Days like today are the days I really didn’t miss working here over the past year. The news today, which Sara handled so deftly yesterday, is so . . . well, infuriating is really too mild a word. It’s hard for me to handle it and keep my already way-too-high blood pressure under control. I love this sport and every day I continue to ask myself whether or not it deserves my devotion. I can’t help but be reminded of this piece by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight (video) about soccer and FIFA. The sport is rotten and we still love it with all our hearts.
But today is the start of a new era, right?
- Jeff Passan reveals the details of how he and Mina Kimes came to write the story on now-former Mets general manager Jared Porter. (Audio) Passan does say that the Cubs employee who dealt with the woman told Passan they did not tell anyone else in the organization about it. Whether that’s true or not, Passan has no evidence to say it isn’t true.
- Deesha Thosar writes the behavior of Porter, while on the extreme side, is all-too-common to any woman working in sports journalism. She also gives an example of her receiving unwanted advances while on the job and how women and media are always having to guess what people’s motivations are.
- Brittany Ghiroli has personal examples as well and how exhausting it is for female reporters to have to deal with this all the time. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Shalise Manza Young writes about how pervasive this all is and that firing Jared Porter won’t change much. What would help, she writes, is if more people believed women when they reported such behavior and spoke out against it when they saw it.
- Mets president Sandy Alderson said that Jared Porter came with glowing character references, but Hannah Keyser asked if they asked any women for references. Alderson admitted they had not.
- Alderson said this incident was a “wake-up call” for him and vows to do better in the future.
- Ken Rosenthal agrees this behavior is too common and that the culture needs to change. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- It’s unfortunate this piece is getting buried by Porter’s reprehensible behavior, but Doug Glanville explains why baseball needs more black managers and while, despite being qualified, it won’t be him. At least for the time being, Glanville believes it is much more important in the America of 2021 for him to be a black father than a black manager. The two jobs are too demanding for him to do both at the same time.
- Now on to the normal news of a baseball offseason. The Blue Jays have signed free agent outfielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million deal.
- That wasn’t the only Blue Jays deal this week. Right-handed reliever Kirby Yates inked a one-year, $4.5 million deal with an additional $5.5 million in incentives.
- Also, former Cubs right-hander Tyler Chatwood signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Toronto.
- So things are really looking up in Toronto. Except that it might not be Toronto. Tim Brown reports that the Blue Jays still don’t know where they are going to play the 2021 season. The border is still restricted due to COVID restrictions. They played in Buffalo last season, but the Triple-A Bison are planning to play this year. Then there is their Spring Training home in Dunedin, but that’s still a Class-A ballpark.
- R.J. Anderson notes that there are a lot of things we still don’t know about the 2021 season and he doesn’t even include where the Blue Jays are going to play.
- The Padres acquired pitcher Joe Musgrove from the Padres as part of a three-team deal with the Mets.
- Ben Clemens evaluates the Musgrove trade and thinks it’s a win-win deal, at least considering that the Pirates have no chance of competing even in the weak NL Central this season.
- Keith Law writes that the Padres have traded their way to a World Series-quality rotation. (The Athletic sub. req.) He also thinks the Pirates did well enough in the deal, especially considering the player they got from the Mets in the deal.
- Former Cubs pitcher José Quintana agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Angels, reuniting him with his former manager Joe Maddon.
- The Halos also inked free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. But Dan Szymborski is wary of the value of the 38-year-old veteran in 2021, even at that price.
- Pitcher Corey Kluber signed with the Yankees last week and Dan Szymborski explains what the Bombers can expect out of the former two-time Cy Young Award winner.
- Dayn Perry examines what would happen if MLB adopted the Charlie O. Finlay proposal of making every player a free agent at the end of every season. Chaos, for one thing.
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is know for making lots of deals and he hasn’t done much of anything this winter. Dipoto explained that the current state of the Mariners doesn’t merit a lot of deals at this time. He also lays out what moves the M’s still do need to make before the season starts.
- Giants owner Charles Johnson explained that he didn’t realize that he was giving political donations to QAnon-supporting candidates.
- MLB is “motivated” to have a Draft Combine before the 2021 Draft, probably in Cary, NC in June.
- Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton has died at age 75. Sutton was never among the best players in baseball, but he was one of the most-consistently good players for pretty much every season of his unbelievable 23-year career. My late father had a friend who said he went to high school with Sutton. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but his rough age and the city (Pensacola, FL) checked out, so it’s possible. He said when Sutton got his bonus for signing with the Dodgers, Sutton bought a sports car and he, Sutton and some other high school buddies took a road trip. To where? I don’t remember. Again, don’t know if that’s true. Don’t know that it’s relevant. But it’s a more pleasant thing to write about than a lot of the other things today.
- Matt Monagan looks at the life and career of John Gochnaur, who is the person whose name comes up if you ask Google “Who was the worst baseball player ever?”
- And finally, Michael Clair gives his list of the best 50 current nicknames in baseball. You won’t have any arguments with his choice for number one.
And tomorrow will be a better day that today, Buster. Praise be.