Multiple reports are coming out of New York saying that the Mets are finalizing a deal with Luis Rojas to be their manager, replacing Carlos Beltrán.
Beltrán, as you know, stepped down as the Mets’ manager last week in the wake of his being named in Major League Baseball’s report about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. As soon as he was fired speculation about his replacement began to swirl, with most people believing that the club — who had just hired Beltrán and his staff — would go with an internal candidate. That describes Rojas who was their quality control coach. It’s unclear if the rest of what would’ve been Beltrán’s staff will stay on in their current roles or if Rojas will name anyone to his staff himself.
Rojas, 38, had been a manager in the Mets’ minor league season for several years before ascending to the big league staff last season. He received multiple interviews for the top job following Mickey Callaway’s firing in October, before the Mets went with Beltrán.
As a point of trivia, he is the brother of Moises Alou, the son of Felipe Alou, and the nephew of Matty and Jesus Alou. The family name is actually Rojas, but the Alous all go by the last name of Felipe Alou’s mother.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.