I thought things would be quieter today than on Wednesday, but the bombshells just keep dropping. I guess the Braves changing the name of their stadium to the objectively awful “Truist Park” will have to wait until Monday. Except I just handled that now so it won’t need to anymore.
I’m pretty sure we’ve never had three managers fired in January before. Maybe George Steinbrenner fired and re-hired Billy Martin three times in January once and we just never found out about it except in a beer commercial.
- New Mets manager Carlos Beltrán was the only player mentioned in commissioner’s report on the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Now he’s the former manager of the Mets as the team and Beltrán have agreed to “mutually part ways.” Which is a euphemism for “he was fired before he even managed one game but we’re trying to let him save face.”
- Bob Nightengale reports that Beltrán pleaded with the Mets to keep his job, but the team decided that the scandal would be too much of a distraction going forward. Nightengale believes that the Mets dealt with the Beltrán firing they way they handle everything—by completely bungling it.
- Bradford Doolittle explains why the Mets had to fire Beltrán.
- Tim Britton answers all your questions about the sacking of Beltrán and where the Mets go from here. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Michael McCann looks at the statement the Red Sox made when they fired Alex Cora and what is says about the legal issues surrounding his termination. What McCann writes about Cora also seems to apply to Beltrán.
- Tom Verducci writes that MLB is in a full “ethical crisis” over the fallout from this scandal. Verducci also reports that commissioner Rob Manfred “read the teams the riot act” during the Winter Meetings about all the teams trying to skirt the rules over the past five years. Manfred also (thankfully) told teams to stop “dehumanizing” the game by referring to players as “assets” and other phrases that remind the fans of the cutthroat world of modern capitalism.
- Hannah Keyser says the lasting impact of this scandal will be to undermine everyone’s trust in the integrity of the game.
- Alden Gonzalez and Jesse Rogers spoke to rivals executives and players about their thoughts about the scandal. The funny thing is that everyone knew the Astros were stealing signs. They just thought they were doing so legally and they couldn’t figure out how.
- Anthony DiComo looks at who are the candidates to be the next Mets manager.
- Tim Brown has a more general look at what the three teams should be looking for in a new manager.
- The Astros interviewed veteran manager Buck Showalter for their vacant manager’s job.
- Mike Lupica makes the case for Showalter to get the job. For example, we know there’s no chance that Showalter will ever put Yankees pitcher Zack Britton into an Astros game by accident.
- There was a wild conspiracy theory going on in social media yesterday that the Astros were using wearable technology in their sign-stealing scheme. MLB announced that they had actually investigated rumors that the Astros were doing that and reported that they found no evidence that any of that was true.
- Eric Stephen writes about how ridiculous this entire scandal has gotten.
- Emma Baccellieri ranks the 13 most absurd elements of this story.
- How about the Los Angeles City Council voting to ask MLB to declare the Dodgers as World Series Champions for 2017 and 2018?
- ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza criticized sign-stealing whistleblower Mike Fiers for going to the media with the story. She later clarified that Fiers should have gone to his team or MLB with the story rather than the media, but this is just another example of how people try to use the concept of “team” to cover up illegal activity these days. (Also Jessica, Fiers should have gone to his team? What about the other 25-30 people who knew about this scheme and said nothing to their team or anyone else? Where’s your criticism of them?)
- Craig Calcaterra explains why fans of the Mets and Red Sox can’t argue that “everyone was doing it” to excuse their team’s own misconduct. Well they can, but it’s not an honest argument.
- Relating to that article I linked to on Monday about the Mets rape scandal of the early 1990s, Calcaterra says the media and fans need to stop glorifying the Mets of that era.
- Konstantin Kakes argues that Alex Cora did nothing wrong and that MLB is hypocritcal for the way they glorify technology in one are and condemn it in this one. This is coming from a publication called “Technology Review,” so that explains part of it. But this article is more emblematic of how people in some tech circles think the rules don’t apply to them rather than anything about baseball. Of course, Kakes’ argument that the solution to technological sign-stealing is more technology.
- Moving on! The Giants should have probably waited until next week to announce this because nobody cares right now and they should because it’s a big deal. The Giants have hired Alyssa Nakken as the first female major-league coach in history. Nakken will be in uniform before games, helping with batting practice and the like, although she won’t be in the dugout because MLB limits the number of coaches that can be in the dugout during a game.
- I may be the only one who cares about this, but the minor league Florida Fire Frogs have found a place to play next season. They will play in the Braves’ new Spring Training complex in North Port, FL. Unfortunately, this is only a solution for 2020 and they will need a new home for 2021. If they’re not contracted, that is. Honestly, this is one team I don’t have a problem with contracting.
- The Giants have signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year major-league deal.
- Richard Justice has six unanswered questions heading into Spring Training that have nothing to do with sign-stealing.
- Michael Clair called people in Donaldson, MN to ask them what they thought of the Twins signing free agent Josh Donaldson. At least one guy was pumped. That’s about 3% of the town.
- And finally, Giants manager Gabe Kapler has some weird eating habits including the odd way he eats Chicken McNuggets.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Are Spring Training camps open yet? Please?