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CYALinks: Manage-Mints

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BBWAA tabs Managers of the Year. Giants hire a new skipper. And another skipper retires.

Rangers v Angels
Bartolo Colon was the first franchise AL Cy Young Award winner, in 2005.
Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

THE HOT CORNER

MLB Managers of the Year were named yesterday. Congratulations to Rocco Baldelli of the Twins for being named American League Manager of the Year for 2019......And congratulations also to Mike Shildt of the Cardinals for being named National League Manager of the Year for 2019......

I am stunned. No Craig Counsell and no Kevin Cash, whom I thought to be the writers’ darlings. Or no Counsell and Aaron Boone, because they were “expected”??

Accidentally, I have appeared to have nailed this one. In my voting I also chose Baldelli as the AL Manager of the Year, which makes me smart, I guess? And I chose Shildt as the NL Manager of the Year. Does that make me doubly smart? Or does it make me yet another old dog on the worthless porch of the BBWAA?

The IBWAA announced their (our?) final vote yesterday as well, and agreed with me on Baldelli, but Brian Snitker won the NL honor.

($$) - That solo NL Rookie of the Year vote in favor of pitcher Mike Soroka of the Braves stuck out like a sore thumb, and certainly brought attention to TheAthletic voter Andrew Baggerly. This naturally forces Baggerly to defend himself. Baggerly does a decent job of admitting that once he looked at Soroka he discovered just how dominant Soroka was in 2019. I think (based on the reading) that he allowed the scales to tip in Soroka’s favor because although Pete Alonso’s home run tally was amazing, it was somewhat less so in a super ball era. Which makes me snicker at Jon Heyman’s reaction, that Soroka “over-thought it”. Not sorry, mister based-in-New-York-and-loving-the-daily-Alonso-bash Heyman, but if anything I think YOU are under thinking this.

Today is Cy Young Award Winner Day..........


ANGELS

Jordon Adell is still baseballing.............And that home run helped move team USA past Japan in the Olympic Qualifying tournament..........

And Adell looks to only be on the verge of getting better............

Good news! Zack Cozart is healing!..........

Oh, gak! The Angels have hired Tony La Russa. Senior Advisor, Baseball Operations. Yikes......yikes.....yikes.....yikes.....yikes...........Not a fan of this, at all..........

Once Upon a Time MLB hosted a national “Fan Cave” contest, which was won by Danny Farris, Angels fan. This spun Farris into an MLB career in Social Media and marketing. First with MLB, then the Halos, and most recently (the last 4 seasons) with the Astros. Danny has now moved on from the Astros, and heading back to Anaheim?..........


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

Adam Wainwright is happy to remain a Cardinal. This is the kind of thing that happens right away, players re-signing with their immediate team.............

Gerrit Cole is looking at a contract FLOOR that is north of $300 million..........

Signing right away is NOT something that is going to be happening with Boras clients. It should be just as alarming to learn that even if a Gerrit Cole gets a humongous offer smack in his wheelhouse of expectations, he still is going to sit there for two months and let things stew. Because almost nobody but Rob Manfred will speak up and point out how that bottlenecks the whole process, and runs counter to player/agent/fan/media interest in activity as soon as the Free Agent doors open. And who wants to believe anything Rob Manfred has to say?..........(I cannot find a link to it, but I heard Dallas Keuchel quoted on the radio yesterday morning lamenting how baseball is so much unlike NBA and NFL with no feeding frenzy when Free Agency opens up. Talk to Boras, Keuchel. Talk to Boras.)..........

But that’s not going to be a problem for us, because Dan Duquette is convinced that Arte signing Cole is hopeless. Because of Arte’s history with Scott Boras.............

The Yankees are, as we already linked, not going to ignore a Gerrit Cole or a Stephen Strasburg on the Free Agent market. They are too hungry for starting pitchers and too wealthy not to play. But they appear to know that both guys want to play in California, so they aren’t going to be played. They seem to know that unless they completely blow the Angels and Padres bids out of the water, Cole and Strasburg are coming west............

Not sure I am following this. The White Sox are so far back at the talent level (see them here, 24th in MLB?) that one assumes they are still a few seasons away from completing their tank cycle. But that is ignored and the White Sox are going to be major spending players in the Free Agent market? We need to care because if the White Sox become the offseason wild card it could have a cascading effect. And I do keep hearing White Sox rumors so something might actually be up.........

The Giants hired Gabe Kapler to be their manager after all. I predict an equally hostile fan reaction over the season from an equally knowledgeable fan base as the Phillies. This smells (to me) like a Front Office wanting a friendly and pliable brain in the dugout that they can use as a conduit. It’s not as though Kapler has some track record of managerial excellence...........

