Tag Archives: New York Mets

Shocker #2! Mets Make Smart Deal! Land Bay!

30 Dec

No Contract Talks for Bay thumbnail

As a Mets and Red Sox fan, today is an interesting day for me to say the least.  Jason Bay, it’s being reported, has accepted an offer to join the Mets.  Pending passing a physical, Bay will be playing in Queens next year.

I know the Mets track record in free agency isn’t the greatest.  And that’s an understatement.

After all, I remember being a child and so excited that George Foster was leaving the Big Red Machine to join the Mets that I could barely sleep.  This was followed by many sleepless nights learning the true meaning of disappointment when Foster failed to play big (or red for that matter) for the Metropolitans.

Despite all of that, this signing will turn out fine.  The two biggest hitters of the off season this year are Bay and Matt Holliday.  There’s been a lot of debate over who’s a better choice. 

Here’s what it boils down to.  Bay has played mostly in Pittsburgh and Boston.  He’s played well in both places.  He’s played well in both leagues.

Holliday has played in Colorado (mostly), which makes his hitting stats highly suspicious to begin with.  He’s played in Oakland, where his stats dropped way off his Colorado standards.


And then, he really put his career back together in half a season with the Cardinals, a lineup that featured Albert Pujols only the best hitter in the game.

So, to review…  Bay has played well everywhere he’s played.

Holliday did really well in Colorado and didn’t hit anywhere near as well in the American League until being rescued by Albert Pujols.  Plus, he made a key error in this year’s playoffs despite being a supposedly much better fielder than Bay.

All in all, I think the Mets made the right choice.  And unless he has a David Wright-like power fade from playing in Citi Field next year, I think the Mets 2010 season just got a lot brighter.  Now they need to address their lack of pitching.

As for the Red Sox, I think they long ago started to prepare for life after Bay and so I’m not too worried about.

PS – I completely reserve the right to flip on the whole Bay/Holliday issue when the Red Sox sign Holliday in the next few weeks. 

Stay tuned….

Mets And Omar Minaya Give Clinic On How Not To Fire Someone! (Just Two Easy Steps!)

28 Jul


Mets’ GM Omar Minaya let his Veep of Player Personnel Tony Bernazard go today and he did it poorly.  It’s not so much how he broke the actual news to Bernazard, who was let go after among other things recently challenging the Mets’ Double-A players to a fight. 

Bernazard even went so far as to take off his shirt in anticipation of one of the farmhands taking him up on his offer.  Always best to be shirtless when fighting a young ‘un I aways say!

If it helps to make the mental image any better, I read Bernazard at least still had on a T shirt when threatening the Mets’ prospects.  Imagine the surprise fifty-ish Bernazard would have had if one or more of the 20 year old players had accepted his invitation to brawl.  I’m thinking that’s not coming out too well for the former major leaguer.

Anyway, back to the firing…  As I wrote up top, I don’t know how Minaya delivered the news to Bernazard.  So, let’s just assume he did that as well as possible.

It’s what came next that was the problem.

First, Minaya says at the press conference that Bernazard was fired due to a series of complaints up & down the Mets’ organization.  Somehow he manages to completely sidestep his role or responsibility in either supervising his employee or deciding to let him go.  Nice work!

Then, Minaya goes and takes an already bad situation and makes it worse.  Better work! 

Minaya decides to implicate a Daily News writer as part of the plot to whack Bernazard job-wise.  Minaya stuns the assembled press by saying that News writer Adam Rubin has been trying to get in the Mets’ front office for years.  Minaya suggests that all the critical stories Rubin’s been writing about the Mets’ minor league operation (AKA mess) and Bernazard’s inappropriate behavior are part of some kind of plot designed to get Rubin into the Mets’ front office.

Rubin, for his part, admits to having asked Omar Minaya and other Mets’ execs for tips on how to break into a baseball front office.  If Rubin is to be believed, he says it was always asked in a generic way as opposed to in a way that would lead Minaya to believe he was lobbying for a job.

