Tag: Willie Randolph

3 Missing Pieces the Yankees Could Still Land This Winter

The New York Yankees have had an eventful offseason despite not making any major splashes, yet there is still some work to do.

They have already found Derek Jeter’s successor in Didi Gregorius, traded for young starter Nathan Eovaldi, re-signed third baseman Chase Headley, brought in reliever Andrew Miller and made a handful of other smaller moves, so it has not exactly been quiet on the Yankees’ front.

Still, the Bronx Bombers 2015 roster as it is presently constructed has some question marks. The rotation’s health should be a major concern. Rob Refsnyder, who appears to be the favorite to win the second-base job heading into spring training, may or may not be ready for the job. Even the coaching staff has missing components, and it’s already January.

With spring training and the 2015 season fast approaching, here some pieces Yankees general manager Brian Cashman may look to add before the offseason comes to an end.

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New York Mets: Pitchers Who Have Come Closest to the Team’s First No-Hitter

The Mets reached a dubious milestone on Friday night against the Miami Marlins. A first-inning triple by Jose Reyes thwarted the possibility of a no-hitter for the 8,000th time in Mets history.

The no no-no’s streak is surprising not just for its 50-year span. The Mets have had any number of pitchers capable of blanking an opponent for nine innings.

In fact, seven pitchers have thrown no-hitters after leaving the Mets, according to NoNoHitters.com, a website that keeps a running update of the Mets’ futility. Another 10 came to the Mets with no-hitters under their belts.

Nolan Ryan, of course, posted seven no-hitters in his post-Mets career. Tom Seaver threw one for the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, the season following his departure from New York. Dwight Gooden and David Cone added further insult by pitching no-hitters for the Yankees.

Hideo Nomo and Mike Scott also chalked up no-hitters after leaving the Mets. The most recent Mets alum on the list is Philip Humber, who pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history for the Chicago White Sox last month.

The Mets have come close to breaking into the no-hit club. There have been 35 one-hitters in team history. In some of them, an early inning hit was followed by pitching perfection.

Many others were denied in the late innings. Here are six that were stopped in the eighth and ninth innings.

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New York Mets: 10 Most Embarrassing Moments in Franchise History

    Just when you think you’ve seen it all, almost every season a player on the New York Mets makes headlines for a surprising off-the-field issue.  The multitude of inappropriate actions and embarrassing behavior by the team feels more like a soap opera than a professional baseball organization.

    While the New York Yankees perennially grace the cover of local newspapers for winning championships, the Mets created news over the years with locker-room brawls, drug scandals and throwing fireworks into a crowd of fans.

   With Johan Santana on the disabled list until mid-season, fans are not expecting the 2011 version of the Mets to be a playoff-caliber team that can compete for the National League East division title.  Realistically, all we can hope for is that the squad displays some professionalism to get the focus back to baseball. 

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, so here is a look back at the most embarrassing moments in New York Mets history.

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Don Mattingly and L.A. Dodgers Continue to Explore Coaching Staff Options

Normally when a new manager is hired in Major League Baseball, his first task is to assemble his own coaching staff, but in the case of Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers, things may be a bit more complicated than they look.

Seemingly, the market for potential coaches around the league is excellent, but problems may lie in trying to convince possible candidates to come to Los Angeles and join a franchise in heavy turmoil. This could very well be the primary reason that General Manager Ned Colletti has gotten involved in the hiring process and not allow Mattingly to put together the staff on his own.

It was reported on Saturday that Tim Wallach has signed a deal to become part of the coaching crew in 2011, so long as he doesn’t accept a managerial position with any other team.

Although it sounds like good news for Dodgers fans, the number of Major League clubs seeking managers will be very high, and Wallach has stated previously that managing is his highest ambition.

Still, it was speculated that Wallach was a leading candidate to fill the Toronto Blue Jays‘ managing vacancy, yet several sources revealed last Saturday that Wallach turned down an interview for the job.

Many people guessed that Wallach could possibly fill the batting coach position vacated by Mattingly, but Dodgers officials confirmed that if Wallach indeed becomes part of the staff, he will assume the role of either bench coach or third base coach. Wallach held the post of batting coach previously for Los Angeles during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

If Los Angeles is forced to primarily promote from within the organization, it’s assumed that current hitting instructor Jeff Pentland may be a sure bet to become the next Dodgers batting coach.

It has also been mentioned that Los Angeles may be pursuing Willie Randolph to become bench coach. Randolph, a former teammate of Mattingly’s with the New York Yankees, is the current bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Larry Bowa, the current Dodgers third base coach, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for bench coach. Bob Schaefer, who was the Dodgers bench coach in 2009, has already declined to return next season.

