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Saturday, March 07, 2020

Matheny energized by return to dugout with Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Matheny thought highly of the Kansas City Royals when his St. Louis Cardinals faced them in their annual interleague series. Now that he’s managing the Royals, he’s equally as impressed.

“I always had a lot of respect for them,” Matheny said Friday. “It’s how you’d want an organization to be. It’s been great to see how people think about the development process, the way they’re going about trying to create a winning atmosphere.”

“It’s fun to be a part of it and you know they’ve been there and done that and building it up to be there again,” he said.

The Royals have been there — winning back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series. Now they’re back at the bottom and starting over, having lost 103 games last season.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 01:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, mike matheny, royals

Managers are struggling with the three-batter rule

The biggest rule change for the 2020 season is the three-batter rule. As in: any pitcher who comes into a game must face three batters — or get to the end of an inning, whichever comes first — before being lifted for a reliever. It’s a pretty radical rule, aimed at cutting down on multiple game-interrupting pitching changes in the middle of innings.

I don’t know if it’ll work to cut down on game times. Most research I’ve seen to that effect suggests it won’t have a big impact actually. A couple of minutes maybe. It will, however, have a big effect on strategy, however, with managers being forced to move away from one-batter relievers and specialists on which they have come to heavily rely.

Today Jayson Stark of The Athletic has an article up in which he talks to several managers and they speculate as to what kinds of old strategies will go away and what sorts of new strategies might develop in response to the rule. Among the things the managers say we’ll see: (a) a big increase in intentional walks, as an IBB counts as a batter faced; (b) stacked lineups with consecutive righties or lefties rather than alternate lefties and righties as they tend to do; and (c) the elimination of that thing where some managers hide a pitcher at first base or left field and then bring him back to the mound in order to face only same-sided batters.

Which, to me, is fine. And I think the managers’ stress about it all is overblown. Or, at the very least, something we shouldn’t care about all that much.

There are things to be said about this, some of which are rather impolite indeed…..

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, three-batter minimum

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Roenicke named Boston’s interim skipper

FORT MYERS, Fla.—On the eve of Spring Training, which starts for the Red Sox on Wednesday morning, the club officially elevated bench coach Ron Roenicke to interim manager on Tuesday.

But that interim title should vanish quickly.

Once MLB completes the sign-stealing investigation involving the 2018 Red Sox, Roenicke is expected to be named the 48th manager in club history.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom all but said that at Tuesday’s press conference.

So, what do we make of the logic behind this hire?

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, red sox, ron roenicke

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mets hire ‘respected’ Rojas as new manager

NEW YORK—When the Mets parted ways with Carlos Beltrán last week before he managed a single game, the situation had potential to send their offseason into chaos. With less than a month until Spring Training, the Mets lacked an on-field leader.

To patch that hole as seamlessly as possible, they looked within the walls of their own clubhouse. The Mets are close to finalizing a multiyear deal to make Luis Rojas their next manager, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen announced Wednesday, pivoting from Beltrán to one of the industry’s most well-respected rising leaders.

The son of longtime Major League player and manager Felipe Alou, and the half-brother of former Mets outfielder Moises Alou, Rojas was the Mets’ quality control coach and outfield instructor last season. That was the 38-year-old’s first experience on a big league staff, after he spent 13 years as a coach and manager in the Mets’ Minor League system. Rojas also has experience managing in the Dominican Winter League.

“He has literally trained his whole life to be a manager,” Van Wagenen said. “He comes from a legacy family. … He is respected by the players. He is trusted by the players. And he’s someone that we have great confidence in, [with] his ability to lead our team now.”

One down, two to go.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:22 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: luis rojas, managers, mets being mets

Friday, January 17, 2020

Where will MLB’s scandal-stricken teams turn for new managers?

From a handheld device, bouncing along radio waves, caroming off big metal towers dressed as trees, the text message arrived here Thursday morning: “We are truly a mess.”

It’d be a fair assumption the sentiment rode along with others just like it, tapped out of frustration in places such as Houston and New York and Boston, fluttering along the horizon and recalling a day — just Sunday, for one — in which their baseball franchises seemed sturdy enough. Maybe not in Houston. But the others.

Today, two months after the saga began and one month before the first fungo bat is swung, the Astros, Mets and Red Sox do not know who their field managers are, the Astros don’t even have a guy who usually chooses the manager, and the sign-stealing scandal that once looked like it might divert a single franchise appears to be only just gaining momentum.