While I believe a writer (or for that matter many a fan) could easily feel as though they could do a better job than the Mets’ front office has lately, I don’t see how being so critical of the Mets leads to the Mets giving a writer a job.

It doesn’t make sense.

What I am starting to think is that if Omar Minaya can’t handle a simple responsibility like telling the press why he fired a guy who threatens to beat up minor leaguers without creating even a bigger storm, than maybe it’s Omar who is in over his head.

That, makes sense.

On The Other, There’s Roy Halladay, An Old Guy Who’s Worth The Investment!

21 Jul

I just posted my absolutely correct opinion that the Phoenix Suns made a huge mistake signing 35 year old Steve Nash to a two year extension that will run out when he’s 38.  38, is 214 in point guard years, especially when you’ve played in the Phoenix speed it up offense.

So, why then do I think Roy Halladay at 32 is worth everything you can throw at Toronto to get him?

It’s simple.  Pitching is an elusive art and betting on pitcher development is complete crap shoot.  I grew up a Mets’ fan.  I’m in my 40s (although still super sexy).  I lived through Generation K.

For anyone younger and less sexy than me, Generation K was a nickname given to three can’t miss prospects of the Mets back in the long ago 1990s.  All three guys were supposed to be future aces and the future looked damn bright on the mound at Shea.  Only something happened on the way to glory.  Not one of the three made it as a big league starter.  Injuries and ineffectiveness doomed all their careers.

Jason Isringhausen went on to have the biggest career of the three, but it wasn’t as a starter.

Anyway, the point is that predicting how pitchers mature is next to impossible.  So, as much as I tend to always favor youth when my teams are looking to make personal changes, for pitching I tend to take a bit different view.  For ace pitchers in particular, I’ve got a whole other mindset.

When Johan Santana was available.  I couldn’t believe the hated Yankees didn’t go stronger after him.  The Yankees held onto their allegedly talented young pitchers rather than dealing for the 30 year old and far from done Minnesota ace.  Where did it get them?  Out of the playoffs last year.

And that’s why for a team in contention, Halladay at 32, is worth whatever Toronto can be persuaded to take for him.   Whether a team in contention is built just for today or for the long run, there should be no hesitation.

Roy Halladay is the real deal.  He’s going to be an effective pitcher for years who may be able to put you over the top now.

What about that amazing prospect or prospects you’ll have to give up?  Well, if they’re pitchers, I wouldn’t worry too much. 

After all, I’m a Mets’ fan and even I can’t recall the names of the other two members of Generation K….


PS – OK, yes I can.  I just wanted to make a point and end with something snappy.  Why am I cursed with such a memory for sports?!  The other members of Generation K were Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson.

Here’s a bonus picture of them in case you thought I was making it all up:

On Opening Day In New York All Is As I Knew It Would Be!

7 Apr

KROD.jpgDay one of the baseball season doesn’t mean much.  For one thing, there’s another 161 games to go.  So, day one doesn’t mean a lot.  Unless it does.

If you’re a Mets’ fan you better hope this is how the rest of the year goes.  Putz sealing off the eighth and K-Rod doing what he’s supposed to in the ninth to earn his millions.

If you’re a Yankees’ fan, you had better hope C.C. and Teixiera bounce back quickly.  The big guy got shelled and the big bat was silent today.  If that’s how their season goes, they’ll be no playoffs in the Bronx.

For me, I saw all of this coming.  I figured the Mets bullpen would be improved.  Truth be told though, I’m not convinced about their starting pitching beyond Johan and some of the lineup is suspect to me (Castillo, Delgado, Sheffield and who ever else plays the outfield there).

As for the Yankees, I previously posted that C.C. would start off badly.  And so he has.  I’m no genius.  It’s been part of C.C’s pattern the last few years.  He’s pitched a lot (what with playoffs and the WBC) and so it’s understandable that he’s started off each of last few seasons pretty slowly.  My guess is that he’ll be alright in the end as well Texiera.

