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Orioles reset: Ranking Mike Elias’ 17 player-for-player trades as Baltimore’s general manager

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Orioles Reset: Ranking Mike Elias’ 17 Player-For-Player Trades As Baltimore’s General Manager

The trade deadline is approaching, and the Orioles have done little to clarify the direction executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias might take.

Even in dropping a series to the vaunted New York Yankees, these Orioles showed how competitive they can be if they are kept together and potentially added to. But they remain in last place in the American League East, and in a crowded wild-card race, their path to the postseason is anything but clear. Elias and company might decide that the best direction for the organization to take is to trade away some current players to continue to stock talent for future and more likely playoff runs.

Since becoming Baltimore’s general manager in November 2018, Elias has made 17 deals in which the Orioles traded one or more players away and got at least another in return. Of those who have come to Baltimore, only one had played in the majors previously. Buying at the deadline would be a shift for Elias, requiring for the first time that he forfeit pieces from the stockpile of prospects he’s built to add to the major league team.

With the Aug. 2 deadline little more than a week away, it seems a good time to look back at Elias’ player-for-player trades.

Here, they’re categorized in four ways. Early successes are those that are trending well for the Orioles, already resulting in major league pieces with the possibility of adding more. The wait-and-see category represents those where the end result isn’t quite clear yet, with many of Elias’ trades adding prospects incredibly far from the majors. Some of these deals have been washes, with the Orioles’ return never amounting to much before leaving the organization while the player they traded didn’t necessarily burn them. The final grouping is the regrettable deals, and there’s only one that plainly classifies as such: the first of these trades Elias made.

Early successes

1. Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels for right-handers Kyle Bradish, Isaac Mattson, Kyle Brnovich and Zach Peek, December 2019: The Orioles turned Bundy’s final two seasons under team control into four pitchers now in the upper rungs of their system. Bundy seemed to finally live up to his potential in the shortened 2020 season before struggling in 2021. Bradish joined the Orioles’ rotation early this season and showed potential before a rough stretch of starts preceded an injured list stint. Mattson pitched briefly in the majors last year but has since been removed from the 40-man roster. Brnovich and Peek have both pitched effectively in the upper minors but are facing extended absences with arm injuries.

2. Reliever Mychal Givens to the Colorado Rockies for infielder Tyler Nevin, infielder Terrin Vavra and outfielder Mishael Deson, August 2020: There’s an argument to be made for this trade being in the top spot, but given that the Orioles’ farm system features far more top talent on the position player side than the pitching side, it lands as a solid second. Givens was an effective late-inning reliever for the Orioles but never proved fully capable of closing. Elias turned a season and a half of him into three prospects. Nevin has spent much of this year in Baltimore, while Vavra has pushed for a call-up with a strong season at Triple-A Norfolk. Deson is at Low-A Delmarva after a strong Florida Complex League showing in 2021.

Wait and see

3. Shortstop José Iglesias to the Angels for right-handers Garrett Stallings and Jean Pinto, December 2020: The Orioles picked up the option on Iglesias’ contract after he had a strong if injury-hampered first season in Baltimore. It allowed them to flip him for a pair of pitching prospects. Stallings is at Double-A, where he’s followed a horrific June by pitching well since moving to a bulk relief role. Pinto has become one of Baltimore’s top 30 prospects and has a 2.25 ERA with Low-A Aberdeen since the start of June.

4. Relievers Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser to the Miami Marlins for left-hander Antonio Velez, outfielder Kevin Guerrero, right-hander Yaqui Rivera and a draft pick (outfielder Jud Fabian), April 2022: This trade is not yet four months old and hasn’t produced a prospect above Double-A, but it’s boding well for Baltimore thus far. While the move initially seemed as if it might spell doom for the Orioles’ 2022 relief corps, it instead created backend opportunities for inexperienced relievers Jorge López, Félix Bautista and Cionel Pérez, who have all thrived. Of course, Baltimore also added the prospects and $1 million or so to its draft bonus pool, all of which then went to a toolsy outfielder in Fabian.

5. Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Elio Prado and infielder Noelberth Romero, July 2019: In Elias’ first deadline deal, he turned Cashner, a pending free agent, into Prado and Romero, who remain a ways away from reaching the majors but are still in the system and batting in the middle of the order at Low-A Delmarva. Cashner was moved to Boston’s bullpen not long after the trade and hasn’t appeared in the majors since.

6. Right-hander Hector Velázquez to the Houston Astros for right-hander Miguel Padilla, July 2020: The Orioles claimed Velázquez off waivers from Boston days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training. He never pitched for Baltimore before being traded to Houston — where he also never pitched — for a player to be named later that turned out to be Padilla, who has a 3.44 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning between the Florida Complex League and Delmarva.

7. Reliever Miguel Castro to the New York Mets for left-hander Kevin Smith and infielder Victor González, August 2020: Smith was added to Baltimore’s 40-man roster this offseason despite dealing with immense control issues at Triple-A in 2021, then went unclaimed when he was removed from the roster in April. He’s mostly pitched in relief for Norfolk this year while averaging 5.7 walks per nine innings. González has struggled offensively in limited action with Baltimore’s complex-level affiliates.

8. Left-hander Tommy Milone to the Atlanta Braves for infielders Greg Cullen and A.J. Graffanino, August 2020: Signed to a minor league deal, Milone ended up as the Orioles’ opening day starter in 2020. He pitched up to that title before being dealt for Cullen and Graffanino. Milone made only three appearances for Atlanta before a season-ending injury. Baltimore released Graffanino last month, and Cullen has played for all of the Orioles’ full-season affiliates this year, mostly Double-A Bowie, with a .724 OPS.

9. Shortstop Freddy Galvis to the Philadelphia Phillies for right-hander Tyler Burch, July 2021: Burch, who had 49 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings across two levels of the Phillies’ at the time of the trade, has struck out 35 batters in 39 innings while in the Orioles’ system, with an 8.03 ERA this year for Bowie. Galvis plays in Japan.

10-12. Reliever Richard Bleier to the Marlins for infielder Isaac De Leon, August 2020; reliever Paul Fry to the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-hander Luis Osorio, May 2022; catcher Taylor Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Jose Berroa, June 2021: These trades featured the Orioles getting back a lottery ticket for a player who wasn’t going to be a part of their future. Of the players Baltimore got back, only De Leon has reached a full-season affiliate. Bleier is the only of the three players traded away that has appeared in more than two games for the team they went to.

13. Infielder Jonathan Villar to the Marlins for left-hander Easton Lucas, December 2019: This trade finds itself as the last of this group less so for the return than the context surrounding it. With Villar approaching his final season of arbitration and projected to receive a salary near eight figures after being Baltimore’s most productive player, the Orioles moved him at the tender deadline for Lucas, Miami’s 14th-round pick in that summer’s draft. At the 2020 deadline, the Marlins then traded about 25 games of Villar to the Toronto Blue Jays for Griffin Conine, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft who then tied for second in the minors in home runs in 2021. Lucas has a 5.50 ERA this year as a reliever for Bowie.

Washes

14-15. Reliever Yefry Ramírez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for infielder Patrick Dorrian, May 2019; reliever Mike Wright to the Seattle Mariners for infielder Ryne Ogren, April 2019: Both of these deals involve Elias trading right-handers early in his tenure for infielders who are no longer in the organization. Dorrian was one of the success stories of the Orioles’ farm system in 2021 but struggled immensely this year at Triple-A before Baltimore traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers for cash in June. Ogren retired in March.

16. Starting pitcher Alex Cobb to the Angels for infielder Jahmai Jones, February 2020: Jones is the lone player with previous major league experience Elias has traded for. To get him, the Orioles included about $10 million in the deal to pay down Cobb’s salary in the final year of his contract. Cobb made 18 starts with a 3.76 ERA for the Angels before leaving in free agency, while Jones had only 72 mediocre plate appearances for the Orioles before undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and getting released.

