Monday’s News Highlights – Getting Closer to Baseball?
I put off writing this for as long as I could – in hopes that the labor talks would yield either a clear yay or nay as to whether Opening Day would come to pass. The good news is that after weeks of dismaying stories about quick meetings that have gone nowhere, negotiations appeared to finally take place with some sense of urgency. Reporting from Bob Nightengale showed that the sides are finally closing in on a deal. After 11 negotiating sessions, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a 12-team playoff pool and the owners have agreed to similar luxury tax penalties as the previous CBA and are apparently still working. With any luck, a deal will be struck soon, but I must get some shut eye, but first other big news of the day.
First, was the surprise breaking news out of Florida that Derek Jeter and the Marlins were going their separate ways. In Jeter’s statement, the Hall of Famer said “the vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead. Now is the right time for me to step aside as a new season begins.”
There is a lot that can be read into Jeter’s departure as CEO and shareholder of the Marlins. I always figured it would be hard to go from having your entire career working for the Steinbrenners to a team that has never shown a desire to put winning before money. If Jeter thought he was going to build something akin to what he experienced as a player in New York, he had to be kidding himself. At least, that’s my two cents.
There is also something to be said about the timing of Jeter’s departure coming early in the day on the lockout’s deadline for getting the season started on time. Is this really Jeter wanting to step away from being associated with the Owners in this debacle? I don’t know – seems a bit too last minute to me.
The other big news of the day was the Yankees hiring of Hensley Meulens as an assistant hitting coach. Muelens will replace Eric Chavez who left to be the Mets’ chief hitting coach. Muelens spent five of his seven MLB seasons in the Bronx and was considered for the Yankees’ Manager job before it was given to Aaron Boone in 2017.
Meulens spent ten years as a hitting coach and bench coach with the San Francisco Giants, under Bruce Bochy. Some thought he would take over when Bochy left, but instead the Giants hired Gabe Kapler. Meulens has been considered for quite a few managerial positions over the years, but has yet to get his shot. This should be a great fit for both the Yankees and Meulens, once baseball gets moving again.