As with the Mets however, I’m not sold on the Yankees either.  I think they are simply too creaky (Posoda, A-Rod, Jeter, Matsui and others).

But what do I know, it’s only opening day.

Another Amazing Week In Sports, Politics & Nonsense!

24 Jan

What an utterly amazing week to be alive to blog!  Unfortunately, other obligations AKA my paying job, got in the way of being able to write too much.  I realize that given these uncertain times I should feel lucky to have a good job.  And I do.

I also feel lucky to have this blog and to be able to present my thoughts on the week we all just got through together. 

Here goes!

Another Giants’ receiver gets shot!  Seriously what are the odds of the guy who replaced Plaxico Burress on the Giants roster also getting shot so soon after Burress accidentally capped himself?  Better than back to back Big Blue championships, I guess.  Here’s hoping Taye Biddle gets better soon.

Jeff Kent – when you look at his numbers even after accounting for the slugging era he played in, they are very impressive for a second baseman.  As a Mets fan, I saw quite a bit of Kent in the 90s.  He never struck me as a Hall of Famer.  Maybe that early impression is what keeps me from seeing him as Cooperstown-worthy now…

Alonozo Mourning – Zo has once again decided to retire.  Somehow this one feels more real.  After battling through kidney problems and leg issues through the years, I think he’s done.  Does anyone remember how limitless the Charlotte Hornets future looked way back when they had the young versions of Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson playing for them?  Maybe the young & current version of Chris Paul will deliver on that long ago promise for the franchise that fled Charlotte for New Orleans…

Brian Schottenheimer – I don’t get it.  What’s the big deal whether he comes back to the Jets as their offensive coordinator?  In three years with the Jets, Marty’s son has produced the 25th, 26th and 16th ranked offenses in the NFL.  This gets him serious consideration for the head job?  And this merits the Jets’ brass losing sleep over whether he’ll be happy to return?  Maybe it’s just that they figure if they keep Shottenheimer and the current offense in place the odds are better Brett Favre will return?

Rex Ryan – Maybe it’s cause he’s a twin and I have twins.   Maybe it’s cause he’s Buddy Ryan’s son and for some reason I always found Buddy entertaining despite my being a Giants’ fan.  I don’t know.   But, for some reason, I like Rex Ryan and feel like he’ll do a nice job with the Jets.  If nothing else, his press conferences are already better than Eric Mangini’s.

Goodbye Guantanamo! – The new president carries through on his promise to close Gitmo.  Good riddance!  Call me crazy but simply “disappearing” people just doesn’t seem real American to me.  Feels like we all ought to have more faith in our system than to resort to that kind of third world dictatorship kind of move.

Goodbye Torture! – Barack Obama delivers again!  Nice first couple of days for him by the way.  So far so good, but we’ve got a long way to go.  Thanks to President Obama, now the US will not be allowed to torture suspects anymore.  Another good move. America should not tolerate torture.  Beside not being in keeping with our constitution, it’s not all that effective.  How about just making them sit through a full episode of the “Color Honeymooners”?  Yikes!

Pope’s On Youtube – He’s got his own channel there.  How long til he’s got his own development deal with some cable channel?

Mark Ivaroni Fired – Is every NBA franchise going to fire their head coach this season?  And will it make any difference in Memphis anyway??  Especially when you hire Lionel Hollins for the THIRD time to coach your franchise.  What’s he going to do different this time??  Third time!  I’m not making this up!

New York’s Got a New Senator – And it’s not a Kennedy.  Would have been poetic to see Caroline Kennedy take the seat her uncle once held.  But, after her disastrous couple of weeks in the spotlight think we all learned why she’s stayed private all these years. You know, uh, you know….

Manny Ramirez – Being a pain in the ass can cost you a lot of cash.  Now, not even the Mets are interested in one of the game’s very best hitters.  As a Mets’ fan, I’m very worried about the pitching rotation and just don’t think they have enough hitting.  Manny could go a long way toward solving half their problems.  Course, he’d add a whole other set in the process but that’s just Manny being Manny.

