Three moves regarding the futures of three managers were announced on Monday, as I am about to break them down right here. The Mets, Twins, and Cubs have made some managerial changes today, as here are some bits and pieces from all three of them.
Mets' Terry Collins:
It has become known that Mets manager Terry Collins will be signing a two year contract extension with the Mets, keeping him in a Mets uniform until 2015. There is a club option for a third year (2016). The Mets finished third this year, with a 74-88 record. He is 225-261 with the Mets overall, and has 669-695 overall record over his nine year managerial career.
Twins' Ron Gardenhire:
The Twins have also re-signed their manager to a two year contract, as they have signed Ron Gardenhire to a two year contract extension. Gardenhire has been the Twins manager since 2002, and has never managed a team besides the Twins. The Twins have gone 998-947 under Gardenhire, as they have shown success with him at the helm. Although Minnesota is in a rebuilding stage, I think Gardenhire will be able to whip these rookies into shape.
Cubs' Dale Svuem:
Dale Svuem has received less exciting news regarding his future in Chicago. There actually is no future for Svuem in Chicago, as the Cubs have announced that they have fired the former manager, as they continue to look to find the winning puzzle piece in the system. Svuem has a career .399 winning percentage in his two full seasons as manager (added nine games in 2008 for Brewers).
The Rays and Rangers have played six months this season, 162 games, and have had a lot of tine to separate themselves from the crowd in the postseason races. They didn't. They both finished 91-71, tying for second in the American League Wild Card race. It will all come down to this, the Rays and Rangers fighting for that final playoff spot in one game, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Rays were in Toronto yesterday, will play in Texas today, and could play in Cleveland on the 2nd with a win over the Texas Rangers today. They are going to be behind the "surest" thing on the mound in David Price, who has gone 9-8 with a 3.39 ERA on the season thus far. The Rays have collapsed over the past few games, however, as they should've been able to take the second AL Wild Card without much problem. Even if they had won on Saturday, they would be playing Cleveland on the second for sure.
For the Rangers, this game is like new life for them. After being nearly irrelevant in the Wild Card race, they came into the final weekend looking to at least tie the race, to be able to get into the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. They'll be playing behind 22-year-old Martin Perez. He has gone 10-5 with a 3.55 ERA over 19 starts in the first 162 games this year. The Rangers will also be activating Nelson Cruz from his PED suspension, as he was apart of the mid-season PED scandal. It's unknown whether he will be in the lineup today.
It's hard to go against the home team, but if someone could do it, it'd be the Rays and David Price. For the reason of playing at home, I've gotta go to with the Texas Rangers, although they are pitching Martin Perez, who could wither in the bright sunlight. But, I just can't see the Rangers losing this game in a playoff atmosphere. 5-2 Rangers.
It's game 162, and many teams have given up their hopes to make the playoffs. The Marlins have lost 100 games, but still haven't given up, apparently. Or at least Henderson Alvarez hasn't, as he tossed a complete game no-hitter today. Going into the ninth inning, the Marlins and Tigers were tied at zero, and Alvarez came into the inning with a no-no. After leaving, the Tigers still were still without a hit, but nobody had scored! But then the awesome happened. The Marlins walked it off.
The Marlins are going to be entering the offseason with high hopes, after ending the season with a no-hitter. Alvarez will end the season with a 5-6 record and a 3.59 ERA. The 23 year old becomes a free agent in 2018, and should be in the Marlins plans for the upcoming season. The righty was acquired in the deal that sent Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes to the Blue Jays.
For the Tigers on the other hand, they'll be playing the Athletics in the ALDS, which starts on October 4th. They have won the American League Central division, and will continue their season into October.
Congratulations to Alvarez, as the Marlins deserved a bright spot in their lowly season thus far. The 5th no hitter in team history will do just that. The fireworks have just gone off.
The Giants signed outfielder Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million deal to keep him from hitting free agency. The move was not expected until today, as reports came out early this morning that Pence had a chance to be able to re-sign with his club. Then later in the afternoon, Pence officially agreed to the contract that will keep him in San Francisco, and off the free agent market in this upcoming offseason.
Pence has not missed a game this season, while slugging a career-high 26 homers to go along with 94 RBI and 22 SB. Pence has a .282/.339/.481 three slash line this season in San Francisco. His WAR is at 4.2 (career-high).
The deal is pending a physical and should be officially announced Sunday, according to reports. Pence, 30, will likely spend most of the rest of his career with San Francisco. He made $13.8 million this season.
79 year old Bud Selig will decide to call it a career at the end of the 2014 season. He has been the acting commissioner since 1992 (officially given job in 1998), and has done so much to keep the game of baseball alive and thriving since given the job. Let's take a moment and remember what Selig has done to keep baseball popular, and hopefully living for a very long time.
Selig placed interleague play into the game of baseball in 1997, giving teams who play in different leagues to get a chance to see what it'd be like to play teams outside their own league. This was great for baseball, as it drew more fans to the ballpark, because they want to see an "obscure" team play their own. When interleague was first introduced, teams only played outside their own league in the summer months.
This season, Selig made a modification to the traditional interleague play, as now there will be at least one interleague series on every single day of the season, even giving fans more opportunity to see their teams play against an "obscure" team.
Selig has put in a phenomenal amount of effort into "cleaning the game" and getting rid of players who have used PEDs. Being commissioner through the Steroid Era, Selig knows that he has to keep all the players stats and abilities safe, as he has called for more mandatory testing, and has given harsher suspensions. Selig has done a wonderful job at this.
Wild Cards (and other postseason changes):
Before Selig, Wild Cards were unheard of in the game of baseball, as there were two divisions, and the winners of both faced off for the pennant. Selig had the genius idea of adding a third division, and a Wild Card team, to be able to make the postseason two rounds, instead of formally one.
In 2012, Selig added a second Wild Card, giving the playoffs three rounds, and making the postseason more exciting. This gave other teams the chance to make the playoffs, although they may have not without the second Wild Card. This gave more teams the chance to make their games meaningful, and a chance to get into the postseason.
Also, Selig made the All Star Game count for home-field advantage in the World Series, which, to this day, is still debated on weather that's the way to go or not.
All in all, Selig has been one of the best commissioners ever. Even though he has only been the 9th commissioner in baseball history, he has done so much to be able to help the game keep its popularity, and keep its relevance among all the fans. The games became more exciting, more meaningful, and definitely a lot better with Selig in charge. At this point, it's unknown who will take over, but I think Selig will play a big part of that.