Regrettable

17. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski to the San Francisco Giants for right-hander Tyler Herb, March 2019: Elias’ first player-for-player trade saw the Orioles deal from their upper minors outfielder depth to add to their pitching ranks. But that depth proved to be somewhat overstated during the 2019 season, which saw the Orioles experiment in center field while Yastrzemski was enjoying a breakout in San Francisco. Baltimore’s 2013 14th-round pick has been an above-average offensive producer in each of his four years with the Giants, finishing eighth in National League MVP voting in 2020. Herb, meanwhile, had a 5.82 ERA between Bowie and Norfolk in his one year in the Orioles’ system.

What’s to come?

The Orioles complete their latest divisional stretch with four home games against the Tampa Bay Rays, their last time hosting the Rays this year. They are 4-2 against the Rays at home and 1-5 on the road.

Baltimore then visits the Cincinnati Reds in its final full series before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. A win in any of this week’s seven games would give the Orioles their second straight winning month and more wins than the 2018 club had in its full season.

What was good?

Including López’s All-Star Game appearance, featuring two outs on three pitches, it was a strong week from the right-handers at the back of Baltimore’s bullpen.

López, Bautista and Dillon Tate combined to strike out nine of the 16 batters they faced, allowing one hit and no walks.

What wasn’t?

The Orioles announced their rotation will remain on turn through the Rays series, meaning left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall likely won’t be joining it this go-around. Hall worked only one inning in his first start of the second half, with the Orioles limiting all of their Triple-A pitchers’ innings out of the break. Baltimore’s No. 3 prospect, Hall is coming off 2020′s canceled minor league season and an elbow injury that held him to 31 2/3 innings in 2021, so the Orioles likely have a cap on how many innings they want him to throw this year. He’s up to 67 2/3 now.

But this limitation comes as Hall was dominating Triple-A hitters, striking out 40 of the past his 80 batters before punching out of the five he faced Friday; he has a 0.83 ERA in that span. With Hall’s results suggesting how well things are clicking for him right now, each inning thrown for Norfolk feels wasteful.

On the farm

The break did not slow the tear No. 23 prospect Joey Ortiz is on in July. With hits in all three of this week’s games, the Bowie shortstop is now hitting .355 with a .920 OPS this month.

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Monday, 7:05 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Column: Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds face a tough task to turn the Field of Dreams sequel into a hit

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Column: Chicago Cubs And Cincinnati Reds Face A Tough Task To Turn The Field Of Dreams Sequel Into A Hit

The inaugural Field of Dreams game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees one year ago turned into an instant classic.

The TV presentation, the sight of “Field of Dreams” star Kevin Costner leading the players through the cornfield to the ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa, the sounds of crickets chirping and the game itself all lived up to the hype.

It’s probably unfair to judge Thursday’s Field of Dreams game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds against the success of last year’s, especially because both teams are well out of contention in the National League Central.

But every sequel inevitably gets compared with the original, and other than “The Godfather Part II” and perhaps a handful of others, it’s almost impossible to replicate something that worked to perfection.

The Cubs, naturally, are excited to be part of MLB’s biggest in-season event besides the All-Star Game, knowing they’re following in the footsteps of a classic.

“It’s a little part of history,” Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner said Wednesday after homering in a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. “Eight thousand people is going to be small, but I feel like everyone there is going to be excited to be there. Just awesome all around.”

Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run capped the Sox’s 9-8 win over the Yankees in the inaugural game, which most thought would be a one-time event until the Cubs-Reds matchup was announced shortly afterward.

“I watched it last year,” Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom said. “I saw how special it was. And then when I saw that we were part of it this year, I was just super excited.

“And then to see my name on the (MLB) poster, it was really cool for me. Just honored to be a part of that. … I know it’s going to be a long day but something I look forward to.”

Seiya Suzuki, who like many players hasn’t seen the 1989 film and was born after it was made, isn’t all that knowledgeable about its place in American movie lore. But he knows it’s a big deal to baseball and it puts the Cubs on a national stage again.

“I have never watched the movie before, but obviously it’s great (playing) in a really historical stadium,” Suzuki said through an interpreter. “I haven’t had the chance to be able to play in a countryside stadium as well, so I’ll get a different perspective. I’m very excited.”

