Talk about landing on your feet. Don Mattingly was bypassed for the Yankees’ managing job, but he’ll likely end up as Joe Torre’s bench coach in Los Angeles, where his son, Preston, is a top prospect in the organization. That’s not a bad consolation prize.
Mattingly sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout every night? That’s like putting Steve Garvey in pinstripes. But I guess if we can get used to seeing Eddie Murray in that uniform, we can get used to anything.
The Yankees made the right call in hiring Joe Girardi. Mattingly might make a great manager someday, but Girardi is more qualified at this stage. If he’s available and hungry for the job, you take him.
Now let’s see how Girardi reacts the first time a Steinbrenner tries to interfere. Or yells too loudly at an umpire.
How many people honestly thought Terry Francona was a smart hire by the Red Sox? I wasn’t impressed. Now he’s won two World Series and is in line for a healthy raise. Go figure.
As long as we’re talking about managers who have been fired – and Francona is a member of that not-so-exclusive club – I recall at least one reader running Don Baylor’s name past me as a possible bench coach with the Orioles. He’s a candidate. And I assume that would be a pretty popular choice with fans.
Now, if the Orioles would just bring back Mike Torrez and Paul Mitchell…
To avoid any confusion, and it happens to me once in a while, it’s “Moe” Hill, not “Mo.”
And you’re really confused if you think Walt Jocketty is coming to Baltimore as team president Andy MacPhail’s right-hand man, or whatever title they’ll create (executive vice president of baseball operative right-hand men). Ignore the rumors and speculation and wild guesses. Jocketty can reach a little higher.
The GM meetings start next week, and the Orioles should have a better understanding of the market for Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada.
It’s a shame that we’re even discussing the possibility of Bedard being traded. He’s a homegrown No. 1 starter who’s signed through 2009. Teams usually embrace these guys. But the Orioles aren’t going to lose him in free agency. I think they'd rather deal him if they don’t believe they can sign him to an extension.
They’re a fourth-place team with Bedard. Maybe a trade brings back prospects that accelerate the rebuilding process. But in a perfect world, Bedard and his 200-plus strikeouts stay here.
If I get an ace, I hold onto it.
Now Tejada is another matter. I’ve always been reluctant to trade a guy who, in today’s market, still looks like a relative bargain, and who wants to play every day, and who would leave a gaping hole in the lineup. But his value isn’t getting any higher. His range and hands aren’t getting any better. He’s the player the Orioles need to focus on trading while there’s still enough interest in him. You don’t give him away, but you make every effort to find the right deal. And you know the Orioles and Cubs will talk. That much is a given.
You’d also be doing Tejada a favor. He needs a change of scenery. The view from fourth place hasn’t exactly brought out the best in him.
I bet others would agree, including a few people inside the warehouse.