Mark McGwire  –  Not only does his brother Jay introduce him to roids, now he outs him.  Would I love to be a fly-on the wall at the McGwire family reunion!

Herm Edwards Fired – Had to see this coming when the Chiefs brought in a new GM.  And although Edwards isn’t saying it, I will.  Clark Hunt has a lot of nerve firing Edwards after signing off on the youth movement that put the Chiefs at 2-14 last year.  If Edwards had known he had just one year to work with, maybe he’d have rethought going young.

Who’ll Bail Out The Veteran NFL Coaches? – Maybe it will be the Chiefs who are rumored to be pursuing Mike Shanahan.  It’s amazing to me to see all these young guys getting hired for head coaching jobs this year while big names like Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher may be sitting out next season. 

Let’s take them and a few others case by case:

Mike Shanahan – Not surprised KC would want him.  After all, they had to play against him for so long and know how good he is.  Am surprised that he’d go somewhere so quickly after Denver, especially without being able to have Denver-type control.  Really thought that once again he’d replace Wade Phillips.  This time in Dallas.  If Jerry Jones were smart and Shanahan were interested, he’d make sure history repeat itself.

Jon Gruden – Tampa’s entire roster seems to be dogging him in the press, but you have to believe he’ll get another chance.  When he does, he’ll win again.

Marty Schottenheimer – All Brian’s dad ever has done is win.  Ok, not in the playoffs so much.   Still, I don’t buy he’s not one of the top 30 coaches in the pro football world.  Don’t see Norv Turner really lighting things up in San Diego either…

Bill Cowher – he strikes me as the least interested in coming back this year.  Still, think the Jets blew it by not overwhelming him.

Dan Reeves – He wants back in.  So much so that at age 65 he’s interviewing for the offensive coordinator spot for the 49ers.  Like Marty Schot, he’s another guy who has done nothing but win.  Unfortunately, both he and Marty may never get a crack at a top spot again.  Here’s hoping they both do.  The ultimate of course, would be to see Reeves get another team to the Super Bowl only to watch them get crushed by Marty’s first ever Super Bowl team. 

Denny Green – I’m just throwing him in here.  I haven’t even heard he wants to coach again.  But, with the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, it’s worth noting that Green brought in some of the guys who have gotten them there.  You may have heard of one of his guys.  Kurt Warner??

Deep breathe!  Think that was everything I wanted to get out.

Thanks for taking a look!

WTF! Yankees Sign Teixeira And Unleash A Bucketful of Questions!

23 Dec

Sports Illustrated is reporting on their web site that the Yankees just got bigger and badder.  With money seemingly seemingly flowing like water out of the Bronx this winter, the Yanks just hauled in Mark Teixeira with an eight year, $180 million dollar deal.

Here are some thoughts from a slightly biased Red Sox fan:

This explains why the Yanks weren’t courting Manny.  I was actually just about to sit down to blog about how the Yankees weren’t living up to their end of the rivalry by not pursuing Manny more aggressively.  I thought Manny to the Yanks made sense cause he’s still one of the best hitters in the game, he’d love to come home to the Bronx and most importantly he’d be motivated to go head to head against the Sox.  Imagine the drama that might have been…

In this crazy winter could something completely insane happen like the Red Sox feeling threatened enough to bring Manny back?  While I don’t think either side wants to reunite, the Sox have to be sobered by the Yankees’ acquisition of Teixeira.  And with his bad deeds catching up to him, Manny is left without much of a market for his services relatively speaking (he’ll still wind of up with millions of LA’s or someone else’s money).  It’s closing time and you find yourself alone with someone slightly below your standards, you and she say “what the heck” and leave together.  Sound like a story you’ve heard before??  That’s maybe where the Red Sox and Manny are about to find themselves.

How does this impact A-Rod?  Is this deal bigger than his on a per year basis?  (I haven’t crunched the numbers)  Is that a problem?  Having another big bat has to help unless ego gets in the way, right?