The second Field of Dreams game apparently will be the last one until at least 2024, according to White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, part of the ownership of the Field of Dreams site. Thomas told the Des Moines Register that construction on the site caused MLB to take a pass next year.

“It’s a lot going on,” Thomas said. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.”

The Cubs and Reds will fly in and out of Iowa on the same day, missing the fun of staying overnight in a roadside motel that advertises free HBO on the marquee. That would make for a more realistic Iowa experience. But remember the star of the show is the cornfield, and the visuals of playing in a ballpark surrounded by corn is the only thing that matters.

The 2021 game drew almost 6 million viewers for Fox, making it the highest-rated regular-season telecast since 1998. Now the network has the unenviable task of making everything seem new and interesting. Costner reportedly won’t be on hand to repeat his dramatic pregame walk, and holding a Field of Dreams game without Costner is like making “Casablanca” without Humphrey Bogart.

But who knows what Fox will have up its sleeve?

The network already has announced Cubs left fielder Ian Happ and Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be mic’d up for the game and able to talk to each other on the field.

A Twitter rumor Wednesday suggested the network was testing a hologram of the late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray for the telecast.

Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the All-Star Game telecast, in which David Ortiz preened in the dugout during the action under the premise he was “interviewing” players. But Ortiz and Álex Rodriguez were featured in the promos for the Field of Dreams game, so we can probably expect the worst.

After watching eight of the 16 combined hits by the Sox and Yankees leave the yard and land in the corn last August, there’s no doubt Wisdom, Votto, Suzuki, Franmil Reyes and others will be swinging for the fences. Because the game is meaningless in the pennant race, they might as well go for broke and give Fox its corn fix.

The Field of Dreams game undoubtedly will be the last time anyone besides Cubs and Reds fans are interested in this matchup, at least until one or both are contenders again. From the looks of things, that could take a while.

Thursday’s game may not match up to the original, and Iowa may not be heaven.

But for one night, we can dream.

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Fat NYC rat gets stuck on Brooklyn sidewalk

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Fat Nyc Rat Gets Stuck On Brooklyn Sidewalk

He lost the rat race.

A round rodent got stuck in a Brooklyn sidewalk as it exited the subway, causing a pedestrian to accidentally step on the head and scream in horror, a witness said Wednesday.

“That rat couldn’t fit through the hole. RIP fatso”, Dylan Wells posted on Twitterwith a photo of the unfortunate creature.

Wells was on his way to work at Victor’s Mediterranean restaurant in Gowanus around 11 a.m. Wednesday when he spotted the roly-poly rat washed up on Third and Atlantic Avenues, he told the Post.

“I walked past it twice: the first time, I had a debate with a woman to find out if he was still alive. Obviously that was not the case,” he said.

When he returned around 4 p.m., the beady-eyed rodent was still there.

The round rat couldn’t make its way through the sidewalk.
Dylan Wells

“The second time I was behind a woman wearing flip flops, on her phone, not paying attention and she stepped on her head and screamed,” he said.

Wells said the big rat was probably trying to climb through a crack or tunnel under the sidewalk near a construction site when it encountered its creator.

“I guess he was under the pavement and he couldn’t put his head in the hole and then his body got stuck and he died,” he said. “Maybe he was too big.”

He added: “I wonder if there are a lot of rats living under there now because it’s blocking [the hole].”

The city should get rid of the rat quickly so more people don’t “eek,” he said.

The sighting comes amid the Big Apple’s worst rodent infestation in more than a decade, and about a week after a group of residents sued the city for allegedly fueling the problem by allowing outdoor dining. outdoors in times of pandemic.

The city did not immediately return a request for comment.

New York Post

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Brian Daboll returns to New England where it all started to face Bill Belichick, Joe Judge

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Brian Daboll Returns To New England Where It All Started To Face Bill Belichick, Joe Judge

In Brian Daboll’s first game as an NFL head coach Thursday night, he’ll be coaching against both his mentor, Bill Belichick, and his Giants predecessor, Joe Judge, a former New England Patriots colleague.

