1. Brewers hire Ron Roenicke: The Brewers have been searching for a leader since they didn’t pick up Ken Macha’s team option. In his two years with the Milwaukee ballclub, he has gone 157-167 and failed to reach the postseason in both years as manager. After two seasons of little to no excitement while having countless numbers of people calling for his head, the Brewers have someone to take his place. Ron Roenicke will come in and fill the big shoes left by Ken Macha. Roenicke was a bench coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In Scioscia’s place, Roenicke coached seven games and ended up winning all seven. He is regarded as one of the smartest “baseball men” in the game, which is going to supply big upside for the Brewers’ club and give them plenty of knowledge they can take to the field to win games and bring the playoffs back to Milwaukee.
2. Brewers declined Options on 3 players: The Milwaukee Brewers have also made other news, declining the option on the all-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman. They had a mutual option for $7.5 million, in which Hoffman will receive $750,000 buyout from the Brewers. He will proceed to enter free agency with 601 career saves. With the poor season he had with Milwaukee this year, I would say that his best bet is to retire. Doug Davis was declined a $6.5 million option. Davis posted horrible numbers for the Brewers (7.51 ERA in 8 games pitched, 38.1 innings pitched while having a 53 ERA+). Not sure who is going to be willing to take a risk on Davis this offseason; I doubt anyone. Gregg Zaun also is having his option declined by the Brewers, which would’ve given Zaun a $2.5 million salary. Instead, the catcher will receive a $250,000 buyout after an injury-rigged season.
3. World Series ratings one of the worst ever: The Giants-Rangers five-game series has averaged an 8.4 rating on a 14 share, which matches a record for worst-ratings for a World Series in MLB history set by the Phillies-Rays in the 2008 campaign. The series did average 14.3 million viewers per game, which is up five precent from the 2008 series. Game 5 did out view the Monday Night Football divisional rivalry between the Texans and Colts, though. I think that the meaning of these ratings is that the Giants-Rangers’ series is not going to bring the viewers. If it isn’t a large market team in the World Series vs. another large market team with plenty of fans (let them be bandwagoners, fair-weather fans or real fans) you will get a lot of viewers. Would this be the same ratings if it was NYY vs. SFG? I don’t think so.
4. Cliff Lee number 1 priority in Texas: The Texas Rangers are going to be going after one major free agent this offseason and they finally have the money to do it. Cliff Lee is what Texas wants, needs and has the ability to get. Another advantage for Texas is Cliff Lee coming out and saying that he would love to be a part of the rangers next season. The Nationals have come out and expressed interest in saying that they will be going after Cliff Lee hard this offseason and not backing down until Cliff Lee has either A) signed with them or B) signed with another team. The Yankees have also expressed strong interest in Cliff Lee this offseason. Lee has another strong season after having impressive playoff performances to get Texas to the World Series as well as having an impressive season while posting an ERA of 3.18 and an ERA+ of 130 this season in between stints with the Mariners and Rangers. Look for it to be a tight competition between Washington, Texas and New York for the landing of Cliff Lee this offseason.
5. Other big name free agents: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth have all become free agents today as well as Paul Konerko. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are in talks with the Yankees to return back to New York for another season with the Yankees in which both have spent their entire careers there. I believe that both Jeter and Rivera will return to New York for yet another season there and will end up retiring in New York when their careers are completed. Cliff Lee has expressed interest in return to Texas, but the Nationals and Yankees will push hard after Lee. I think that Lee will end up returning to Texas for a complete season there. Carl Crawford is now a free agent, with the Rays wanting to try to retain him with the Yankees having expressing interest in the past of not wanting to go after Crawford because they are trusting Brett Gardner, but I still think that they will go after Crawford anyway. The Angels have also expressed interest in him. My prediction is that Carl Crawford returns to Tampa Bay to continue his career with the Rays. Jayson Werth has had the Yankees interested in him, as well as the Phillies interested in him. I haven’t heard many teams being interested in him as of late, but we will see at who makes a run at him come free agency time. Other significant free agents this offseason are pitcher Andy Pettitte from the Yankees, first baseman Derrek Lee from Atlanta, catcher Victor Martinez from Boston, first baseman Jason Giambi from Colorado, outfielders Johnny Damon and Magglio Ordonez from Detroit, designated hitter Hideki Matsui from the Angels, outfielder Manny Ramirez from the White Sox, pitcher Carl Pavano from Minnesota and first baseman Adam Dunn from Washington, who has had the Giants and Yankees interested in him when he was put on waivers by the Nationals during the season in which no team made a deal for Dunn during the season. Another player to watch this offseason will be Prince Fielder and where he will be traveling – as he could definitely be traded this offseason as he is likely going to leave the Brewers after the 2011 season anyway.