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Denver Nuggets briefs: Nikola Jokic misses seventh consecutive game with sprained ankle

Denver Nuggets briefs: Nikola Jokic misses seventh consecutive game with sprained ankle

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25171638

BOSTON — Despite being officially listed as available to play in the Denver Nuggets’ road trip finale Wednesday against the Celtics, standout center Nikola Jokic missed his seventh consecutive game with a sprained left ankle.

Before the Nuggets departed for the road, coach Michael Malone said Jokic returning sometime during the second half of the trip would be the best-case scenario. Jokic, who sustained the injury Nov. 30 against Chicago, has progressed in recent days, going through individual work following shootarounds and prior to games at Orlando, Indiana and Detroit. But Jokic still had pain and swelling in his ankle as recently as Tuesday, according to Malone.

“I didn’t think he was ready,” Malone said. “(The medical staff) might say he’s ready. But for myself and talking with him, it’s not just, ‘Is the ankle ready?’ It’s, ‘Is his head ready?’ I didn’t think he was ready to play tonight. I wanted to protect him, so I made that decision.”

Denver was also without leading scorer Will Barton against the Celtics because of a lower back contusion sustained in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s win at Detroit. Trey Lyles made his first start of the season in Barton’s place and totaled nine points, six rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes.

Bench play underwhelms. Malone again praised the overall effort of his undermanned roster in  Wednesday’s 124-118 loss in Boston. But he also issued a challenge to Denver’s reserves, who contributed 16 total points and were primarily on the floor when the Celtics outscored the Nuggets 38-28 in the second quarter.

“We need our bench players to come in and impact the game in a positive matter, and we’re not getting that right now,” Malone said. “Some guys are taking advantage of that opportunity (with so many injuries), and just as revealing is some guys are not taking advantage of that opportunity.

“Minutes are not gonna continue just to be given because you think you deserve them. Minutes have to be earned, and if you’re not playing well, those minutes are not gonna be there anymore.”

Malik Bealey, who became Denver’s first player off the bench on this road trip, contributed eight points and three rebounds in 18 minutes. Kenneth Faried totaled 10 rebounds and four assists in 16 minutes. Emmanuel Mudiay had five points and two assists in 17 minutes, while Juancho Hernangomez finished with two points on 0-of-4 shooting and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

Monte Morris back to G League. Two-way guard Monte Morris was transferred back to the G League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Morris, who is permitted to spend 45 days with the Nuggets this season as part of his two-way contract, joined Denver on Sunday at Indiana and made his NBA debut by playing the final three minutes of Thursday’s win at Detroit.



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/nikola-jokic-misses-seventh-consecutive-game-nuggets/
Carlos Santana, Mark Reynolds remain on Rockies’ radar for first basemen

Carlos Santana, Mark Reynolds remain on Rockies’ radar for first basemen

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25171442

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — While the Rockies are working on shoring up their bullpen, the idea of adding a first baseman remains a possibility, even if it’s not the club’s highest priority.

The Rockies continue to have discussions about bringing back veteran Mark Reynolds, while the idea of signing free agent Carlos Santana remains a possibility. But how serious the Rockies are about pursuing Santana isn’t quite clear.

“Theoretically, Santana is a fit,” general manager Jeff Bridich said again on Wednesday. Practically? We’ll see.”

Asked if money spent on late-inning arms could affect the club’s ability to spend money on a corner bat, he said: “It’s just a natural part of team building and trying to plan, and it’s a fluid situation.”

A number of teams are interested in Santana, but the price tag for him is still being determined. According to national media reports at the winter meetings here, the Indians have made him a three-year, $36 million offer.

No sale. Bridich said the Rockies are getting a lot of inquiries about their young starting pitchers, but the Rockies aren’t likely to trade any of them.

“We really don’t have any need or desire to trade any of our young starting pitchers,” Bridich said. “But I will say that when we talk to other teams or when teams bring ideas to us, those guys are usually pretty darn popular.”

With youngsters Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Tyler Anderson leading the way, Colorado’s starting rotation had a 1.38 WHIP (walks, plus hits per innings pitched) in 2017, the fifth-lowest mark in franchise history.

