Good morning from foggy California.
- The Mets have a new manager (again) and it is Luis Rojas, their former “quality control” coach. Rojas is the younger brother of former Cubs outfielder Moises Alou and the son of former manager Felipe Alou. (And that article explains why Rojas’ last name isn’t Alou.) At least two current Mets wrote how much they have loved working with Rojas in the past.
- Anthony DiComo has five challenges facing Rojas as Mets manager.
- On the last Mets manager, Dayn Perry looks at how the sign-stealing scandal might affect Carlos Beltran’s chances at the Hall of Fame.
- Doug Glanville looks at the “code of silence” surrounding the baseball locker room and how it relates to sign-stealing whistleblower Mike Fiers. (The Athletic sub. req.) Ultimately, Glanville comes down on the side of Fiers.
- Gabe Lacques compares the sign-stealing scandal to the PED scandal.
- Tom Verducci looks at sign-stealing incidents from throughout baseball history.
- Verducci also talked to commissioner Rob Manfred about sign stealing and other matters the commissioner wants to address over the next five years.
- Jake Mailhot looks at the Red Sox 2018 stats and tries to figure out how much they benefitted from sign-stealing. A lot, apparently. The scary thing is they weren’t doing it nearly as often as the Astros.
- A representative of the umpire’s union clarified the role of an electric strike zone in this upcoming Spring Training. MLB will not be using an electronic system to call balls and strikes, but the system will be tested in some games and then compared with the calls that the umpires make after the game.
- The big trade rumor is that the Padres have discussed a trade with the Red Sox that would send outfielder Mookie Betts to San Diego.
- AJ Cassavell examines why the Padres would want Betts, how much he would cost in trade and how likely such a deal is.
- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado wants to move on from his comments that he’s been “disrespected” by some in the organization, although he pointedly did not retract them.
- Anthony Castrovince has 11 teams that still have work to do this winter. Gee, ya think the Cubs are on the list?
- Craig Edwards previews the Rangers and concludes they still aren’t competitive.
- Anthony Simon looks at some of the Steamer projections for players for the 2020 season and is surprised by 10 of them.
- Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger has suffered a setback in his rehab and will miss the start of the season.
- New Cooperstown inductee Larry Walker will have a Rockies cap on his Hall-of-Fame plaque. That makes sense as he played the longest and had his best years in Colorado. No word yet on what cap will be on Derek Jeter’s plaque.
- MLB has become an official sponsor of the US Olympic softball team.
- Jonathan Mayo looks back at the Top 50 prospects of 2010 and re-ranks them by how their careers have gone. Jason Heyward was the number one prospect that year. He’s still in the top 15 in this re-ranking
- Miller Park, the home of the Brewers, is officially changing its name to
Wrigley NorthAmerican Family Field in 2021.
- Craig Calcaterra ranks the names of all the MLB stadiums. Not as good as his ranking managers by levels of handsomeness, but a worthy time-killer if you need one. It also gives Braves fan Calcaterra a place to rant.
- A team in the independent Frontier League has changed their name to the Florence Y’alls.
- And finally, for those who want to feel old, Nate Scott checks in on Darren Baker, Dusty Baker’s son whom J.T. Snow famously pulled out of the way in the 2002 World Series. Baker was named to the preseason All-Pac-12 team as he plays baseball for the Cal Bears.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.