The day after Christmas is known as the biggest return day of the year. People flock to stores across the land to return or exchange gifts they received from loved (or not so loved) ones. But people aren’t the the only ones who want to return gifts they’ve received. MLB teams also got a number of questionable, uh, “gifts” throughout the year, and there’s no question they want to return them. Here are ten teams who probably want to return a few things they’ve gotten this year.
It cannot be overstated how much the Diamondbacks keep making their future more difficult with every move they make. It’s impossible now to return that horrible Dansby Swanson-Ender Inciarte-Shelby Miller trade to the store, but there’s somehow one move that looms larger in their futile future. After cleaning house this offseason and firing their GM Dave Stewart (among others), they failed to fire Tony La Russa. Instead, they stripped him of his title of Chief Baseball Officer and so now he’s just their chief baseball analyst and adviser. The new GM, Mike Hazen, won’t have to report to La Russa like Stewart did, but La Russa is still in the organization doing baseball things. I’m not sure how D-backs ownership decided that La Russa deserved to keep his job, considering that his title was Chief Baseball Officer and their fired GM reported to him. Somehow they rationalized it by giving La Russa less to do, but it couldn’t be more clear that keeping him around isn’t going to help anyone.
Boston Red Sox
Is it possible to take someone’s retirement back to the store? Because if it is, the Red Sox should exchange David Ortiz’s retirement immediately. The talented slugger ended his 20-year MLB career with one of his best years ever, and he looked like had had more in the tank. Now, the Red Sox don’t *need* Ortiz next season. They have a tremendous amount of talent on their team. But there’s a Big Papi shaped hole nonetheless, and wouldn’t you like to see this team with both him AND Chris Sale? There has to be a way to make that happen.
Chicago White Sox
Can you return slashed up jerseys to the store? Probably not, but the White Sox should try anyway. Chris Sale took a pair of scissors to the White Sox’s 1976 throwback jerseys in July because he really, really didn’t want to wear them. Sale was suspended for five games, and the whole incident made everyone look bad. Sale looked slightly insane for cutting up the jerseys instead of biting the bullet and wearing them, and the White Sox management looked absolutely ridiculous for making their star pitcher wear a jersey that he very emphatically didn’t want to wear.
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) July 23, 2016
That’s not a baseball jersey. That’s a bad 1970s polyester shirt that you’d find in a thrift store. The collar is outrageous. I can’t blame Sale for not wanting to put that thing on his body. Just because a uniform was worn in the 1970s doesn’t mean it should be part of a throwback night. Some things should just be forgotten. Like those jerseys.
The Rockies only signed Ian Desmond 19 days ago, but considering what they want to do with him, something tells me they’re going to regret this pretty quickly. They want Desmond to become a first baseman, after spending seven years as a shortstop and one year as a center fielder. Desmond’s bat might play well in the thin air of Coors Field, but he’s far from the slugging first baseman that most teams need. He hits 20-25 homers a year, and just how many more will he really be able to hit at Coors? And one more time: they signed him to play a position that he doesn’t actually play. Something tells me just might be revisiting this one next year when we look at things that MLB teams wish they could take back in 2017.
Dallas Keuchel. Oh, Dallas Keuchel. Wrap him up and take his entire season back to the store, and do it now. Maybe exchange it for a time machine, because Keuchel dragged them down for the entirety of 2016. His ERA was 4.55 for a nearly a full season of starts. Of course, he came up a month short when he developed shoulder inflammation, mercifully ending his season. Make no mistake: Keuchel has the ability to be great. He just wasn’t in 2016, and the Astros desperately needed him to be.
The Marlins should absolutely try to return their owner, Jeffrey Loria, to the store. Somehow. He’s been the owner since 2003 and he’s shown himself time and time again to be in it for just the money and not the baseball. Promises of serious management and returning to contention have been followed by fire sale after fire sale. He bilked the city of Miami out of hundreds of millions of dollars to finally get the Marlins their new stadium, angering both residents and city officials in the process. (In fact, the stadium is expected to cost taxpayers $2.4 billion over 40 years, which is insane.) He’s recently announced he’s open to selling the Marlins for $1.7 billion, and considering he sunk none of his own money into the team when he acquired it (thanks, Bud Selig!), that’s a stunning return on his investment. Stunning, and angry-making. Put a bow on his head and try to convince a store clerk that he’s brand new. It could work! (Okay, probably not.)
New York Mets
The Mets are already working to trade (which is like re-selling on eBay for the baseball world) their worst acquisition of 2016, Jay Bruce. They didn’t need to trade for him, but did it anyway, sending infielder Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell to the Cincinnati Reds in the process. With the Reds, Bruce hit a semi-respectable .265, but in two months with the Mets he hit a woeful .219. And when you separate out the last week of the season, it’s even worse. Bruce got hot at the end of September, hitting .480 with four home runs in seven games. But in the 42 games he played with the Mets before that? He hit .174 with four home runs. Yeah, not exactly what they hoped for. He had zero hits in the Mets’ only postseason game, the wild-card play-in, doing absolutely nothing to help the Mets and pretty much any point. Did they keep the receipt? Maybe they can send him back.
New York Yankees
The Yankees need to take the boring name of their Class A affiliate back to the store immediately. They had a chance to change it to something awesome, but chickened out (the official word is that they encountered obstacles that resulted in postponement). The choices were: Pizza Rats, Heroes, Rock Pigeons, Bridge Trolls, and Killer Bees, but they’ve decided to stick with the boring old Staten Island Yankees for the time being. And to think they could have been the Staten Island Pizza Rats.
San Diego Padres
It’s amazing how the Padres, a franchise with such a colorful uniform past, can continue to make such shockingly boring uniform decisions. They’ve introduced two new uniforms for 2017, a home and road uni that is devoid of any real color or excitement. It eliminates yellow from their color scheme and sticks with white and navy blue, which is essentially a yawn translated into clothing form. Hilariously, the Padres introduced their new uniforms with this DRAMATIC video, as they tried to fool people into thinking that these new togs would be something that anyone would be excited about.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) November 22, 2016
Seriously, take those back to the store IMMEDIATELY.
San Diego Padres… again
Yup, the Padres are on this list twice. And you can thank GM A.J. Preller for that. In 2016, it was revealed that Preller instructed his staff to keep two sets of medical records on players, and traded players to other teams without disclosing vital medical details that could have (and most likely would have) impacted the trade. In fact, the Padres kept an entirely separate, private medical database that contained far more details than the one that would be shared with other MLB teams. The Marlins, Red Sox, and White Sox were victims of this, and their complaining led to an MLB investigation and the suspension of Preller for 30 days. None of that is good, and teams will probably think twice before doing business with the Padres for awhile. Padres ownership, maybe it’s time to exchange Preller for an executive who follows the rules.
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