13) Three years ago, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years; Sunday, they fired manager Joe Maddon, who led them to that title.
When he was in Boston, Cubs GM Theo Epstein fired manager Terry Francona after the 2011 season; Francona won two World Series in eight years with the Red Sox, Boston’s first World Series titles in 86 years.
Not a lot of loyalty there, in either case.
Maddon is 65 years old and made $6M this year; his successor will be younger and a lot cheaper.
12) The analytics crowd in baseball doesn’t value the field manager as much as they should; teams live/travel together for 7+ months. Having the right manager makes all the difference.
If you read this site, you know I love numbers, but those guys aren’t playing fantasy baseball, managers have to deal with fragile egos and huge egos and convince guys to accept what is best for the team- they have to have real life people skills. You think major league players like to be platooned constantly?
My point is this; maybe it isn’t Joe Maddon’s fault the Cubs faded down the stretch; maybe the roster Theo Epstein gave him just wasn’t good enough.
11) Angels fired manager Brad Ausmus after only one season, a year where one of their starting pitchers was found dead in his hotel room on a road trip; not exactly an ideal scenario.
Popular wisdom is that the Angels will go after former Angel coach Maddon to be their next manager.
10) Pirates fired manager Clint Hurdle, who was 735-720 in nine years managing the Pirates, with three playoff appearances. From 2013-15, Pirates were 280-206, and made the playoffs all three years. He also led the Rockies to a World Series; pretty strong resume.
9) Cleveland Indians won 93 games this year, the most by any non-playoff team since 2000, when the Mets went 94-68 but missed the playoffs by a game.
8) Pete Alonso hit 53 homers for the Mets this year; 31 of them came with the bases empty.
7) Friday night against the Dodgers, San Francisco became the first team since the 1950 Cardinals to score 2 or less runs in a game, while stranding 17+ runners on base.
6) Monthly sports betting handle:
May: Nevada $317.3M, New Jersey $318.9M
June: Nevada $322.5M, New Jersey $317.3M
July: Nevada $235M, New Jersey $251M
August: Nevada $287.7M, New Jersey $293.5M (Pennsylvania $109M)
5) Early in his career, Dodger SS Corey Seager irritated LA officials with the number of swings he took before, during and after games; they thought he overdid it. Seager was obsessed with perfecting his swing; when he had to miss 2018 with elbow/hip injuries, he became more coachable this year and had a solid 2019, hitting .272 with 84 RBI.
4) 10 years ago, the under-18 U.S. national baseball team had Tony Wolters, Nick Castellanos, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado on it, as well as pitchers Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray and Jameson Taillon. Pretty good team; half of the 20 players made the major leagues.
3) Rutgers fired football coach Chris Ash before baseball season ended, which is unusual. Not a lot of college football coaches get the boot before Columbus Day.
2) Steelers 27, Bengals 3:
— This was a bad football game; the Bengals’ offensive line was terrible.
— Andy Dalton was sacked eight times; he averaged 2.3 yards/pass attempt.
— Two of Pittsburgh’s three TD’s were on drives of less than 50 yards.
1) I know he is just an actor and he isn’t the characters he portrays, but I would still be queasy if Robert DeNiro was mad at me.