Daboll insists this somewhat emotional and awkward preseason homecoming is not front of mind.

“Obviously he [Belichick] is a mentor of mine, but I haven’t sat there and been like, ‘Oh, this is the first game,’” Daboll said Tuesday. “I know my wife and kids are gonna try to get out to it. But he’s coached what, 750 games? This is the first preseason game for me. I’m just trying to do right by my team. Not really worrying about me.”

Daboll sure knows his Patriots’ history: Belichick has coached 739 regular season games in the NFL in 47 seasons as a head coach and coordinator, 803 including playoffs.

Daboll should know it, too. He started his NFL journey here as a defensive assistant under Belichick in 2000, and was a part of five Patriots Super Bowl teams.

So he says his focus is much more on the details of the Giants’ road trip, fundamentals and playing a clean game than on coming back to Gillette Stadium.

Meanwhile, Daboll said he hadn’t even addressed Judge’s presence on the Patriots’ sideline Thursday with the Giants’ players, many of whom had fought for Judge the past two years in New Jersey.

Daboll said coaching against old friends and former players in this league is old hat.

“It’s just kind of the nature of the NFL,” Daboll said.

This is not just any other game, though.

Slot corner Darnay Holmes called it “just another game” but admitted he wouldn’t be a Giant without Judge, who drafted him in the 2020 fourth round out of UCLA.

“I’m excited to see him, because he’s the reason why I’m in this building,” Holmes said. “Salute to that guy, salute to [former GM Dave] Gettleman, salute to those who came before me. And at the end of the day it’s another opponent, another match. We’re just excited to see where we’re at as a team and coaches.”

Some players also have thrown some shade at Judge and the previous staff for coaching too hard.

Free safety Xavier McKinney, Judge’s 2020 second round pick out of Alabama, has made multiple references to “not being afraid to make a mistake or mess up” under Daboll and new D-coordinator Wink Martindale — an allusion perhaps to both Judge and former DC Pat Graham.

Center Jon Feliciano, who wasn’t even here last season, said in June that “you can just kind of tell people get a little scared when they mess up.”

Their implication clearly is that they believe Daboll is more constructive than destructive — though it’s odd hearing players on one of the NFL’s worst recent teams say that it’s a relief being able to mess up.

They will learn quickly that Daboll won’t tolerate mistakes either.

He also comes from the Belichick tree, from which Giants ownership has plucked two consecutive head coaches (after interviewing Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels in 2018).

Then there are the texts. Oh, the texts.

Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, of course, alleges in a lawsuit that Belichick accidentally texted Flores that he was the Giants “guy” two days prior to Flores’ in-person interview for the vacancy after Judge’s firing.

Belichick allegedly intended to text Daboll instead. Flores therefore referred to his Giants interview as a “sham.”

Giants co-owner John Mara said at the March owners’ meetings in Florida that no one from the Giants, including Mara, had spoken to Belchick about the hiring process.

“I haven’t spoken or communicated with Bill since we played them in the preseason last summer,” Mara said then. “And to my knowledge, nobody in our organization communicated with him.”

Belichick, known for being terse, said “can’t comment on it.”

Now Judge is an offensive assistant under Belichick trying to bounce with Mac Jones as his QB after getting the plug pulled abruptly on a long-term rebuilding plan in New York.

And Daboll, after building one of the league’s top offenses with QB Josh Allen in Buffalo, is a Giant trying to rehabilitate Daniel Jones and build a sustainable product with time that Judge was promised but ultimately not given by Mara and Steve Tisch.

It’s an intricate, complicated, messy web of connections. On Thursday, they’ll probably all be relieved just to play some football.

And Daboll and his family, just for a moment, should be able to appreciate how far he’s come.

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Francisco Lindor being on the court every day sets the tone for the Mets, says Showalter – The Denver Post

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Francisco Lindor Being On The Court Every Day Sets The Tone For The Mets, Says Showalter – The Denver Post

With his name in the starting lineup once again on Wednesday, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor has started 111 of the team’s 112 games. The only game he didn’t play was June 2 at Dodger Stadium. Manager Buck Showalter joked that when he took Lindor off the field for a defensive substitution in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s blowout win, “it was a fight.”

