Another Heir Apparent, Uke, And Papi Pinch-Hit For
The estimable Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle adds to the previous post about Heirs Apparent that the insider for the Giants’ manager’s job the next time it comes open is former catcher Steve Decker, now managing for them at Fresno. He was, briefly, part of the Giants’ Black and Decker battery, which could be revived in the NL West if he got the San Francisco job while Bud Black is still running San Diego.
Good thoughts for Bob Uecker, who you know is one of the great baseball announcers and baseball people. You may not have had the honor I’ve had, to have worked with Bob during the ’97 World Series, and to stay in touch ever since. They do not make them better than Uke and metaphorically speaking, that they are treating his heart means they will have something big and robust to work with.
Lastly, when Tito Francona pinch-hit Mike Lowell for David Ortiz with the lead run on in the 8th and righty Kevin Gregg coming in at Toronto in the 8th, I thought, gee I like my AL predictions four weeks after I posted them here:
Here is the unasked question in BOSTON: would the Red Sox rather have David Ortiz at DH this year… or Luke Scott? Where, production-wise, will Not-So-Big-Papi fall in 2010? I think he’s behind Guerrero, Kubel, Lind, Matsui, Scott, and maybe others. If the demise of the beast continues, the Red Sox are suddenly presenting a very pedestrian line-up…keep the Ortiz thought in the back of your mind. What if the second half of ’09 was the aberration, not the first half? Will the Sox have to bench him? And if so, could the twists and turns of fate find them suddenly grateful that they had been unable to trade Mike Lowell?…As I have written here before, I am not buying the premise that what in essence was a trade of Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, for a full-time Brett Gardner plus Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson was necessarily an upgrade – even if Javier Vazquez (9 career post-season innings; 11 career post-season earned runs) was thrown in, in the bargain… In TAMPA BAY, I’m betting 2009 was the fluke and not 2008. What does one not like about this team? Is rightfield confused? Stick Ben Zobrist there and let Sean Rodriguez have a shot at second. That doesn’t work? Wait for mid-season and the promotion of Desmond Jennings. You don’t like Crawford and Upton? Bartlett and Longoria? Pena? The law firm of Shoppach and Navarro? The Rays seem to summon a fully-grown starter from the minors each year – Price in ’08, Niemann in ’09, Wade Davis in ’10.