Tim Brown

  • Tuesdays with Brownie: The burden of managing

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 22 hrs ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up-shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    The Miami Marlins are not very good, which is an alarming development for owner Jeffrey Loria and a source of some curiosity for those of us with zero emotional (or financial) stake in the franchise that arguably deserves little in the way of emotional (or financial) investment.

    The problem, it would appear, is not the manager, as the Marlins were 16-22 under Mike Redmond and are 4-10 under Dan Jennings, though there’s a reasonable argument the Marlins didn’t change managers as much as they transitioned from a manager to something else entirely. You could almost understand what Loria and his lieutenants were reaching for when they made the drastic decision to can Redmond and followed that with the extraordinary decision to replace him with Jennings, however.

    So, yeah, they love a good guy on the top step. They love an understanding soul who protects them from criticism and distraction. They love a man who leaves them be, treats them as adults and stays out of the way.

    Trout smiled.

  • Why the Rays continually have one of baseball's best pitching staffs

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – The middle of last summer, the gossip did finally come true and David Price was traded away.

    Alex Cobb turned to Chris Archer and said, not with hubris but with gravity, "You know this is ours now, right?"

    Eight months after, Cobb would have Tommy John surgery.

    One by one, they've gone – James Shields to Kansas City, Price to Detroit, Matt Moore to surgery and yearlong recovery, Cobb with him, leaving the Tampa Bay Rays, depending on how you like your numbers, with the best pitching staff in American League.

    "What?" Archer said Monday afternoon, June 1, two months in, four months remaining and all those innings to be pitched and manipulated and celebrated and endured. "That right?"

    If it's not, it's close, and it's the product of the pitching culture in Tampa, of the pitching lineage, of clever enough trades and proper upbringing, of pitching coach Jim Hickey and bullpen coach Stan Boroski, of what Hickey called, "The expectation we have for it here."

    Manager Kevin Cash replaced Joe Maddon, had a look around and decided with a laugh, "First thing is, don't get in the way."

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  • Why Alex Rodriguez's complicated legacy doesn't diminish his current production

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – "What are you doing?" a friend would ask.

    "Pretending," I'd say.

    This was back when Barry Bonds was threatening Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron or some other icon in the category of home run accumulation over a lifetime. A bunch of us were tramping around the country recording and expanding upon every grunt, glare, swing and fly ball emanating from Bonds, sometimes for weeks at a time. This was not all that fun, because nobody really wanted us around, least of all the man of the era. Sorry, hour.

    So, basically, many of us found ourselves bored with the spectacle (in some ways we were the spectacle), as there was no access, no context and, outside one particular city, very little joy. The rest of the world, it seemed, either didn't believe in Bonds or didn't care. But we wrote daily, because it was, you know, history (or not), and the stories were breathless accounts of long homers or near misses and whatever else that was if not interesting, at least lapped up against interesting.

    Bonds did finally reach and pass Aaron and therefore became the game's greatest home run hitter. Ask anyone. We all wrote it big.

    What am I doing?


  • MLB Power Rankings: Who are these Twins?

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    On the many Royals headed to Cincinnati, the Giants’ surge and Obama’s Twitter stiff of Cubs:

    The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):

    1. St. Louis Cardinals (31-16; Previous: 1) – For All-Star campaign, Cards go with “Vote Matt.” Pretty much covered everybody.

    2. Kansas City Royals (28-18; Previous: 3) – Figured there’d be so many Royal All-Stars with the game in the Queen City and all.

    3. Houston Astros (30-18; Previous: 6) – Lance McCullers in Batman cleats, Matt Harvey with Dark Knight bats, doesn’t anybody want to be an astronaut anymore?

    4. Washington Nationals (28-19; Previous: 9) – Bryce Harper’s main complaint about umpire Marvin Hudson: he clearly does not know the rules to The Hokey Pokey.

    5. Los Angeles Dodgers (28-18; Previous: 2) – Don Mattingly so fed up with replay he won’t even watch “Friends” or “All in the Family” anymore.

    6. Minnesota Twins (28-18; Previous: 11) – It’s fine if you wonder if Twins are for real, but they ask that you quit poking them with your fingers.

    7. San Francisco Giants (28-20; Previous: 13) – Giants have big month of May, admit they’re just trying to stay loose for 2016.

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  • Sad Hollywood ending for Juan Uribe as Dodgers-Braves trade nears finalization

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Standing late Tuesday night at an elevator door down the hall from his friends and teammates, his last hours with the Los Angeles Dodger likely just ahead of him, Juan Uribe said that, yes, he'd miss this. They like to call it a business, this game, because it tears away the silly emotions that make leaving a pleasant place so unpleasant.

    He was pretty sure he'd been traded to the Atlanta Braves, after four seasons and a couple months as a Dodger. He'd been told to expect final word Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, he said.

    "I'm good," he said, trying. "It's OK."

    He twirled a cigar in his fingers. What would he miss here?

    Uribe cocked his head and tried to smile. He looked at the elevator door. It hadn't yet opened. His eyes went wet, and he had to stop it there, so he exhaled.

    "Whew," he said, and gestured to the door that kept him, as though the elevator had arrived and he really had to go. He waved, turned away and brushed the back of his hand across his eyes.