Rusin’s role. Versatile left-handed reliever Chris Rusin, the Rockies’ Swiss Army knife out of the bullpen, is likely to remain a reliever. He was auditioning for a starter’s job during last year’s spring training before suffering an oblique injury.

When he got healthy, he shined as a reliever, going 5-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 60 games and finishing second in the majors among relievers with 85 innings pitched.

“He did a really nice job for us in the bullpen and he’s grown,” Bridich said. “So, I guess you can never say never, but I would hope that we would move forward with him, doing the really fine job he’s done for us in the ‘pen. His versatility there in the ‘pen is a big deal.”

 



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/carlos-santana-mark-reynolds-remain-on-rockies-radar-for-first-basemen/
Denver Nuggets cannot keep up with Boston Celtics in road trip finale

Denver Nuggets cannot keep up with Boston Celtics in road trip finale

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25171969

BOSTON — About 90 minutes before the finale of Denver’s six-game road trip against the Celtics, coach Michael Malone stressed the Nuggets would be facing one of the NBA’s best teams, with one of its best players, in one of its best environments. Malone hoped his squad would not “exhale” following a tenacious defensive effort in a win at Detroit the previous night.

The Nuggets hung around for the bulk of Wednesday’s contest at TD Garden. But a short-handed Denver squad ultimately did not have enough firepower to keep up with Boston in a 124-118 loss.

“There are no moral victories in this business, but I like the fact that we’re competing,” Malone said after the game. “I like the fact that we’re giving ourselves a chance to win against really good teams while we’re undermanned. This is only going to make us stronger down the stretch.”

After building a double-digit first-half lead, the Celtics (24-6) answered anytime Denver made a second-half push. When Gary Harris — who scored a career-high 36 points to go along with six assists — went airborne for a putback layup to tie the score at 85, Boston answered with an 8-2 run capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by rookie Jayson Tatum. When a Malik Beasley basket cut the Celtics’ lead to 97-94 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Boston scored nine straight to stretch the lead back to 12 points.

Denver, which still sits in fifth place in the Western Conference at 15-13, saw its depth shrink even more against the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. Though officially listed as available to play, standout center Nikola Jokic (sprained ankle) sat out his seventh consecutive game. Versatile perimeter player Will Barton, who has emerged as the Nuggets’ leading scorer in Jokic’s absence, missed the contest with a lower back contusion sustained Tuesday in Detroit. All-star power forward Paul Millsap rejoined his team Tuesday, but in a suit, as he’s in the early stages of a long recovery after reconstructive wrist surgery late last month.

Still, Denver shot just under 50 percent on a Boston team that entered Wednesday as the NBA’s best scoring defense (97.3 points allowed per game). Harris made 16 of his 25 field-goal attempts en route to his career night, while Jamal Murray added 28 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and Mason Plumlee (15 points, six rebounds) and Wilson Chandler (14 points, five rebounds) also finished in double figures.

“You just give him the ball and get out of the way,” Murray said of Harris’ performance. “He was making all types of plays. We just did a great job of trying to find him each time on the court, and he was doing the rest.”

Added Harris: “I knew I had to (step up offensively), especially since Will was gone. … I was able to knock down some shots.”

The Nuggets made their first six attempts of the game and led by as many as seven points when Beasley converted a putback layup late in the opening quarter. But the Celtics closed the first on a 9-3 run, then outscored Denver 38-28 in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead.

Boston was also short-handed, playing without Al Horford (rest), Gordon Hayward (fractured ankle) and Marcus Morris (knee). But they welcomed the return of MVP candidate Kyrie Irving (33 points, seven assists) from a quadriceps injury, the continued production of second-year forward Jaylen Brown (26 points) and the bench spark from Shane Larkin (14 points). Overall, Boston shot 59.5 percent from the field and 11-of-25 from 3-point distance to reach its highest point total of the season.

Denver had a chance to finish its road trip 3-3, an accomplishment Malone believes few would have predicted given the injuries and dreadful start with two defensive collapses at Dallas and New Orleans.

The Nuggets did not “exhale” in their finale against one of the NBA’s best teams, with one of its best players in one of its best environments.

But they ultimately did not have the firepower to keep up with the Celtics.

“Our guys didn’t roll over. We didn’t quit. We played to the buzzer,” Malone said. “That’s a sign of a team that is growing, and then hopefully that’s going to lead for very good things for us as we move forward.”



