It’s my first day back on the OTC beat. I hope that you’re all kind to me as I get back into the rhythm of things. Thank you to Ashley for taking over and doing such a good job in my absence and she’ll be back on Wednesday at this same bat channel as we are splitting duties here.
Tommy Lasorda was a legend. He certainly wasn’t a perfect person and he was certainly a lot of fun to make fun of, but there has been no better salesman for the game of baseball over the past several decades. If you listened to him long enough, you could almost convince yourself you were a Dodgers fan too.
I imagine he’ll show up at the Pearly Gates and St. Peter will say to him “One question before you go in, Tommy. What is your opinion of Kingman’s performance?”
Here we go. Let’s see if I remember how to do this.
- Here is MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick’s obituary for Lasorda, including a nice video tribute to the man that aired on the MLB Network.
- Tom Verducci writes that Lasorda lived a baseball life to its fullest.
- Tim Brown talks about some of his experiences with Lasorda, including a pretty funny story about a conversation that Brown had with Lasorda about death and dying.
- Michael Baumann writes about all the baseball lives Lasorda touched, usually for the better but in a few cases much more negatively. Lasorda was both a teammate of Jackie Robinson and managed Roy Oswalt in the 2000 Olympics.
- Tim Kurkjian notes that Lasorda loved two things: Dodgers baseball and being Tommy Lasorda.
- Chris Haft has the top 10 moments of Lasorda’s career.
- Michael Clair has the 11 funniest moments of Lasorda’s career, including his opinion of Kingman’s performance, if you didn’t get the reference above.
- The fallout of the Francisco Lindor/Carlos Carrasco trade to the Mets continues. Michael Baumann believes the deal is lopsided in favor of the Mets and marks the dismantling of a pretty entertaining Indians team.
- Hannah Keyser believes the Lindor deal is a sign that baseball’s economic system is broken and that too many teams are not trying to win anymore.
- Chris Cwik notes that while deals like the Lindor trade are nothing new in baseball, the way the owners are prioritizing profits over wins is driving fans away from the game and making it hard to love baseball.
- On the other hand, Katie Porter thinks it’s finally a great time to be Mets fan and looks at the impact of the trade on the Amazin’s.
- Bob Nightengale thinks the Mets have become an instant World Series contender.
- Matt Snyder looks at the state of the Indians now that they’ve dismantled their 2016-17 core without a World Series title.
- Buster Olney writes that the “Cold Stove” is about to get colder for free agents (ESPN+ sub. req.) as most teams are trying to dump as much salary as possible.
- Ken Rosenthal may have one reason for this: MLB expects that their next TV contract with ESPN will have a much lower rights fee than the current one. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Yomiuri Giants pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano could not come to an agreement with an MLB team and will return to NPB.
- Jim Allen can’t blame him as now isn’t the best time to come to MLB.
- An Angels clubhouse attendant fired for providing foreign substances to pitchers is naming names in his lawsuit against the team, including texts from Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole.
- The Cubs aren’t the only team who will replace a long-time broadcaster as Angels’ TV play-by-play man Victor Rojas has resigned to spend more time with his business and family back in Texas. And no, that’s not a nice way of saying he was pressured to leave. Rojas was well-liked and well-respected in Anaheim.
- Former Cubs player, coach and manager Joey Amalfitano has retired after a 67-year career in baseball. He had been working as an advisor in the Giants organization most recently.
- Ian Browne talks with Bianca Smith, who has been hired by the Red Sox as the first-ever Black woman coach. Smith had previously been a coach on the baseball team for Division III Carroll University.
- Eno Sarris ranks the best pitching rotations in baseball. (The Athletic sub. req.) Believe it or not, the Cubs are still in the Top Ten, thanks to being number one in command.
- Andrew Simon thinks outfielder Joc Pederson could be a steal on the free agent market.
- Kaitlyn McGrath takes a look back at the Midwest League’s Lansing Lugnuts and their long affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays, (The Athletic sub. req.) which comes to an end with the 2021 season as they are now an Athletics farm team.
- This is probably a Cub Tracks item, but it’s my first day back on this beat so I’m stealing it. Duane can use it tomorrow if he wants. But Matt Monagan takes a look back at the long history of Cubs fandom and the nation of Belize. He also talks to Gary Matthews about his 1985 trip to Belize to promote the Cubs.
- And finally, I know that most of you aren’t too happy with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees right now, but he has some really nice cleats honoring baseball greats Nolan Ryan, Satchel Paige, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ted Williams.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.