Manny Ramirez was known for his unusual attitude as a player, and his current role with the Cubs is unclear, but he’s latched on with the organization as a coach, the Associated Press writes. Ramirez isn’t listed as an official member of the Cubs’ coaching staff, but he regularly works with all the team’s hitters, and Jorge Soler and Javier Baez, especially, look up to him. His metamorphosis into an admired coach has been unusual, given that he was suspended for PEDs and that he himself was known for being less than coachable as a player. He was, however, a hard worker, and his appetite for improving his game has also helped him as a coach. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Dodgers‘ playoff ouster shows that Andrew Friedman needs to adjust to the demands of baseball in a big market, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes. While the Dodgers did win 92 games and the NL West, Dilbeck writes, they were still disappointing because they didn’t advance further than the NLDS and didn’t show appropriate “urgency” by making high-profile deadline moves. From my perspective, that sounds somewhat harsh, given the seemingly limited amount of control a front office has over how its team plays once it reaches the roller coaster of variance that is the postseason. Dilbeck has a point, though, that this winter will be an interesting one for Friedman, who will likely have to strongly consider signing, for the first time in his career, at least one player to a nine-figure contract.
- The Mets‘ unexpectedly strong season has placed starter Matt Harvey in an awkward position, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes. He continues to pitch in the postseason despite a controversy earlier in the year about his innings total this season as he returns from Tommy John surgery. Including the playoffs, Harvey has now pitched 194 1/3 innings this season. Pitching more might risk further injury, but as the reaction to the initial controversy showed, Harvey would be a “pariah” throughout the game if he stopped. And it isn’t hard to understand why the Mets might want to get everything they can out of him now, while they have a chance — clear shots at championships aren’t easy to come by, even for teams that appear to have bright futures.