Mike Scioscia would like to un-retire. He would consider managing again. Mike Scioscia must not be very woke about the reputation created around him during Jerry Dipoto’s tenure in Anaheim. Pretty much every MLB Front Office is staffed with young math guns and none of them would go out of their way to create the potential of resistance to their work efforts..........

Josh Paul - yes, THAT Josh Paul - has landed a new gig with the Detroit Tigers. He used to be our bench coach. Now he will be Detroit’s quality control coach. Focusing as the quality of balls thrown back to the pitcher? Some day we will hear of Paul in the mix for some manager job.............


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

($$) - Houston is looking more despicable by the week, are they not? The Astros are being outed by former players for using electronic means to spy and steal signals. This is a clear violation of very clear MLB rules that MLB has been trying to heavily enforce. At least one of the former players is Mike Fiers, who chooses not to remain anonymous. That’s not going to make him many friends in baseball, so the guy deserves respect. The focus of the article is the 2017 season, but we have read of accusations directed at Houston that have been far more recent so now we have a cause for a lot of doubt. We also now have cause to doubt all that pitch-tipping theory..........

Not requiring any subscription, the Internet pulled up evidence you can check and confirm for yourself. Here is Danny Farquhar versus Evan Gattis on 9/21/2017. (Some sites may define this as September 22, but that game was Angels at Houston.) You can hear the trash can banging on pitches #3, #5 and #7.

(Actually, you can grab the entire game here. I started with the first Houston batter of the game, George Springer. You an clearly hear two garbage can thumps on pitch #4, right after the closeup on Josh Reddick. They did it the entire game. I am thinking about documenting this entire game, cataloging the pitches against StatCast data so we know what kind of pitches are being spied, and also noting how many times an Astro swung at a pitch that was spied when that pitch was not clearly off the plate.) ..........

Here is a George Springer home run off Mets pitcher Chris Flexen in the 4th inning on 3/3/2017, where you hear a single drum bang for a slider that Springer was just camped on..........(h/t reddit)..........

Mike Clevinger and the Indians knew..........Carson Smith and the Red Sox knew..........Trevor Bauer knew all along...........And absolutely all the Astros knew..........But Carlos Beltran, new Mets manager and member of that 2017 Astros team? He didn’t know. Hilariously, he seems to want us to believe that all of their intense studies of opposing teams and opposing pitchers resulted in a strategy of somebody sitting in the dugout, recognizing what the next pitch would be at precisely the moment that the catcher signaled it, and that player would then dash back into the tunnel and grab a bat to start thumping the info to the Houston batter. Total bullshit, of course..........

Houston, caught red-handed, is now “investigating”. How far does this “investigation have to go? You mean to tell me that A.J. Hinch is sitting right there in the dugout and completely unaware that there is this non-random trash can banging going on in the tunnel behind him all game, but only on home games? And you mean to tell me that nobody in the Front Office was already well aware that the centerfield camera feed was being piped directly into the Astros tunnel?..........

And right behind the Astros in magic stealing would be the Rangers and Brewers?..........Not that this bother the Rangers any..........

The final figures are in, and the Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees all exceeded the tax threshold for 2019. Each one of those stories is interesting for a unique reason. The Cubs are the result of the Theo Epstein tank. The Red Sox are now reaping the results of the Dave Dombrowski mortgage of their future in order to buy a WS trophy (and still have a Dustin Pedroia problem). And the Yankees are .........

Erik Neander of the Rays was not gifted one of those magic GM-who-grinds-player-payroll-into-dust award, since that is not handed out anymore. Instead, for doing so much at such a low payroll, he had to settle for MLB Executive of the Year..........

Goodness gracious, what are we coming to? This is a long form, but well worth reading from your baseball-savvy and baseball-centric lives. He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued. You read that right. A high school baseball coach doing 3B duty told a kid to slide on a play where the fielder throw was the third. The player was injured on the slide. The coach was sued for being liable for that injury. I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you up front that a jury ruled in favor of the coach. But that was just barely. A more clever plaintiff lawyer, a stupider group of 12 random people, and we are all hosed..............

Another long form. This one just as interesting but far more quirky. (h/t Sam Miller) It tells the story of a very short-lived MiLB team that ran out of money, and voted themselves to disband, which happened to occur the very day that MLB players went on strike in 1994..........


STUFF

Pete Alonso is one funny guy.............I am with Jordan Hicks (Cardinals pitcher) on this one. Limes are mission critical to the survival of civilization. And I am not just talking about warding off scurvy. I am talking about margaritas, and Mai Tais..........Clint Hurdle has retired from baseball. Hurdle broke into MLB in 1977 with the Royals, so sure I recall him as a new player. Sheesh.............