If Sun Tzu were alive today, and assuming he’d enjoy the game of baseball, he would love the psychological chess match Joe Maddon and Bobby Valentine engaged in over the weekend. The maneuvering that unfolded at Fenway Park in Boston would have been nothing, if not flattering, to the legendary military strategist.
There is a new trend developing in the Major League Baseball free agent market, and it’s nauseating. Players, namely free agent Roy Oswalt, are attempting to game the major league free agent system in an effort to pitch less, prolong their career, while shopping their talent to select contenders. Call it the new “short season.”
Call it coincidence. Call it luck. Call it whatever you’d like. But history will tell you the Baltimore Orioles success is attributed to their logo — yes, their logo. OK, well maybe Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Boog Powell, Cal Ripken Jr. and Earl Weaver had a little influence too, but …
Just as the ink dried on Bob Raissmann’s New York Daily News weekend column, the one that suggested Terry Collins is a one-of-a-kind, honest manager among the few, the proud, the New York Mets manager opened his mouth and out poured the same doublespeak every major league manager is prone too.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins could have leaned on any number of reasons to remove Frank Francisco as the closer, the most obvious being the two blown saves last weekend against the Miami Marlins. Instead, Collins did what any manager who is trying to build confidence in his players would do: he gave his closer a vote of confidence.
If there is such a thing as a productive loss, the New York Mets may have had one Friday in Miami.
Howard Johnson can empathize with Ike Davis. The former Met player remembers what April and May were like. A notorious slow starter, over his 14-year career, Johnson hit .219 in the month of April with a .317 on-base percentage. He was a career .237 hitter in May.
Slow down. That’s what then Mets manager Davey Johnson told the young Mets third baseman Howard Johnson.
It would be easy — too easy, in fact — to inflate Daniel Murphy’s value to the New York Mets after his 4-for-4 performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday. But if we step back and look at Murphy’s 2012 season as a whole, and the impact he’s had on the Mets success, the stock of the third baseman-turned left fielder-turned first baseman-turned second baseman is on the rise.