Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Notes,quotes and comment

It's a fairly quiet time around MLB -- almost like everybody is holding their collective breath waiting for today's Hall of Fame announcement before continuing with their offseason chores -- but there are a few little items lying around ....

* Ryan Howard of the Phillies and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals on Tuesday sued Al-Jazeera America for libel over its report linking them (and the NFL's Peyton Manning and others) to performance enhancing drugs. Meanwhile, the New York Times had this piece connecting the Al-Jazeera source (Charles Sly) to a fitness trainer (Jason Riley) who has worked with several athlete Sly claimed in the report to have gotten PEDs. Sly and Riley are business partners. There may well be some fire to this smoke,

* The Twins last winter dropped their longtime Double A affiliation with what was then the New Britain (Conn,) Rock Cats and linked up with the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Lookouts. The RockCats are now officially the Hartford Yard Goats, and they are apparently homeless for the start of the 2016 season, with the promised new stadium bearing some $10 million in overruns and the developer and city at loggerheads. The Twins may have seen this mess coming and gotten out of the way.

* Paul DePosesta, who was briefly general manager of the Dodgers (at probably the worst time to be the general manager of the Dodgers in the last 50 years or more) and pioneered the influx of Ivy Leaguers into MLB, left the New York Mets to work for the Cleveland Browns, where he will have the title of "chief strategy officer." That title apparently means something, but I'm not sure exactly what.

DePosesta played football for Harvard and, apparently, only got into baseball because he couldn't land a job with an NFL team. In baseball, he was something of a pioneer in the use of analytics, starting with the Cleveland Indians and then moving on to Oakland (where he was a significant character in Michael Lewis' celebrated Moneyball book; he was the basis for the Jonah Hill character in the movie and the one character who the moviemakers gave a different name), the Dodgers, the Padres and the Mets.

He was seen as a possible successor to Sandy Alderson with the Mets, and Alderson is dealing with cancer right now, so his departure might be a bit of a headache for the defending NL champs.

The Browns, as I understand it, are considered a laughingstock around the NFL. So were the Mets when DePosesta got there; #LOLMets used to be a frequent Twitter hashtag. Nobody's laughing at the Mets now.

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