It was a quiet weekend for baseball news but the two main stories to emerge since Friday are the Detroit Tigers hiring embattled former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, while rumors also circulated that the Boson Red Sox were on the cusp of potentially rehiring Alex Cora.
The two managers, both of whom were on the staff of the 2017 Astros club that was found to have cheated, were both suspended for their part in the scandal — which mostly amounted to knowing what was happening, without taking action to keep the players from their activities.
After serving their suspensions during the shortened 2020 season, it appears that an “all is forgiven” attitude has been taken by the teams who are eager to hire managers with a winning record. Whether or not it feels like Hinch and Cora have been truly punished and it’s time to forgive them, or for others who think it brings a stink of scandal to these new teams, it does appear that their return to baseball is an inevitability.
The other major story those in baseball are watching, of course, is the new class of free agents entering the market, as teams decide which options they want to take and who they’re willing to let go. Look forward to more news on these high-demand players, but more importantly, we should pay attention to how much these players are signing for, with MLB claiming low revenue is causing them to struggle after the 2020 season.
Let’s dive into the weekend links!
- Jay Jaffe looks at where the 2020 Dodgers might find themselves in MLB history.
- It’s was a big final week of the baseball season and Kaci Borowski brings us the top photos of the week. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Rob Manfred, who loves terrible ideas, has discussed that he’s open to the idea of maintaining a neutral location for future World Series games, reports Eric Prisbell.
- Heading over to ESPN for a special report, Jay Jaffe discussed which players solidified their Hall of Fame case after the World Series.
- Will Laws and Nick Selbe discuss the top 50 free agents going into the 2021 season.
- Mark Feinsand looks at the top available free agents by position.
- Fans weren’t allowed to attend games this season, so Matt Marrone sent his son to every single Mets game thanks to a cardboard cutout.
- Give this a listen.
Another must listen. Everyone in baseball needs to hunker down and pay attention. If you want to play, listen. If you want to coach, listen. If you want to scout, listen. pic.twitter.com/0h9KZLGgeh— Jeremy Booth (@_JeremyBooth) October 30, 2020
- More free agent discussion as Craig Edwards takes a look at the top 50 free agents, this time for FanGraphs.
- There were plenty of incredible defensive plays to dazzle us this postseason, but Peter Gammons says it was the shortstops who really owned October. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The Dodgers finally won it all, and Buster Olney suggests that at long last, Clayton Kershaw has nothing left to prove.
- Michael Clair brings us the nine most horrifying games in MLB history.
- Matt Martell suggests that A.J. Hinch is only at the beginning of his redemption arc as he joins the Tigers mid-rebuild.
- Likewise, over at The Athletic, Cody Stavenhagen gets into the controversy that the Tigers will bring on themselves with this choice. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- People paid a lot more attention to the KBO this year as we waited for MLB to return, and now Joon Lee looks at five KBO stars who might be looking to come stateside.
- Baby’s first World Series trophy.
Start your weekend with the cutest photo we’ve probably ever seen pic.twitter.com/gTEkGN17O3— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 30, 2020
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.