With the CC signing, the AJ deal and now this one, it’s guaranteed that lightning won’t strike three times.  Now, you can look at this in a positive or negative way.  I’ll go positive but from the Red Sox POV…  There is absolutely no chance that all three of these deals will turn out to be great deals for the Yankees.  Life and really I’m talking about sports, just doesn’t work that way.  So, count on one or more of these signings to turn out just awful.

Are the Yankees better?  ABSOLUTELY.  The question is how much better.  Well, Nick Swisher isn’t their starting first baseman anymore so that’s got to mean something.  Again, maybe I’m a bitter Boston fan, but there’s still a lot of holes on this team, which is has aged.  Do the names Damon, Matsui, Jeter, Posada mean anything to you?  They are all old guys who are past their prime.  Yes, even Jeter.  Somebody is going to break down and likely more than one.  Although with their cash, the Yankees will have the resources to get replacements next winter.  So much for rebuilding with youth, Yankee fans…

Didn’t the Yankees (and my second favorite team the Mets) just ask the city of New York for a ton of additional money to complete their new stadiums? During these tough times will it bother any Bronx tax payers to know that their hard earned money is going to Mark Teixeira and others who they’ll never be able to buy a seat to watch?  In fairness, that’s the state of sports accross the US, not just in NY.  When will tax payers wake up and demand that these subsidies end?  If the Yanks have money for this signing, they ought to pony up the rest of the dough needed to finish their new homes themselves.  And that goes for the Metropolitans too.

How will the Red Sox respond?  Sure, there’s my Manny fantasy, but that’s not likely.  And with their starting pitching mostly set, who among everyday players is left that makes sense for them to chase?

Stay tuned…

The rivalry is back on!

PS – speaking of rivalries.  How would you like to be the Mets this winter? You land the best closer in baseball as well as another closer who was pretty good two years ago to fix your bullpen.  Meanwhile, your crosstown rivals go nuclear and sign the three biggest prizes available this year.  It’s like you can’t win for trying if you’re Omar Minaya.  But that won’t stop him from taking another crack at it. And that’s why sport is so much fun!

Mets Radio Broadcaster Howie Rose Proves He’s A Company Shill!

27 Sep

Look, I know the days of impartial local sports broadcasting are LONG gone.  Baseball teams these days prefer that their radio and tv people are homers all the way.

I was driving around today and tuned into the Mets for a few minutes to see how they were going about destroying the rest of their season.  I never got a score because I had to tune away in disgust.

Howie Rose, one of the Mets’ radio team decided to tell fans how they should act tomorrow at the final Mets’ home game at the pit known as Shea Stadium.  Next year, the Mets will play in a shining new park.  And company man Howie Rose went on for minutes talking about, lecturing, encouraging, suggesting and pleading with fans to come to the ball park tomorrow in a mood for celebration no matter what happens today.  The Mets are sinking fast (unfortunately for me and their other fans) and Howie wants to make sure we give Shea Stadium an upbeat goodbye.

I actually agree with one of Howie’s underlying points.  He wants to make sure that fans don’t take out this year’s frustrations on the many terrific past players scheduled to be at the Shea farewell tomorrow. 

But even though Howie’s right on that point, it does NOT give him the right to tell me or any other fan how to react.  Personally, if I was going tomorrow, Howie would be fine with my behavior.  I tend to not be a boo-er of my own teams even after two mind boggling end of season collapses in a row.  That’s me.  That’s my right.  Just like it’s someone else’s right to let the Mets hear it.

And much as I love the Mets, ownership deserves it.  In 45 years there’s been some great memories.  1969, ’73 and ’86 come to mind.  If you’re being honest though, it’s mostly been a lot of bad baseball.  The one shot the Mets seemed to have at a prolonged run of excellence in the mid to late 80s was squandered away by excess partying and lax oversight.  So, if some people want to boo tomorrow.  I say let them.

And Howie Rose has no right to say otherwise.

