The Rundown: Maddon Wins MOY, David Ross “Probably” Retiring after 2016, Padres Shopping Tyson Ross, Adios Big Papi

I’ll be honest here, I thought the NL Manager of the Year vote would be closer. In my piece from earlier on Tuesday, I revealed that the IBWAA had voted Terry Collins 2nd and also speculated that the big-boy group of writers would give more credit to Matheny. Looks like I was right on that count.

Maddon had 18 of the 30 first-place votes for 124 points in a 5-3-1 voting system consisting of two votes per league city submitted prior to postseason play. The Cubs manager appeared on all the ballots with 11 second-place votes and one third-place vote, outdistancing the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny at 87 points and nine first-place votes and the Mets’ Terry Collins, who had three first-place nods and 49 points.

Since I was pacing the 8th level of hell (a roller skating party for my kids’ elementary school) at the time of the announcement, my absorption of the fallout was thrown somewhat off-kilter. Tracking the whole thing on Twitter, I first got a wave of joyful and congratulatory tweets, followed quickly by ignorant invective. I understand wanting your guy to win, but to get incredibly mad online about a vote like this? C’mon, man.

I’m happy Maddon won and I think he’s deserving, but it’s sad and pathetic to hurl insults and to rant about who 30 baseball writers voted as the best manager in the league. Cards fans in particular don’t have legs to stand on in the argument, as Mike Matheny was able to employ the services of the great Randal Grichuk. That unfair advantage alone, not to mention the dark voodoo coursing through the team’s veins, ruled Matheny out.

Quick notes the rest of the way…

David Ross “probably” hanging them up

David Ross will turn 39 in March and is entering the final year of a two-year, $5 million deal. Since there’s not much of a market for 40-year-old relief pitchers who can only muster a couple outings each year, it’s doubtful he’ll find much work in 2017 and beyond. Wait, what’s that? A catcher, you say? Huh. Well, that kinda…still doesn’t change anything. Ross’s presence as a mentor and solid defensive player is nice, but the Cubs really don’t have room for him after this year.

Heck, it’s gonna be crowded on the roster this coming year as it is. I can see Ross moving immediately into a coaching role though, as that’s basically what he’s been doing for the last year in Chicago as it is. As much as some folks gave him a hard time for being an offensive liability, Ross played at least as well as you could reasonably expect from a backup catcher. Of course, he did only say that he’d “probably” retire, so who knows.

Padres shopping their own Ross

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but the Padres are rumored to be shopping young starter Tyson Ross. The Dads made a ton of noise in the offseason when GM A.J. Preller wheeled and dealt to built what was expected to be a contender. The roster never really jelled though, and now Preller is looking to restock the farm system, a process that started when he shipped Craig Kimbrel to Boston for four prospects.

Ross was attached to several trade-deadline rumors, some of which were tied to the Cubs and one of their shortstops. While something along those lines might not be out of the question, there’s a bit of hitch this time. In addition to getting younger, the Padres need to get cheaper, which means dealing Matt Kemp. So how do you move an aging outfielder with questionable health who’s owed $73 over the next 4 years? You staple him to a young, cost-controlled arm.

Kemp’s contact rate was near career-high levels this year in San Diego, but his offensive numbers were down significantly across the board. And the crazy thing is that his .311 BABIP indicates that he’s still the recipient of some good luck. Even crazier though is the fact that that mark is 35 below his career average; if that continues to fade, the bottom could really drop out for him. Oh, Kemp’s defense is pretty abysmal too, and the Cubs don’t have a place to hide another bad outfielder.

I like the idea of getting a cheap arm with tons of potential, but not if Kemp has to come as part of the deal. I guess every Ross really does have its thorn.

I love it when you call me Big Papi

Today, on his 40th birthday, one of the game’s great characters will officially announce plans to retire following the 2016 season. David Ortiz is an interesting case study when it comes to the Hall of Fame, in that he’s both a DH and was popped for PEDs. I’m not going to debate the merits of his inclusion, but I do think he’s a guy who provides a real litmus test for the softening of writers’ views.

Some guys are never going to vote for anyone from this era, others will never vote for someone accused of or suspended for juicing. All that aside, Ortiz is one of those guys who drew adulation from fans throughout baseball, and he’s continue to play well after (presumably) discontinuing the use of pharmaceuticals. I always lament the departure of the game’s ambassadors, though maybe not as much as I lament the pomp and circumstance of the yearlong honors in each ballpark. Oh well.

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