Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
Last week, Derek Jeter’s Marlins made history by hiring the league’s first female GM, MLB announced their MVP winners, and new White Sox manager Tony La Russa is already on the defensive despite being employed by less than two weeks.
News & Notes
1 - Female GM of any American professional sports teams, now that the Marlins have hired Kim Ng. Ng is a longtime baseball executive who previously worked for the Yankees, the Dodgers and the league itself. It’s great to see an MLB team breaking barriers, and hopefully this gives more women and minorities looks for high-level positions within the game.
4 - Awards announced by MLB last week:
Two first basemen earned MVP honors this season, with the White Sox’ Jose Abreu and Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman earning honors in the COVID-shortened season.
The last time two first basemen won was back in 2006, when Justin Morneau and Ryan Howard earned MVP honors.
Marlins’ skipper Don Mattingly and Rays’ manager Kevin Cash took home Manager of the Year Awards. Mattingly got the Marlins into the playoffs despite being ravaged by COVID early in the season; Cash of managed the Rays to the AL East pennant and a World Series berth.
Kyle Lewis of the Mariners and Devin Williams of the Brewers won the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Award, respectively. Lewis started in center field for Seattle all season, posting a 126 wCR+. Williams served as a flamethrower in Milwaukee’s bullpen, amassing 80 strikeouts in 63 relief innings.
And two former teammates, Shane Bieber of the Indians and Trevor Bauer of the Reds took home the Cy Young trophies. Bieber continued to break-out, and at this point has clearly broken-out. Bauer is a free agent and will be one of the prized arms on the market.
22 - Million dollar lawsuit filed by former Astros General Manager, Jeff Lunhow. Luhnow was one of the only people disciplined for the Astros sign-stealing scandal, as the players were left unscathed, and manager Alex Cora and AJ Hinch merely got one-year suspensions — with Cora already landing his former job back already.
13 - Days it took for new White Sox manager to become embroiled in an off-field issue arising from his DUI arrest back in February. Even before the news, which Chicago brass very likely knew about, Sox fans made it clear that they were extremely unhappy with the hire. It’s La Russa’s second DUI incident and one that is unlikely to help ingratiate himself to a city that clearly does not want him as the manager of a young-and-fun diverse 2021 team.
136 - Days until Opening Day 2021. What the country looks like at that point is anyone’s guess...