It is difficult to forecast how front office changes will influence the rosters of Major League Baseball teams, but in 2010, the rumors and announcements alike seem to be coming at a faster and more intense rate than in the past.
The men in charge of the New York Mets are far from the most popular “M&M Boys” in Gotham City history, as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris will forever hold that distinction. General Manager Omar Minaya and field boss Jerry Manuel will not be returning to the Mets in those roles for the 2011 season, SI.com reported Friday.
Though the formal announcement has not yet come, the two are expected to be given the bad news prior to the start of the playoffs. The Mets had been rumored to be considering general manager replacements for Minaya for some time despite owing him a reported $2.5 million over the next two years. The former Expos GM has led the Mets for six seasons and several reports suggest he may be reassigned rather than fired outright.
One name apparently interested in the Mets job should it open up is former Cleveland and Texas GM and current MLB Network analyst John Hart. The New York Post also mentioned ex-Arizona GM Josh Byrnes and Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings as possible candidates while the Times adds Jerry DiPoto, a former Mets pitcher and Arizona’s interim GM following Byrnes’ firing.
Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten resigned this past week. Initial informal word was that he needs to spend some time away from the game for personal reasons but may also have been concerned about the tight purse strings of the Nats’ ownership. Kasten formerly was president of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves.
MLB president Bob DuPuy has been forced out of his job, officially resigning effective October 31, as second in command under Bud (“this time I am really going to retire”) Selig. Kasten was immediately mentioned as a possible replacement, not just for DuPuy, but also for the top dog when the term of “Bud Lite” ends in two years.
The painful delay in resolution of the ownership of the Texas Rangers following Tom Hicks’ bankruptcy has been rumored as one reason for MLB making the change with DuPuy. I can’t help but wonder if DuPuy is also taking the fall for the leaking of the financial statements of the Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, a far more embarrassing situation, in my opinion.
Former San Diego general manager Kevin Towers was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks to man the same position for the Snakes. Towers led the Padres for 15 years before being fired last October. He spent the 2010 season as a special assignment scout for the New York Yankees. Byrnes had been let go in July after five years in the job.
In his introductory remarks upon being hired, Towers lobbied publicly for retired hurler Greg Maddux to join the coaching ranks with his new club.
Maddux is a special assistant for the Cubs and is helping out with their instructional league camp. Mad Dog stated he was flattered but has no interest in leaving the Cubs. Incumbent Arizona pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. was not available for comment, but couldn’t have been too excited to hear the new boss offering his job to someone else.
One GM that is apparently staying put for now is Seattle’s Jack Zduriencik, whose biggest crime may have been to assemble the 2010 Mariners. Jack Z was recently given a confidence vote by ownership, while his close friend, director of pro scouting Carmen Fusco, got the boot instead. Manager Don Wakematsu and four coaches were canned earlier.
Brian Walton is the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 12-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC last season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com.