The Friday news dump is a time honored tradition, but baseball really went all in on it this time, not only with it being Friday, but with the drama of the American election continuing to unfold.
Alex Cora, suspended all of this past season for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, and whose 2018 Red Sox won the World Series while cheating themselves? Well, he’s back as Red Sox manager after a punishment that turned out to be a privilege, not having to be in the dugout as part of the last-place 2020 season in Boston with COVID-19 spreading about the league.
With former Astros manager A.J. Hinch now the skipper in Detroit, the only manager still suffering professional consequences from the Astros scandal is Carlos Beltran, who was a player for Houston in 2017, hired as Mets manager last year, then dismissed as soon as the MLB report on the Astros came down. But the people who were in uniform as the cheating unfolded with the Astros? They’re back!
Speaking of MLB reports, remember how Justin Turner got coronavirus, was pulled from Game 6 of the World Series when he never should have been in the game in the first place after an inconclusive test, and then returned to celebrate the Dodgers’ championship on the field, pulling down his mask in the middle of it all? Yes, everybody involved is very sorry and has a lot of word salads to prove it.
Nobody, however, will be facing any consequences, because that would mean taking actual responsibility for actions, and no way was that happening. Not under Rob Manfred’s watch, and without Beltran available to pin it on since he’s already out of work.
And the Mets? Well, being the Mets, they went ahead and did the opposite of what a Friday news dump is supposed to be, making their fans positively giddy with the announcement that Steve Cohen closed the deal on his purchase of the team, the Wilpons are gone forever, and the entire front office is fired.
Also, Hinch’s Tigers hired Chris Fetter as their pitching coach and Juan Nieves as his assistant, which, hey, good for them, but also, good luck! That team had a 5.63 staff ERA in 2020.
Of course, Hinch, Fetter, and Nieves working with the Tigers in 2021 depends on there being a season, which, well, yeah that’s not a guarantee, because another news item buried by the election is the continued surge of COVID-19, and still another is that Tony Clark and the MLBPA don’t trust the league’s financial claims. Not that they should, but it’s important to keep that in mind when owners start talking about how much money they’re losing and how they can’t afford to run the season as normal.
But all that will be bad news to dump for another Friday, won’t it?