard to keep track.
I think of that once in a while, usually when I’m on vacation or away from home and it happens to me momentarily. Apparently, though, it’s a constant thing for ballplayers. And not just in spring training, as this fun story from Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post makes clear. And it applies to the writer too, who notes that he too sometimes looks up at the ceiling in a hotel room not knowing where he is or what day it is.
You people who travel a ton for work are superstars if you can keep your gravity. I’d probably go crazy.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.