Showalter was also asked about the value of having a superstar you can count on day in and day out.

“It’s a skill,” Showalter said. “It sets the tone for a lot of guys. Without naming names, the guys look around.

Showalter said he had five names in mind in this series that he “was going to try and get out of the field one way or another.” None of those has been Lindor, who on Tuesday became the Met’s first shortstop to have two 20-homer seasons. He followed that up on Wednesday by tying Jose Reyes’ record for RBI by a Mets shortstop in a single season.

“It’s a blessing,” Lindor said of the record. “Any time you can do something cool, it’s a blessing. To be next to Reyes, someone I grew up watching, is great. But I’m here to try and win the Worlds. Series.

“I remember talking to Terry Francona before the season, and that’s one of the things we talked about, how much he loves playing,” Showalter recalled. “Let’s be honest, when you make a long-term commitment to a player, it’s one of the hardest things to read. It was a thing about Manny [Machado]. I knew you could trust him. He likes to play, he likes to compete, he likes to be on the field.

Showalter describes Lindor as a perfectionist, someone who takes pride in bunting, running the bases and being a student of the game. The skipper called him “one of those good question guys” and said also said his rebounding season after a disappointing 2021 showed a lot of maturity.

“He’s very approachable about the things we should be doing better. We had a relay that was a little off. I think it kept him awake for two days. He is driven. He wants to be the last team standing.

There was one day, according to Showalter, when he went into the team mess hall looking for someone. He ended up being distracted by the sight of Lindor, who was alone in the corner watching a video on his iPad. That, according to Showalter, is the true measure of his character, as the mega-rich shortstop was doing the work when no one else was looking.

“Francisco has been a rock,” Showalter said. “Against all odds, he has the same personality. I never said, ‘How is Francisco’s mood today?’ He’s in the same mood every day, no matter what happens, we all have that off the pitch, things that affect our mentality a bit. Once he walks through that door, he talks about the Mets and plays shortstop for us.

As for constant use, Showalter said the Mets have internal conversations every day about how to effectively rest players. Using a system of red, yellow and green lights, the team will review everything from the last time a player had a day off to how hard they ran the bases over the course of the day. of a given week.

“It’s an inexact science,” Showalter said. “You try to use everything that is available to you. I welcome it, I want it all.

They’ve got Lindor all year, and it’s paying off with a sublime season for him and the ball club as a whole.

“The burden of expectations, x contract, x years of commitment means you should be doing it statistically,” Showalter said. “I wanted to make sure [Lindor] knew it wasn’t my line. Just go play shortstop, play hard, bring what you bring and make sure we can count on it.

“I came to New York to play baseball,” Lindor said. “As long as the good Lord continues to bless me with health, I will be there. Buck is over there grinding, the boys are over there grinding, I want to be over there with them.

TAKE A LOAD, BUCK

Wednesday marks the end of the Mets’ 14-game streak in 13 days. With the day off Thursday, the team will have some much-needed decompression time, even if their leader thinks it won’t do much for their bodies.

“What do you get out of it, physically? Not much,” Showalter guessed. “We are too far down this road.”

The ability to walk away from things and not think about baseball, not be on the baseball clock, and not have to hang out with teammates is the most valuable thing, according to Showalter.

“We choose their friends for eight months. You can actually go do anything you want to do. You know what a lot of people do when they have time like this? Nothing.”

As for how he will spend his day off? How about a TV show that debuted in 1955.

“I might want to sit there and watch reruns of Honeymooners,” laughed Showalter. “Pretty funny show.”

But don’t tell him too much.

“I don’t like reading the truth behind the scenes and who didn’t get along with who. Who argued on the show? I don’t want to hear that. Someone once told me that Andy Griffith and Barney Fife didn’t get along. It’s not good.”

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Francisco Lindor being on the field every day sets the tone for Mets, Showalter says

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Francisco Lindor Being On The Field Every Day Sets The Tone For Mets, Showalter Says

With his name in the starting lineup once again on Wednesday, Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor has started 111 of the team’s 112 games. The only game he did not appear in was June 2 at Dodger Stadium. Manager Buck Showalter joked that when he did get Lindor off the field for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s blowout win, “that was a fight.”

