Sunday, November 28News That Matters

Tag: Baseball

Mets Bolster Offense With Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha

Mets Bolster Offense With Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha

Sports
In Billy Eppler’s last general manager job, with the Los Angeles Angels, his roster had a few big stars with exorbitant contracts, but not much else. The Angels collapsed under that lopsided structure, and a lack of depth has also stymied his new team, the Mets.“Personally, that’s one of my bigger takeaways over the last 10 years in baseball, is that importance of depth,” Eppler said recently, when the Mets introduced him as their new general manager. “I also suffered similarly, at times, when that was tested and you didn’t have places to turn to. And it’s just, frankly, not easy to go execute a trade.”The Mets avoided the trade market on Friday in adding the kind of depth Eppler wants. The team agreed to contract terms with three free agents: center fielder Starling Marte, outfielder/firs...
Meet the New Members of This Year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Meet the New Members of This Year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Sports
The Baseball Hall of Fame unveiled the new writers’ ballot on Monday, and complicated only begins to describe it. This is the final appearance for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, and the first for David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez. Each has a long history of boldface headlines, for reasons on and off the field.Eleven others are making their debut on the ballot, and it’s a decorated group: three Most Valuable Player Award winners (Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau, Jimmy Rollins), two Cy Young Award winners (Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy), two All-Star M.V.P.s (Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder), two closers with 300 saves (Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon) and two others with multiple All-Star appearances and a World Series championship (A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teixeira).With apologies to Ortiz an...
Hiring Billy Eppler as GM Is a ‘Relief’ for Mets Leadership

Hiring Billy Eppler as GM Is a ‘Relief’ for Mets Leadership

Sports
There are lots of reasons to be encouraged by the hiring of Billy Eppler, who was finally introduced on Friday as the Mets’ new general manager. As a pro scouting director, he helped win a World Series for the Yankees. As a general manager, he signed Shohei Ohtani for the Los Angeles Angels. At 46, he is young enough to appreciate the value of data, but old enough to honor the instincts of scouts.“I just came back from the M.L.B. owner meetings, and I can tell you: just universal praise for the hiring,” said the Mets’ owner, Steven Cohen, who is rebooting the organization again after a trying first season, on and off the field.“I mean, people coming up to me from everywhere saying that we got a real pro, well-liked in the industry, well-respected. So I’m excited. Listen, I put a lot of tim...
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani Wins AL MVP Award

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani Wins AL MVP Award

Sports
Shohei Ohtani was extraordinary this season. Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star, smashed 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs and posted a .965 on-base plus slugging percentage, trailing only Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the American League. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Ohtani was also his team’s best starting pitcher, amassing a 3.18 earned run average and 156 strikeouts in 130 ⅓ innings over 23 starts.On Thursday, Ohtani’s historic efforts were rewarded with the A.L. Most Valuable Player Award. He joined the former Seattle Mariners star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, the 2001 A.L. M.V.P., as the only Japanese players in Major League Baseball history to earn the award.Ohtani received all 30 of the first-place votes for the award, which is presented annually by the Baseball W...
Bryce Harper Wins Second NL MVP Award

Bryce Harper Wins Second NL MVP Award

Sports
Bryce Harper knew just how to endear himself to the locals when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. He signed a contract without an opt-out clause, showing loyalty to a city that demands it. He adopted the Eagles as his favorite football team, dropping the hated Dallas Cowboys. He formed a bromance with the most beloved creature in town, the Phillie Phanatic, paying regular tribute to the mascot with headbands, cleats and even a green sport coat.Yet the surest way to the heart of any fan base is to be the best player in the league. Harper did that this season, and the baseball writers certified it on Thursday. They voted Harper as the winner of the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award for the second time of his career, and his first as a Phillie.Harper, a right fielder who...

Randy Arozarena and Jonathan India Win Rookie of the Year Awards

Sports
They came into this season with wildly different levels of major league experience, but outfielder Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays and second baseman Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds are leaving it the same way, with each being named the winner of his league’s Rookie of the Year Award on Monday.The awards, which are given annually by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, hardly came as a surprise: Arozarena (4.1) and India (3.9) were the top rookies in the majors in wins above replacement and each played a central role in his team’s success this year.Arozarena, who led American League rookies in hits (145), runs (94), doubles (32), stolen bases (20) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.815) received 22 first-place votes, beating out his fellow finalists, pitcher Luis G...

To Keep Shohei Ohtani Happy, the Angels Have to Win

Sports
CARLSBAD, Calif. — As autumn extended from leaves changing to leaves falling, Perry Minasian, the general manager of the Los Angeles Angels, was besieged with questions from his children. Why, the kids wanted to know, are our grandparents visiting Uncle Zack and Uncle Calvin but not us?The answer was easy. The Minasians are a baseball family. Zack is the pro scouting director for the San Francisco Giants, and the Giants won the National League West and were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers in a division series. Calvin is the director of clubhouse and equipment for the Atlanta Braves, and his 2021 ride went all the way to the World Series title. So the brothers’ parents, Zack and Barbara, spent October and early November crisscrossing the country cheering for two of their four sons. (Another...
Amid Fear of a Work Stoppage, Baseball Is Stuck in Neutral

Amid Fear of a Work Stoppage, Baseball Is Stuck in Neutral

Sports
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Expected to still be rebuilding, this year’s Seattle Mariners offered a glimpse of their potential future. They won 90 games, the team’s highest total since 2003. Their hopes of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2001 — the longest playoff drought among teams from the four major North American men’s professional sports leagues — were alive until the final day of the regular season.So the mission for Jerry Dipoto, Seattle’s president of baseball operations, this off-season is clear: continue shaping the young team into a contender — with loosened purse strings from Mariners owners. For an aggressive and restless executive like Dipoto, though, this winter is likely to offer a unique challenge.At midnight on Dec. 1, the foundation of the sport — the collective...
If You Can Make It There, the Mets Would Love to Have Your Number

If You Can Make It There, the Mets Would Love to Have Your Number

Sports
CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Mets play in a vibrant city, in the largest market in Major League Baseball. They have passionate fans all over the region, country and world. Their stadium is only 12 years old. They have arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Jacob deGrom. And under their owner, Steven A. Cohen, the richest in baseball, the franchise has ample resources.So why are the Mets, for a second straight off-season, struggling to lure someone to lead their baseball operations department?“We’ve talked to a lot of people, probably half the people that are going to be here today,” Sandy Alderson, the president of the Mets, said on Tuesday morning with a chuckle while standing outside the hotel where M.L.B.’s general managers meetings were being held this week.“In some cases, we haven’t gotte...
Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and the Big Free Agency Questions

Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and the Big Free Agency Questions

Sports
With the completion of the World Series, baseball moved immediately into free agency — sort of. The league’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Dec. 1, and as a result, very little movement is expected as teams and players alike wait to find out how everything is going to shake out. The possibility exists that the league could enact a lockout on Dec. 2, which would halt all activities until a deal is reached.As we wait for those proceedings to finalize, and hope the sport does not find itself in a work stoppage, there are some big questions to ponder while the hot stove preheats.Is Carlos Correa the next $300 million player?The cost of a top-flight shortstop is high — very high. After Fernando Tatis Jr. signed a market-altering $340 million contract with the San Diego Padr...