A shout-out to the Cubs, though. They still had to hit those gopher balls out of the park, and no mismanagement of any type was really involved in Game 4.
Looking ahead to 2016, if I can?
I see a few items on the needs and issues screen.
- They need to figure out if Stephen Piscotty, a Piscotty/Matt Adams platoon, or whatever, fills the hole at 1B.
- Mo MUST get a better backup catcher. Tony Cruz isn’t even an MLB player, arguably. And, preferably, Mo finds one with the positional flexibility of playing 1B or 3B as well as catching. Stick a crowbar in that wallet, Mo. Get one good enough that Yadi can get more days off next year.
- He needs to figure out how much to spend — and for how many years — on Jason Heyward.
- He needs to figure out whether to resign Lackey or not, and for what price. I’d consider gambling on a QO if necessary, and hope his playoff experience, veteran status, etc., leads another team to bid higher. It’s a bit of a gamble, yes, but not huge.
The first two are the biggest, in my book. While I don’t want Heyward to walk, if the price is anywhere near right, the team could run Jon Jay out in center for one more year with Randal Grichuk in right, or vice versa on their positions, if the price is not right. Lackey is important, but lesser than any of the first three.
As for Matheny? He went to the World Series in his second year, and has taken the team to the playoffs in all four seasons. Unless Mo has a massive coronary or Matheny is caught peeing on the Musial statue, Birds fans are stuck with MLB’s alleged second-cutest manager.