    "Say good-bye to Uribe?" Puig said after Uribe had left. "Why?"

    He knew why. There'd been talk all day.

    Well then.

  • Anthony Rizzo and the art of getting plunked

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – Anthony Rizzo, a towering figure in a Chicago Cubs renaissance whose plate appearances have begun to resemble Butch Cassidy’s dash from that Bolivian cabana, padded stiffly across the clubhouse. He was wrapped from armpits to waist in a thick heating pad, which gave him the appearance of one of the California burritos they sell on street corners here.

    He’d been hit by 12 pitches – hip, back, triceps, hip again, thigh, forearm, back foot, elbow, front shin, hamstring, back again, back foot again – not yet a quarter through the season, a decent pace considering it’s been 11 years since a batter was hit 30 times and 44 years since one was struck as many as 40 times.

    Not much hurts when you’re 25 years old, generally speaking, an outlier being the residue of a baseball launched from, like, 55 feet away. Pretty much, if it’s thrown too hard to get out of the way of, it’s probably going to hurt, even if you’re 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and all game, as Anthony Rizzo is. Which, presumably, was where the burrito get-up came in.

    “This?” Rizzo said, adjusting the pad under his shirt. “Nah. The beds here suck.”

    “I have no idea,” he said. “I honestly have no idea.”

    He smiled.

  • Kris Bryant's meteoric rise from San Diego's cheap seats to Cubs phenom

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    SAN DIEGO, Calif. – From the third-base dugout Tuesday evening, Kris Bryant pointed into the distance, to a place that technically is part of Petco Park and in reality is where they occasionally herd the college kids for about five bucks a pop and hope they don't make too big of a mess.

    "Way up there," he said of the seats above the right-field bleachers, above some signage, above a concourse and below the marine layer but only just barely.

    He wouldn't come often to Petco Park. Might've had something to do with the seats. But he was here the night two years ago when Carlos Quentin charged – and broke the collarbone of – Zack Greinke, when all the people here were screaming and yelling and going a little crazy over it.

    "Yeah, I was one of those fans," Bryant admitted.

    It's still special to stand in a place where not so long ago the only way in was by daydream or hang glider.

    "It's come full circle," Bryant said. "It's really a little surreal."

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  • Tuesdays with Brownie: It's just the Marlins' way

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up-shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    The best part about the Miami Marlins is how rigorously earnest they are in all endeavors: in full attack, in frantic retreat, in their various zigs and zags, in sickness and in health and in, you know, same ol’-same ol’.

    At some level, maybe at all levels, they really believe this stuff. So, I’m pretty sure (if not totally positive), they are not just messing with us, though it would be great if they were.

    As baseball operations president Michael Hill assured us Monday morning after opting to replace his field manager with his general manager, a somewhat uncommon personnel tactic, “If we didn’t think it would work we wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

    OK, just checking.

    Build up, knock down, build up again, hire a manager, fire him, hire somebody new, payroll dumps, payroll spikes, old ballparks, new ballparks, tax promises, tax realities, but, hey, if they didn’t think it would work …

    We wouldn’t all be sitting here today. Amused.

    The rest was left to Samson and his baseball men, or so the story went.

    You know, unless they’re messing with us.

    First, he’s too late.

    Second, he took it back.

  • Marlins change direction again with Dan Jennings

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    Dan Jennings has one of those big smiles, along with one of those big handshakes. He tells stories in a big voice and often follows them with a big laugh. Because of these qualities, it’s easy to like Dan Jennings, who in addition has toiled as a savvy baseball man in a capricious organization – the Miami Marlins – for which, presumably, that genius can have a tendency to go unrewarded.

    This is where, one day in the retelling, Jennings, the Marlins’ erstwhile general manager, might very well gather up his big ol’ voice and big ol’ laugh and continue the story of the Marlins in mid-May 2015.

    For on Sunday the Marlins fired their manager, Mike Redmond, because the Marlins were supposed to be competitive in 2015 and instead were 16-22 and a half-game out of last place in the NL East. It seemed at the time to be a rash decision, but that’s what the Marlins are especially good at. In a half-day of speculation leading to Monday morning’s announcement of Redmond’s replacement, the names that bubbled up and floated away included Jeff Conine, Brett Butler, Tony Perez and Ivan Rodriguez, along with the out-of-work Rons – Roenicke, Washington and Gardenhire.

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  • Mike Redmond's firing once again shows impulsiveness of Marlins ownership

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    In case you thought the Miami Marlins had finally found a course they could believe in, could build on, could sustain, we bring you Sunday. Minutes after nearly being no-hit, which resulted in their 10th loss in 14 games anyway, they fired their manager and his bench coach. Presumably owner Jeffrey Loria could not help himself, as it had been months since the Marlins had skittered off in a panic over something or other.

    The club announced it would name a replacement for manager Mike Redmond on Monday, at which point the Marlins will have their eighth manager in a decade, including Jack McKeon twice and one-and-dones Joe Girardi and Ozzie Guillen. In fact, come that news conference, Loria will be paying three managers (Guillen, Redmond and the new guy) and a former general manager (Larry Beinfest), with little to show for it but a reputation for overreaction.

    Speculation out of Miami pegged third-base coach Brett Butler as the possible next man up, at minimum on an interim basis, but a source with the team denied it.

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