According to additional reports, current first base coach Mariano Duncan has been told to pursue other interests, although there may be a spot available for him coaching in the Dodgers’ farm system if he so inclines to explore that avenue.

Rick Honeycutt, who has been the Los Angeles pitching coach since 2006, was reportedly offered a contract to return, however Honeycutt has yet to accept or decline the offer.

Baseball critics everywhere continue to say that the Dodgers need to be very aggressive in both the free-agent and trade markets this winter in order to be contenders in 2011, yet at this stage assembling a coaching staff seems to have its own difficulties.

Depending on the outcome of the McCourt divorce trial and the availability of cash, it may be difficult to convince a big market free-agent to sign a deal with Los Angeles, much less a high profile coach.

For the Dodger faithful, there’s probably no reason to panic just yet; nevertheless, everyone involved with the organization should hope to have something definite in place before Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin on December 6. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Pittsburgh Pirates and the Potential End of the John Russell Era

In one of the worst seasons in Pittsburgh Pirates history, it was almost fitting that the season ended with a loss—a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon.

Along with the loss come the rumors of the possible firing of manager John Russell and that General manager Neal Huntington will be retained.

For a change, I agree with both decisions if they were to happen.

First, Huntington.  He’s done a quality job bringing talent into the organization.  Look at the whole organization now, from the time he took over for Dave Littlefield. For the average players he had to deal, he’s done a fine job of trying to rebuild the Pirates.

The Pirates went from having no prospects four years ago to having the organization flooded with “real prospects.”  He’s drafted great.  He’s gotten involved in international free agents.  he’s doing an overall good job.  When you criticize Huntington, don’t forget he’s got a cheap owner backing him.  The sky isn’t exactly the limit for him.

Sure Huntington has made a couple of mistakes, but his overall track record has been solid.  he deserves the chance to see his guys reach the majors.

Now onto Russell.  The fact is, someone has to be held accountable.  You can make whatever excuses you want for Russell, but the facts are that he didn’t get the job done.  You can say that they traded away all of his players in 2009, but he didn’t win when they were here to begin with either.

Sure, he hasn’t had great talent, but he had to do better then he did.  In three seasons, Russell compiled a record of 186-289.  His .383 winning percentage is ninth worse of all-time.  The names ahead of him?  You don’t know any of them.  All of them managed in the early 1900s or late 1800s.

Other than Roy Hartsfield (.343 winning percentage), who managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977-79, Russell is statistically the worst manager in baseball over the past 100 years.  He has to be held accountable for that.

Aside from the wins and losses, there is the lazy demeanor.  I firmly believe that teams take on the personality of their manager.  That is evident in this team, because the Pirates are lazy on the field.  Sure they hustle, but they don’t have the fire to them.

Many people want Russell fired because he doesn’t come out and rant and rave like Lou Piniella would.  I could care less about that. I don’t need a guy that draws attention to himself. 

What I do need, though, is a guy who will stick up for his players, which Russell doesn’t.  How many times do the Pirates pitchers not get the call a couple inches off the plate, but have it go against them when they are batting?  A good manager doesn’t let that happen for 162 games.

Russell, and his staff, also must be held accountable for the lack of fundamentals this team shows.  Sure they are young, but they make far too many fundamental mistakes.  Way too often: the Pirates don’t throw to the right base, miss the cut off man, fail to lay down bunts, can’t hit behind the runner, etc.

Little things win games and the Pirates don’t do them under Russell.

Also, has there ever been a worse base running team then this current Pirates club?  The players didn’t ever get held accountable, so they continued to make the same mistakes over and over again.

The facts are that with all of the promising young talent the Pirates have now and the ones that will be called up in the future, you don’t want them playing for Russell.  There are just too many bad, lazy habits to be learned under Russell and his staff.

Who should replace him?  It’s way too early to tell.  I’ve often dropped names like Phil garner, Willie Randolph, and Bobby Valentine, but none of those guys will want to work for the cheap Bob Nutting.

You have to hire a manager that has won before though.  You need someone who will gain the respect of the players from the first day he’s on the job.  They need a guy to come in and say, “This isn’t the way we play here anymore.”

One name I would like to see here is Freddie Gonzalez.  He has experience managing young players and definitely showed he is a no nonsense type of manager.  he’s also a candidate for both the Cubs and the Braves openings, so the Pirates likely have no chance at him.

Another name to keep an eye on is former Indians manager Eric Wedge.  Sure, things didn’t end well for him in Cleveland, but many people forget that Wedge had a young Indians team only one win away from the World Series.

The problem is that there will likely be over ten managerial openings this upcoming offseason.  None of the qualified candidates are going to want to work for a cheap owner, no matter how promising the young talent on the field is.

Either way, Russell must go and the Pirates absolutely can not make a mistake hiring his replacement.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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