1. Mets owner Steve Cohen launches a Twitter rant, once again
He became both beloved and infamous, from his social media persona immediately upon buying the Mets in 2020, then it got awkward, he took time off, then got back on, took time off again— and now, this morning, he’s back.
The short version of the story is: Cohen and the Mets were under the impression that former Steven Matz (on the Blue Jays this past season) would be returning to the Mets, or at least would provide them a chance to beat any offer he received on the market — and then, to their surprise, Matz signed with the Cardinals.
And so today, Cohen bizarrely took to Twitter to complain — amid an offseason that’s been essentially awful so far for the Mets (and they still don’t have a manager). Here’s a little more context, from Joel Sherman:
And here was the response from Steven Matz’s agent (to the NY Post):
“We are aware of Mr. Cohen’s tweet. It’s unfortunate that he chose to take his frustrations to Twitter. I will not do the same, and instead will take the high road which is consistent with both my character and the character of our client.”
2. Wander Franco signs a surprise mega-deal to stay with the Rays for over a decade
Or to stay with whatever the Rays might be called, wherever they might be located, should they move cities sometime in the next few years.
A great deal for the Rays, a great deal for Franco, and the longtime number-one prospect in baseball turned half of a season (a brilliant half of a season) into $223 million dollars. Some reactions from his teammates:
3. The stat of the day: Wander Franco’s contract
4. Here are the All-MLB teams, released yesterday
It’s beyond impressive that Shohei Ohtani appears on both lists.
5. Wade Davis decides to retire, after 13 major-league seasons
A three-time All Star, a key piece of the dominant bullpen that helped the Royals win it all in 2015, and he calls it quits after spending his final season back in Kansas City.
6. It’s a beautiful baseball holiday season in downtown Charlotte, NC
Maybe someday they’ll have a major-league team of their own.
7. Transactions and news from around the league
The biggest news was the Steven Matz deal, but a few more moves were made, headlined by Kendall Graveman heading to the White Sox:
And the Yankees say goodbye to a few fan favorites:
8. Buster Posey and Trey Mancini are named MLB’s Comeback Players of the Year
Mancini had a courageous, All-Star season after recovering from cancer, and Posey took the 2020 season and then returned for this brilliant final year — as Giants fans still nurse the pain of knowing he won’t be back next spring.
9. Updates from the 2021 Japan Series
There’s no baseball for a long while here, so we’ll have to pretend this’ll do the trick — as the Yakult Swallows (Tokyo) took a 3–1 lead on the Orix Buffaloes (Osaka) last night at the Tokyo Dome.
10. In memoriam: Bill Virdon
He was N.L. Rookie of the Year for the Cardinals in 1955, won the 1960 World Series with the Pirates, and went on to be a longtime manager throughout the ’70s and ’80s.
11. A video to get you up to speed with Japan’s newest phenom coming to MLB, Seiya Suzuki
Found yesterday on Youtube, if you’re curious about the hype and need a decent watch before the Suzuki bidding war starts.
12. Brandon Crawford writes a thoughtful, emotional thank you to Buster Posey
13. Noah Syndergaard appears on MLB Network in his new Angels red
“I didn’t necessarily go to Anaheim for the weather, I went there to play with the best players in the game: Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei, Jared Walsh.”
14. And lastly, the 22-year-old PA announcer at Wrigley Field now has his microphone in the Baseball Hall of Fame
From the display: “The life-long Cubs fan grew up attending games with his mother and imitating the announcers.”
In case the full picture doesn’t show up large enough, here’s the caption next to the display: