It’s Friday and MLB has finished handing out all of its awards, so I think we can reasonably expect the news cycle to grind to a halt here for a while. Maybe I’m wrong, but this would be a slow period under normal circumstances and now we’ve got neither a robust financial environment nor live Winter Meetings to offer hope.
As such, this is just going to be really short with minimal notes. I’m taking the day off from my real job and might do the same in terms of this side hustle for a while just so I can actually relax and try to shake this exhaustion.
Tepera’s shocking MVP vote was a mistake
Ryan Tepera probably wouldn’t have earned a vote for most valuable Cubs reliever even if you narrowed the list to right-handers, but he was listed 10th on an NL MVP ballot when the results were revealed Thursday night. What seemed like either a joke or a mistake by the venerable Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was soon revealed as the latter, with the elder statesman simply clicking the wrong entry from the drop-down box.
“I’m sure the Tepera family is delighted, but there’s no way I would have voted for him. It was an accident,” Hummel told Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. “I fully intended to vote for Trea Turner. In fact, I remember wrestling with putting two guys in from a last-place team [after voting Juan Soto eighth].”
Oh boy, could this glitch balloon into allegations of voter fraud? Next thing you know, Hummel will be talking about mysterious vans parked on the street and watermarked ballots meant to expose the deep state of the BBWAA. Or maybe it was just an honest mistake by a guy who didn’t bother to double-check the player he’d listed 10th.
“Especially for somebody voting 40 years on this, that would be a stunning development,” he said. “People would think I’ve lost my marbles.”
And lest I leave off after making Tepera seem like some kind of chump, he was actually a really good addition to the bullpen this past season. After some hiccups in the early going, he dialed in the cutter and looked like a dude who could capably handle high-leverage outings. Not to the extent that he should have garnered consideration for any major awards, but certainly on the path to bigger things.
Angels complete GM search
The Angels announced yesterday that they’ve hired former Braves assistant GM Perry Minasian as their new GM, giving him a four-year deal. Minasian had only been with Atlanta for three seasons after spending pretty much his entire life in and around professional baseball. He went from bat boy to clubhouse attendant to the scouting department with the Rangers, then became a scout with the Blue Jays and worked up from there.
Minasian is familiar with all aspects of the game and has a firm understanding of both the human side and the analytics, which seems like a good fit for a club that hasn’t been able to put it together despite having the greatest player of his generation. There’s a lot of work to be done, but the Angels at least have a strong foundation upon which to build.
Other MLB notes
- Jon Heyman reports that Kim Ng appears to be in line for the Marlins GM job, which would make her the first female GM in MLB history. I’d have devoted more time to this, but it came out after the post was initially published.
- The Yankees are reportedly willing to listen to offers on catcher Gary Sanchez
- Perhaps not coincidentally, the Yanks are also said to be interested in Yadier Molina. The Mets may also be interested in the 38-year-old catcher, who is seeking a multi-year deal. This is a win-win for the Cubs, who will either see St. Louis overpay to keep their darling start or will see the Cards jilted by a veteran who wants a better chance to win elsewhere.
- Cubs pitching prospect Max Bain has done a lot to reshape his body and his career trajectory, including work at Prime Time Velocity in Michigan. Now he’s taking another big step, driving cross-country to spend the rest of the offseason working out at Driveline in Seattle. The 6-foot-6 righty wasn’t much of a prospect at all coming out of high school and college, but the Cubs may have a lottery ticket on their hands. Bain is one of a growing handful of hard-throwing pitchers with whom the Cubs can finally make good on their promise to be more aggressive developmentally.
- The Running Man, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was released 33 years ago today. I didn’t like the movie at all when I first saw it because it differed so greatly from the book of the same title by Stephen King (who wrote it as Richard Bachman), but I’ve come to appreciate it in the time since. More than just 80’s schlock, it’s a satirical look at the wealth disparity and our voyeuristic indulgence in reality television. The scary thing is that we’re not too far away from this thing looking more like a documentary.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion airs on HBO Max next Thursday, Nov. 20. The show began just over 30 years ago, on Sept. 10, 1990.
- Sorry, that’s it for me today. Barring some breaking news, I’m going to see how this relaxation thing works.