An impromptu tour around the bigs, prompted mostly by …
- Awful news out of New York: pitching phenom Matt Harvey has a partially torn UCL (yes, that’s the ligament associated with Tommy John surgery), and is going to be shut down for the rest of the year. The folks involved will soon decide whether Harvey needs surgery, which would end his 2014 season as well. Although his performance has been eclipsed by Clayton Kershaw’s historic season, and his “story line” (rare, youthful success) had started to erode thanks to the righty in Florida who is three years Harvey’s junior, Matt Harvey was one of the best stories of the season. He was dominant and fun, and magnified by the New York lens. He was also something on which fans of rebuilding teams could hang their hat – maybe someday, those fans dreamt, we can have our Harvey blow up! I am bummed for Mets fans, and bummed for baseball. I really enjoyed watching Harvey. (And his spot on Jimmy Fallon was funny as hell.)
- There is a serious rift between Angels manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry DiPoto, per Jeff Passan and others. It seems likely that one or the other will be gone after the year, and Scioscia is under contract through 2018(!). The narrative is that DiPoto is a “stats” guy, and Scioscia is an “old school” guy, but it could just be the case that you’ve got a horrible mix of personalties – including overly-involved owner Arte Moreno – that all contributed to putting together a crummy roster. Throw in some bad luck, and you’ve got a very expensive underachiever. Heads usually roll in those situations.
- Those Angels problems date further back than this year, too. Scott Miller reports that Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols almost came to blows last year amidst a dysfunctional clubhouse. BUY ALL THE PLAYERS not only doesn’t always work, sometimes it blows up in the face of what you already have.
- Grant Brisbee dispenses with the mini-controversy about Ichiro’s 4,000 hits between Japan and MLB by determining how many hits he would have had in the States had he played in MLB for his entire career. Brisbee’s calculation comes up with something just shy of 3900, but that’s not as much fun as reading how he got there.
- If you make a commercial with baseball as the backdrop, you better make damn well sure it’s within certain boundaries of reality – lest Cespedes Family BBQ smack you down.