The next domino could be another team. The next domino could be 10 or 15 more teams, and the crisis that was one or two organizations cheating their way to championships inches toward the more chilling scenario that, other than the championships, the Astros and Red Sox were not the exceptions.

If all else fails, I’ll take the job.

 

QLE Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, managers, shame and scandal

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

‘Strategy Is Sacred’: MLB Managers Weigh in on New Pitching Rule

SAN DIEGO — The Big 3 free-agent sweepstakes, the Astros sign-stealing investigation and the election of two new Hall of Famers dominated the news cycle at last week’s Winter Meetings.

And in the same press conference that he addressed these page-one topics, commissioner Rob Manfred said he expects the proposed rule changes from last offseason will be implemented for the 2020 season, among them a three-batter minimum rule for pitchers per appearance unless they record the last out of an inning first.

These new rules also include adding a 26th man to the active roster, limiting roster expansion in September to 28 players and returning the duration a player must spend on the injured list from 10 to 15 days.

All of the changes will impact every team but none has the potential to affect the game quite like the three-batter minimum. The purpose of the rule is to eliminate some of the inaction that comes with every manager stroll out to the mound, every jog (or cart ride) in the from the bullpen and every set of warm-up pitches thrown before play resumes. How much dead time this rule will actually slash is debatable—relief appearances of one or two batters hit an 11-year low in 2019, in part because analytics has de-emphasized platoon pitching matchups—but there’s no question that it limits how managers can use their pitching staff each game.

In case any of you were wondering why more substantive change in MLB seems to be impossible…..

 

QLE Posted: December 18, 2019 at 01:57 AM | 186 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, pitching change, rule changes

Friday, December 06, 2019

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

Commentary on what to expect from the Winter Meetings- here is a sample of this approach:

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, it probably won’t be thanks to Rob Manfred’s plan to contract 42 minor league clubs and rearrange a great many more of them across levels and leagues.

As we noted earlier today, that scheme has set off a political firestorm and is no doubt the top agenda item and point of concern for every single minor league official and employee at the Winter Meetings. There are, reportedly, already meetings going on in San Diego about all of this. Expect some news about it at any point in the next week. At this point I’d expect anything from Manfred totally scrapping the plan, to him doubling down on it, to reports of general acrimony and possible legal action and everything in between.

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agents, hall of fame, managers, minor leagues, rule 5 draft, trades, winter meetings

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mike Matheny to be Royals new manager | MLB.com

A press conference to introduce Matheny is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT today at Kauffman Stadium.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:37 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, mike matheny, royals

Friday, October 25, 2019

Philadelphia Phillies to hire Joe Girardi as new manager

The Philadelphia Phillies have made a decision on their new manager. Just weeks after dismissing Gabe Kapler following two seasons, the Phillies are hiring former New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, signing him to a three-year deal with a club option.

Girardi, 55, comes with a wealth of managerial experience—something Kapler lacked. He spent a decade guiding the Yankees, and before that a season with the then-Florida Marlins. Collectively, he’s won 55.4 percent of his regular-season games, as well as the 2009 American League pennant and, subsequently, the World Series.

When Girardi was fired by the Yankees after the 2017 season, the rumored explanation was that he had trouble relating to today’s ballplayer. The validity of that assertion is unclear. Girardi, who has since worked in a television capacity, was arguably the favorite for the Cincinnati Reds job last winter before he withdrew from the process. The Reds later hired longtime big-league third baseman David Bell instead.

Girardi had been one of three rumored finalists, alongside Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker. Clearly the Phillies were interested in hiring a veteran skipper. That predilection makes sense given the rule of thumb about teams hiring the opposite of their former manager.

Best wishes for Girardi, in what could be a rather difficult situation indeed…..

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joe girardi, managers, phillies

Padres hire Jayce Tingler as manager as Preller downplays experience factor

A.J. Preller got his man.

With Jayce Tingler, Preller will make his stand.

That’s the reality for the Padres, their general manager and the man who will be their 21st manager.

The team on Thursday tabbed the 38-year-old Tingler to replace Andy Green, who was fired on Sept. 21 near the end of his fourth season.

Well, I doubt any of us expected this…..

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:14 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: jayce tingler, managers, padres

 

 

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