Greetings from Citi Field. I think all the travel this week got to me. I'm coughing and sneezing like I'm tributing Mr. Lippman in this "Seinfeld" episode.
Just a few things:
--The Cubs fired general manager Jim Hendry, an expected move and the right one. Hendry had his shot, as he himself said, and it makes sense that (essentially) second-year owner Tom Ricketts wants a fresh start.
I happened to meet Ricketts this past week at the owners' meetings, and he certainly comes off as an impressive, sharp guy. I'd expect him to get someone from the new school, if you will; Hendry was more of an old-school scout. Ricketts says in the linked story that he'd like someone with a better grasp of statistical analysis than Hendry had.
Brian Cashman? Sure, throw him on the list. It would give him some leverage with the Yankees. Why wouldn't Ricketts be interested in Cashman, and why wouldn't Cashman be at least a little intrigued by the Cubs? But ultimately, I still see Cashman re-upping with the Yankees.
Otherwise, for now, we can discuss the usual suspects - people like White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, former Diamondbacks GM (and current Padres executive) Josh Byrnes and Major League Baseball executive Kim Ng - and at least sound smart. Ricketts seems to be someone who will take this very seriously and - admittedly, based on my small sample size of one conversation with him - make a good hire.
Oh, and forget about Pat Gillick becoming the team's president. Ricketts said that the GM would report directly to him, and my understanding is that Gillick and Ricketts don't know each other at all.
--I spoke with Francisco Rodriguez this afternoon, and he actually had some interesting things to say. He admitted that he doesn't particulary like being busted down from closer to setup man for the Brewers, but that he's dealing with it. He also said that he thought his former Mets teammate Bobby Parnell needed to get meaner.
Oh, and he said he'd be open to returning to the Mets this winter as a free agent. Yeah, I don't see that happening, unless the Mets provide a $17.5 million vesting opt...never mind.
--The Yankees received Seattle lefty Aaron Laffey on a waiver claim and made room for him on their roster by placing Freddy Garcia on the disabled list. Garcia will pitch Monday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Erik Boland reports.
The Garcia development illustrates how futile it is to try to project the Yankees' postseason starting rotation. Aside from CC Sabathia pitching the opener, that rotation figures to be largely dependent on what the team sees from Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett from now through the rest of the regular season.
--Have a great night.