PS – It’s really interesting to me that Omar Minaya is on the verge of a new four year deal when two years in a row the bullpen has tanked the Mets season.  Doesn’t he have something to do with that??  And why is Jerry Manuel going to pay for Minaya’s failure to address one of the team’s greatest needs.

Johan Santana IS An Ace After All!

24 Sep

Yes, it’s odd, but I’m a Red Sox and Mets fan.  I must love suffering at the hands of the Yankees.  Anyway… that’s ancient history right now.

About half way through this season, a good friend of mine who’s a big Yankee fan, asked me if I was happy with Johan Santana.  At that point, Santana hadn’t pitched awful, but to my friends’ point, he wasn’t looking like a 140 million dollar man.

Tonight, Santana got his 15th win of the season.  It was a big win.  Maybe even a million dollar victory.  With the Mets seemingly intent on re-enacting last years’ collapse, Santana struck out ten in eight innings while giving up just two runs as the Mets defeated the Cubs 6-2. 

The effect?  The Mets’ three game losing streak is over.  And they moved within a game and a half of division leading Philadelphia.  Notice how I didn’t even mention the wild card in this paragraph?

Anyway, Santana did exactly what an ace should do.  He put the skids on the skid.  And he’s been at it a while.  Santana is known for being a second half pitcher.  This year is no exception.  In his last 16 starts, Santana is 8-0 with a 2.26 ERA.  That, my friends, is an A-C-E even if this year his 15 plus wins won’t result in an C-Y Y-O-U-N-G.

Here’s hoping the Mets don’t blow it for him and give Johan Santana the chance to pitch on baseball’s biggest stage this fall.

Tale of Two (Baseball Cities)! AKA – Will There Be Another 1986?

16 Sep

When it comes to baseball, the year I was most confused was 1986.  In the World Series that year, the Boston Red Sox played the New York Mets.  I grew up a Mets fan, but at a young age in the mid-70s with the Mets stuck in loser gear, young me decided I need another team to root for while the Mets wasted the rest of the decade.  I chose the Red Sox.  It was a natural selection as there was no way a die hard Mets fan was ever going to root for the Yankees.  And it gave me a lot to talk about at school since those were great days for the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry (excepting of course that my Sox rarely came out on top making junior high difficult).

Anyway, back to ’86…  The Mets hadn’t won since 1969’s miracle run and I was too young to have seen that.  As for the Sox, it seems weird now but at the time they seemed like a very cursed team when it came to World Series titles.  In the end, I went with the Mets and Mookie delivered a miracle.

These days, I’m probably more a Red Sox fan as frankly the Red Sox-Yankee Rivalry is so much hotter in my area than the Mets-Yankees Rivalry.   And that’s the fault of the New York Mets.  After ’86, the team fell way short of the dynasty expectations and has struggled frequently along the way.  Somewhere in there, the Mets actually played the Yankees in the World Series, which would have been more exciting had the Mets put up much of a fight. 

This is all on my mind tonight as the Mets have let their division lead shrink to just a half game over Philadelphia.  In contrast, tonight, the Red Sox pounded the Rays to tie them for first in the AL East.

Two teams.  Opposite directions.  Will there be another 1986?

Only time will tell.

Grading Baseball’s Latests Hits – 3 Managers Bite The Dust!

22 Jun

What a week it’s been for Major League Baseball fans.  Three managers bit the dust within moments of each other in some kind of crazy “tag, you’re it” manager firing orgy.  Does that last sentence make any sense?  No matter.  The point is baseball fans haven’t seen this much blood since Nolan Ryan pounded a head locked Robin Ventura into submission years ago.  (You’ll note – Mr. Ventura never again charged Nolan after that)

Let’s take a look at how much credit or blame the three teams deserve for the whacking of their head men:

New York Mets – Split Grade – A (for the move) / F (for the way it was handled) / C (for the aftermath)

Give them credit for being the first ones to the dance.  The Mets shocked their fan base by firing Willie Randolph while most of us slept back on the East Coast.  In fairness, most weren’t surprised by Willie being let go so much as how it was done.  Without wasting space here, let’s just say The Mets officially proved they can no longer be considered the classier of the two New York baseball teams in terms of how they handle manager dismissals.  Somewhere in baseball heaven, this is, of course, no relief to Billy Martin.

