“Well, I’m a big believer of sticking to the plan until there’s a reason not to stick to the plan,” said Williams. “The plan that was laid out for him was exactly what has happened so far. He would go to the Minors, get his relief shoes on, so to speak, come to the big leagues and play an important role down the stretch.
“He’s done exactly that. The second part of that plan was for Chris to go to Spring Training [in 2011] as a starter and compete for a job in the rotation. I see no reason why we have to deviate from that plan. I understand the value of him down in the bullpen and how that sets up the bullpen. But we have the opportunity to stick with the plan in developing him as a starter in Spring Training.
“That allows us to take our time with Jake Peavy and ensure that he’s 100 percent ready to go in Spring Training,” Williams said. “The worst case scenario? Sale starts off and wins a rotation job in Spring Training and starts off as the fifth guy, which is probably early in the season more valuable than the first left-hander out of the bullpen.”
September 16, 2010
Kenny Williams is thinking about something.
“You know I love this city,” he says. “I love my job. Understand that. Get that part right. I love what I do, and I love where I am. But if the Oakland Raiders called tomorrow and asked me to run the team, I would go. I would do it.”
He wants me to write this down. I write it down. He is joking. He is not joking.
“Don’t misunderstand,” he says. “Get it down right. Get it down that I love what I do. Don’t get it wrong, now. I absolutely love what I do.”
“But you would leave to run the Raiders?” I ask. It’s the second question of the interview. Kenny Williams keeps staring out at the field, and for the first time a hint of a smile on his face.
“I’d have to go,” he says. “I’d have to tell people, ‘Sorry, I’ve been called home. The Silver and Black has called me home.’” …
Mets people have high regard for assistant GM John Ricco and consider him a future GM, but the team apparently will instead look to someone with more experience for their top front office position. They are is said to be ready to consider ex-Padres GM Kevin Towers, ex-Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, among others, to replace Minaya for that role. Byrnes and Hahn, assuming they are interested, are both extremely highly regarded. Byrnes helped bring the D-backs to the NLCS championship series in 2007 while Hahn was part of the 2005 World Series championship team with the White Sox.
UPDATE: October 2: Rogers:
White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn is on the GM short list for the Mets’ expected opening.
Martin is trying to establish residency in Mexico. He could be ready for the 2011 season. Could.
He’s a lefthanded hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side in Taiwan, and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range. Martin also hit .326 with 10 home runs in the last Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top-level league, while playing for Villa Clara, and has drawn plenty of walks in Cuba, posting a .311/.492/.491 line in 2008-2009, when he drew 78 bases on balls and ranked second in the league with 17 steals (in a 90-game season).
Leonys Martín became a star in his third season in Cuba in 2007-2008, hitting .398/.497/.564, just behind Yoandy Garlobo for the league lead in average. He tied for second in the league in triples (9) and was 6th in steals (13). He failed to make the post-season All-Star team as Alexei Bell, Alfredo Despaigne and Yoandry Urgelles were picked as the outfielders.
Cut in the mold of one-time Camagüey star Luis Ulacia (with a dangerous combination of speed and power,) youngster Leonys Martin has developed quickly into the most effective leadoff batter on the entire island. Martin stroked 3 homers in the opening round and added two more in the semis.
Joe Urso, Head Coach of the [U of Tampa] Spartan baseball team, said that the coaches saw Blanke progressing as a player and growing into his body. Urso said that Blanke was 5 feet 10 inches coming out of high school. On the roster for UT, Blanke was listed at 6 feet 4 inches tall. … “That was the big challenge, how he was going to develop as a catcher here,” said Urso. “He did a great job and everything I’m hearing from the White Sox scouts and the people we talk to is they’re just raving about this guy’s ability, not only as a hitter but now as a catcher as well.”
… Coach Urso said that Blanke is solid at blocking balls in the dirt and has good arm strength, but will have to work on his receiving ability and the speed of his release behind the plate.