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April 10, 2012

What You Need to Know

Tuesday, April 10

by Daniel Rathman

The Monday Takeaway
When Yu Darvish walked back to the Rangers’ dugout after the top of the first inning of his major-league debut, things were looking bleak for both the pitcher and his team. Darvish had allowed seven Mariners to reach base and four of them to cross the plate while throwing 42 pitches and putting Texas in an early hole.

The righty settled down after that, coughing up just one more run in the second inning, and needing only 68 pitches to complete the final 4 2/3 innings of his 5 2/3-inning debut. The four walks, hit batter, and wild pitch on Darvish’s line are a bit worrisome, but some of his early wildness can be chalked up to rookie jitters. And once the Rangers’ offense kicked into gear against Mariners starter Hector Noesi, Darvish grew more comfortable, riding 11 runs of support to his first stateside victory.

Darvish’s next start is scheduled for Saturday afternoon against the Twins at Target Field.

What to Watch for on Tuesday

  • The Marlins are off today, but manager Ozzie Guillen will take center stage at a 10:30 a.m. ET press conference to address his comments about former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Guillen told reporters on Monday that he felt “guilty” and “embarrassed” about expressing respect for Castro—a sentiment that most certainly did not go over well with the Cuban community in Miami. He’ll need to be equally remorseful this morning to allay the concerns of the Marlins’ fan base and avoid more serious consequences, such as a suspension.
  • While his top off-season acquisition was busy dealing with the Mariners, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was preparing for news of an extension with second baseman Ian Kinsler to spread. The new contract will pay Kinsler $70 million over the next five years, and it includes a $10 million option for the 2018 season with a $5 million buyout.  When healthy, the 29-year-old Kinsler is arguably the best keystoner in the league, and he should have no trouble producing an average of $15 million in value over the course of the deal.
  • Matt Moore made just one regular-season start last season, but he made an immediate splash by recording 11 strikeouts in five innings of work against the Yankees. He’ll face a similarly stiff test in his 2012 debut, a date with the Tigers at Comerica Park (1:05 p.m. ET). The 22-year-old southpaw had a rocky spring, serving up three gopher balls and walking five batters in 10 innings of work, but his raw stuff is unparalleled. Following Darvish’s erratic opener, Moore has a chance to take the early lead in the AL Rookie of the Year race. 

Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

amazin_mess

Ozzie Guillen never ceases to amaze. What do you give him in Miami? A year and a half?

Apr 10, 2012 04:30 AM
rating: 0
 
T. Kiefer

The Marlins forgot to give their new manager an ideology test before hiring him. The next one will surely be tested for purity before any baseball questions come up.
Heaven forbid a baseball manager might have opinions (even in jest), which he putatively has the freedom to express, that differ from some, even a majority, of the fans (cf. the Tea Partier/Ayn Randian? Tony La Russa).

Apr 10, 2012 06:55 AM
rating: 1
 
hessshaun

I agree, I think it's ridiculous. And his comment is absolutely accurate considering the way in which our political system works.

Apr 10, 2012 09:38 AM
rating: 0
 
krissbeth

It's rarely effective to greet a new customer with "Hi, I disagree with your core beliefs so much that I make jokes about them!"

Having unconventional beliefs is fine, but expecting to not have consequences for expressing them badly to a hostile audience is quite another thing. And it's not like the Marlins are pillars of the community. This is like hiring a NYC manager for the Royals, then having them quote at length from "What's the matter with Kansas?"

Apr 10, 2012 18:04 PM
rating: 2
 
WaldoInSC

Actually, that would be pretty funny, since the Royals play in Missouri.

Apr 10, 2012 19:48 PM
rating: -1
 
Shaun P.
(676)

Craig Calcaterra pointed out, rightly, that MLB never did anything to Peter Angelos when he made nice-nice with Castro himself, when the O's played the Cuban national team back in 1999. More double standard, Mr. Selig?

Apr 10, 2012 08:04 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

For reference, here's the link to Calcaterra's take: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/10/mlb-is-looking-into-ozzies-comments-how-intellectually-inconsistent-of-them/

Definitely a worthwhile read.

Apr 10, 2012 08:53 AM
 
ScottyB

The Kinsler extension looks like a great deal for the Rangers, and a significant missed opportunity by Ian and his agents.

Cano will likely almost double this money a year from now.

Apr 10, 2012 09:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

A more immediate comparison might be the Reds' extension with Brandon Phillips, which Jim Bowden seems to think is imminent. Bowden floated six years, $72.5 million. That would either reinforce Kinsler as a considerable bargain or imply a poor decision by the Reds.

https://twitter.com/#!/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/189749055809789952

Apr 10, 2012 09:36 AM
 
ScottyB

or both? ;)

Apr 10, 2012 13:00 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Both it is!

Apr 10, 2012 13:15 PM
 
prs130

The citizens of FL and/or Miami (don't know the specific details) shoveled a whole lot of money at the new stadium, which makes Ozzie Guillen a quasi-spokesman for the people of Miami, whether he likes it or not. Loria needed a lot of political strings pulled to get a free stadium handed to him, and a lot of the pulling was done by Cuban-American political groups with strong anti-Castro sentiments. It's hardly surprising that the Marlins would be subject to political blowback for the public comments of their employees. Loria fed at the public trough and now he's forced to be responsive to public sentiments, regardless of whether public sentiments are well-thought-out and intelligently articulated.

Second, and more importantly, baseball teams require the allegiance of their customers, and any high-level employee of the club that offends the fans is not doing his job. A suspension is absolutely appropriate. It couldn't matter less what Ozzie said -- the customer is always right. If Ozzie said the sky was blue and the people of South Florida were offended, then his employer would be correct to suspend him, and Ozzie would be correct to stop talking about the sky.

You can argue that Cuban-Americans shouldn't be offended, but you can't argue that an institution that takes a chunk of taxpayer's income to build a stadium and relies on taking another chunk of their income as customers to be profitable couldn't or shouldn't control the relationship of their highest-level employees with the public.

Apr 10, 2012 13:51 PM
rating: 5
 
Aaron Moreno
(314)

Why shouldn't Cuban-Americans be offended? Ain't he the reason there are Cuban-Americans?

Apr 10, 2012 14:31 PM
rating: 4
 
jrfukudome

I admire Fidel too. You go, Ozzie!

Apr 10, 2012 18:34 PM
rating: -1
 
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