||Posted: 02-Jan-19 03:59
||Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball is trying to remove from the internet the leaked video of former Mets manager Terry Collins ranting at umpires.
The profanity-laced video surfaced this week from a Dodgers-Mets game in May 2016 that Fox televised. Collins fumes after ace Noah Syndergaard is ejected in the third inning for throwing a fastball behind Chase Utley. In the 2015 playoffs [url=http://www.raidersfootballauthentics.com/brandon-parker-jersey-authen
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Umpire crew chief Tom Hallion is heard explaining the ejection to Syndergaard, Neil Walker and other Mets, then he breaks away to head off Collins. For many fans, the loud exchange between Collins and Hallion illuminated what actually gets said during heated disputes.
”We made a commitment to the umpires that if they would wear microphones, certain types of interactions that we all know go on the field would not be aired publicly,” Manfred said Thursday after the owners meetings ended.
”We promised them that. It’s in the collective bargaining agreement. We had no choice in a situation like that then to do everything possible to live up to our agreement. It is Labor Relations 101. To not do that is the kind of breach of trust that puts you in a bad spot over the long haul,” he said.
Manfred said there was conversation this week about how defensive shifts have affected the game. Batting averages are dropping, among other developments, and Manfred said MLB’s Competition Committee wanted to see ”whether it’s time for us to manage these trends a little more aggressively.”
A change that could occur as soon as next season: teams playing a two-game series on the weekend.
Normally, clubs meet for three games over the weekend. But in the case where marquee teams play just twice – say, Nationals-Yankees – those might be held on Saturday and Sunday.
Manfred said baseball was pleased with the pace of play. Games this year were averaging 2 hours, 59 minutes, 49 seconds through Wednesday; last year, they averaged 3:05:11.
Mound visits by catchers, coaches, managers and other teammates for nonpitching changes are down, too, from 7.41 last year to an average of 3.92 this season.
Manfred said the owners had a long discussion about the ”sports betting landscape” after Delaware and New Jersey began legal betting on games.
As for the never-ending debate on the designated hitter and whether the National League would ever switch to the DH, Manfred said: ”I think that is a continuing source of conversation among the ownership group and I think that the dialogue actually probably moved a little bit.”
Drop into just about any bank or supermarket or sports bar in the Kansas City metro area these days and there’s a good chance you’ll see one of several photographs from just a few years ago hanging on a wall.
It might be Yordano Ventura unleashing a fastball. Or Eric Hosmer sliding into home at Citi Field in New York. Or Wade Davis with his arms thrust high into the air, his blazing fastball having just closed out Game 5 of the World Series and making the Kansas City Royals the world champions.
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Those photos are reminders of better times. And how quickly things can change.
The Royals, who were indeed baseball royalty in 2015, are now neck and neck with the Orioles for the worst record in baseball. They’ve traded off their star closer, their best players are struggling and the prospects that might one day raise them from the abyss are years away from joining the club.
”The record is what it is. The hitting is what it is. The pitching is what it is,” said Royals manager Ned Yost, who presided over the rebuild that led to back-to-back World Series appearances. ”I have to continue to lead. We have to make sure this year has not been a waste.”
How did things fall apart so quickly?
To start, the Royals doled out big contracts to players that have not produced. Left fielder Alex Gordon consumes 14 percent of the payroll in the third year of a $72 million, four-year deal, but he’s hitting just .247 with five homers and 15 RBIs. Right-hander Ian Kennedy consumes 11 percent of the payroll in the third year of a $70 million, five-year deal, and he’s 1-8 with a 5.11 ERA.
The few stars that remain on the roster have likewise struggled to produce.
Salvador Perez likely will see his streak of five straight All-Star games end. The catcher, in the third year of a $52 million, six-year deal, is hitting .255 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs.
Good luck winning many games that way.
The Royals were 25-61 heading into their off day Thursday and had lost 24 of their last 28 games. They needed to go 38-38 the rest of the way just to avoid the ignominy of 100 losses.
Making things worse: The Royals are losing that many games with a payroll of about $144 million.
Another reason for the precipitous slide was year after year of poor drafts. Only one of their 13 first-round picks since 2010 is currently on the 25-man roster; Hunter Dozier is hitting .223 in 44 games as he struggles to lock down an everyday job.
”As a young guy you know you’re going to fail, and in some ways we want you to fail because that’s how you’re going to get better,” said Yost, who is going through the same slow learning process with infielder and erstwhile top prospect Adalberto Mondesi.
The son of longtime big leaguer Raul Mondesi, he is hitting .214 in 42 at-bats this season.
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Maybe that’s why the Royals have been slow to gut their roster in favor of a complete rebuild, even if that appears to be coming. They’ve already traded utility outfielder Jon Jay to the Diamondbacks and star closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals, getting five prospects in return that the Royals hope will help restock a farm system that remains one of the worst in baseball.
More moves could be coming, too. The Royals are hopeful of trading third baseman Mike Moustakas, who signed a one-year deal when no long-term offers materialized last offseason. Versatile infielder Whit Merrifield could land a few solid prospects, and left-hander Danny Duffy and even Perez could be made available, though both have torpedoed their value with poor seasons.
The combination of an old and bad team has been made even worse by the fact that the Royals are, well, pretty boring. They don’t hit an abundance of homers. Their starting rotation includes the first two pitchers to hit 10 losses in the majors. There are no young stars yet worth watching.
As a result, the Royals are drawing an average of 20,283 fans to Kauffman Stadium. That’s a drop of more than 7,000 from last season and more than 13,000 from their championship season.
Still, for all the gloom, the typically irascible Yost has taken a decidedly optimistic approach to this season. He’s been through these long and painful rebuilds and come out the other side.
It takes patience. It takes smart moves. It takes more patience.
”There’s a lot of things to look at that you’re happy with, even though the record is what it is,” he said. ”There is progress that you’re going to see on the back end, in the light, just as we did in 2013 and 2014, when we turned the corner the last time.”