Showalter was also asked about the value of having a superstar who can be counted on day in and day out.

”It’s a skill,” Showalter said. “It sets a tone for a lot of guys. Without naming names, guys look around.”

Showalter said he had five names in his head coming into this series that he was “going to try to get off the field in some form or fashion.” None of those have been Lindor, who, on Tuesday, became the first Met shortstop ever to have two 20-homer seasons. He followed that on Wednesday by tying Jose Reyes’ record for RBI by a Mets shortstop in a single season.

“It’s a blessing,” Lindor said of the record. “Anytime you can do something cool, it’s a blessing. Being next to Reyes, somebody I grew up watching, that’s great. But I’m here to try and win the World Series.”

”I remember talking to Terry Francona before the season, and that’s one of the things we talked about, how much he likes to play,” Showalter recalled. “Let’s be frank, when you make a commitment to a player long-term, that’s one of the hardest things to read. That was one thing about Manny [Machado]. I knew you could trust him. He likes to play, he likes to compete, he likes to be on the field.”

Showalter describes Lindor as a perfectionist, someone who takes pride in bunting, running the bases and being a student of the game. The skipper called him “one of those good question guys” and also said that his bounce-back season after a disappointing 2021 has shown a lot of maturity.

”He’s very approachable about things that we should do better. We had a relay that was a little off. I think it kept him up for two days. He’s driven. He wants to be the last team standing.”

There was a day, according to Showalter, where he went into the team’s dining area looking for somebody. He ended up getting distracted by the sight of Lindor, who was in the corner by himself poring over video on his iPad. That, according to Showalter, is the true measure of his character, as the mega-rich shortstop was putting in the work when nobody else was watching.

”Francisco has been a rock,” Showalter said. “Through thick and thin, he’s got that same personality. I’ve never said, ‘What kind of mood is Francisco in today?’ He’s in the same mood every day, no matter what may be going on, we all have it off the field, things that affect our mentality a little bit. Once he walks through that door, he’s about the Mets and playing shortstop for us.”

As for the constant usage, Showalter said the Mets have internal conversations every single day about how to effectively rest players. Using a red, yellow and green traffic light system, the team will look at everything from the last time a player had a day off to how hard he ran the bases in a given week.

“It’s an inexact science,” Showalter said. “You try to use everything at your disposal. I welcome it, I want all of it.”

They’ve gotten Lindor’s all this year, and it’s paying off with a sublime season for both him and the ball club as a whole.

”The burden of expectations, x contract, x-year commitment means you should do this statistically,” Showalter said. “I wanted to make sure [Lindor] knew that wasn’t my line. Just go play shortstop, play the heck out of it, bring what you bring, and make sure we can count on that.”

“I came to New York to play baseball,” Lindor said. “As long as the good lord continues to bless me with health, I’m going to be out there. Buck is out there grinding, the boys are out there grinding, I want to be out there with them.”

TAKE A LOAD OFF, BUCK

Wednesday marks the end of the Mets’ run of 14 games in 13 days. With an off day on Thursday, the team will have some sorely needed decompression time, even if their leader thinks it won’t do a lot for their bodies.

“What do you get from it, physically? Not a whole lot,” Showalter guessed. “We’re too far down this road.”

The ability to get away from things and not think about baseball, not be on the baseball clock, and not have to hang out with their teammates is the most valuable thing, per Showalter.

“We pick their friends for eight months. You can actually go do something that you want to do. You know what a lot of people do when they get time like this? Nothing.”

As for how he’ll spend his off day? How about a television show that debuted in 1955.

“I might want to sit there and watch Honeymooners reruns,” Showalter laughed. “Pretty funny show.”

Just don’t tell him too much about it, though.

“I don’t like reading about the truth behind the scenes and who didn’t get along with who. Who feuded on the show? I don’t want to hear that. Someone once told me that Andy Griffith and Barney Fife didn’t get along. That’s no good.”

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