Randolph needed to go.  After last season’s choke job and being under .500 as a club for over a year while having one of baseball’s largest payrolls, that much was clear.  The Mets went to Jerry Manuel as a replacement and a solid one at that.  Manuel was once upon a time the manager of the year for the Chicago White Sox.  Since, his promotion, Manuel has won a couple of games and threatened to “cut” Jose Reyes, which got him a lot of negative publicity.  Given the Mets’ play over the last year, maybe it’s past time to let the players know they could be whacked too…

Seattle Mariners – Split Grade – A (for the move) / C (for McLaren’s replacement)

Second up on this week’s hit parade was Seattle’s John McLaren.  Seattle, with a relatively high payroll considering their market, was expected to do big things this year.   About the only big thing they’ve managed to do is lose and lose big.  By the time he was fired, Seattle was 25-47 and seriously threatening to become the first team with a plus $100 million payroll to ever lose 100 games in a season.  Now, McLaren won’t have the chance to guide his team into that record book.

For what it’s worth to McLaren, perhaps he can take comfort in the fact that Seattle let his boss GM Bill Bavasi go as well. It was obvious something had to be done about this season and it’s obvious this mess wasn’t all McLaren’s fault.  A long time assistant, McLaren took over last year when Mike Hargrove quit on the team.  Although Seattle won 88 games last year, you couldn’t help noticing that their play down the stretch was even worse than that of Willie Randolph’s Mets.  Seattle lost 15 of 17 and didn’t make the playoffs.  Ouch!

And for help the Mariners turn to?  Jim Riggleman.  Yes, Jim Riggleman a two time former manager who hasn’t been the top guy for a MLB team since 1999 (the last Millennium).  Give Seattle credit for finding a veteran hand to guide them through the rest of the season.  Plus, his career sub .500 winning percentage as a manager suits the team perfectly…

Toronto Blue Jays – Split Grade – (B- for the move) / (D+ for Gibbons’ Replacement)

As much as the Mets firing was greeted incorrectly as a surprise in many parts, the Jays’ firing of manager John Gibbons was a true surprise.  Gibbons was sure he was safe for this season.  Turned out, he was very wrong.  The bigger shock was the direction the team decided to move in post-Gibbons.  The past!

It’s clear Toronto has underachieved over the last few years.  They never have come close to seriously threatening the BoSox and Bronx Bombers’ domination of the AL East.  Maybe that brought on a pang of nostalgia.  How else do you explain the Blue Jays hiring Cito Gaston for a second act in Toronto?

Gaston’s first act was a success to be sure.  Two World Series titles looks fantastic on a resume absolutely.  That said, second acts rarely work in sports or in life.  It’s tough to reclaim past glory. 

Doubt that fact?  How do you explain these second term failures?  Joe Gibbs in DC.  Red Holtzman in New York.  And the second Sonny and Cher show (the one after they were divorced and bet you thought I was going to go for the obvious Bush joke!).

Cito Gaston, despite winning two titles, never was thought of as a top tier major league manager back in the day.  Incorrectly or not, that’s the lingering perception.  Since he ended his first run in Toronto over a decade ago, he’s never managed again.  This second act will determine Gaston’s legacy.  If he can right the ship and return the Jays to glory, then he’ll be thought of as a great manager.  If not, he’ll be thought of as, well, Cito Gaston, a guy who won two championships a long time ago.  Yawn…

PS – While Gibbons is gone for those looking for more blood, it might be good to keep an eye on Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi.  The GM has been on the scene in Toronto for some time and has failed to turn things around while recently embarrassing the organization for his comments on Reds’ player Adam Dunn.  Ricciardi apologized, but ultimately will he be “Dunn” in to?