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/denver-nuggets-loss-at-boston-celtics/
Denver Nuggets cannot keep up with Boston Celtics in road-trip finale

Denver Nuggets cannot keep up with Boston Celtics in road-trip finale

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25171326

BOSTON — About 90 minutes before the finale of Denver’s six-game road trip against the Celtics, coach Michael Malone stressed the Nuggets would be facing one of the NBA’s best teams, with one of its best players, in one of its best environments. Malone hoped his team would not “exhale” following a tenacious defensive effort in a win at Detroit the previous night.

The Nuggets hung around for the bulk of Wednesday’s contest at TD Garden. But an undermanned Denver squad ultimately did not have enough firepower to keep up with Boston in a 124-118 loss.

After building a double-digit first-half lead, the Celtics (24-6) answered anytime Denver made a second-half push. When Gary Harris — who scored a career-high 36 points to go along with six assists — went airborne for a putback layup to tie the score at 85, Boston answered with an 8-2 run capped by an old-fashioned three-point play by rookie Jayson Tatum. When a Malik Beasley basket cut the Celtics’ lead to 97-94 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Boston scored nine straight to stretch the lead back to 12 points.

Denver, which still sits in fifth place in the Western Conference at 15-13, remained short-handed against the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. Though officially listed as available to play, standout center Nikola Jokic (sprained ankle) sat out his seventh consecutive game. Versatile perimeter player Will Barton, who has emerged as the Nuggets’ leading scorer in Jokic’s absence, missed the game with a lower back contusion sustained Tuesday in Detroit. All-star power forward Paul Millsap rejoined his team Tuesday, but in a suit, as he’s in the early stages of a long recovery after reconstructive wrist surgery late last month.

Still, Denver shot just under 50 percent on a Boston team that entered Wednesday as the NBA’s best scoring defense (97.3 points allowed per game).

The Nuggets made their first six shots of the game and led by as many as seven points when Beasley converted a putback layup late in the opening quarter. But the Celtics closed the first on a 9-3 run, then outscored Denver 38-28 in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead.

Boston was also short-handed, playing without Al Horford (rest) and Gordon Hayward (fractured ankle), but welcomed the return of MVP candidate Kyrie Irving (33 points, seven assists) from a quadriceps injury, the continued production of Jaylen Brown (26 points) and the bench spark from Shane Larkin (14 points). Overall, Boston shot 59.5 percent from the field and 11-of-25 from 3-point distance and sealed the game with free throws down the stretch.

Denver had a chance to finish its road trip 3-3, an accomplishment Malone believes few would have predicted given the injuries and dreadful start with two defensive letdowns at Dallas and New Orleans.

The Nuggets did not “exhale” in their finale against one of the NBA’s best teams, with one of its best players in one of its best environments.

But they ultimately did not have the firepower to keep up with the Celtics.



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/denver-nuggets-loss-at-boston-celtics/
Kiszla: With hot stove at a simmer, Rockies need to sign Carlos Santana or another big bat

Kiszla: With hot stove at a simmer, Rockies need to sign Carlos Santana or another big bat

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25170738

We don’t need no stinkin’ power hitter. The Rockies have Ian Desmond.

OK, so National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton was never coming to Colorado. But how about trading for Marcell Ozuna, when knucklehead Derek Jeter was selling off sluggers at garage-sale prices down in Miami? Was Denver ever going to pursue Ozuna, if most fans around don’t care enough to know his name? That’s a deal made in a real baseball town, like St. Louis.

The Rockies went to the winter meetings, baseball’s meat-and-greet market. General manager Jeff Bridich got the T-shirt. And more. He restocked the Colorado bullpen. By signing durable Bryan Shaw from Cleveland and retaining Jake McGee, while keeping the door open for Greg Holland, Bridich has given manager Bud Black buttons to push in the late innings.

Not bad work. But is it greedy to want more?

Give me Carlos Santana. Not the musician. At age 70, he’s supernatural on guitar. But the Rockies need a first baseman. And free agent Carlos Santana of the Cleveland Indians has 20-homer pop in his bat.

While the bullpen is of critical importance to any manager in Colorado, what made Black a serious manager of a year candidate in 2017 was his ability to guide the Rockies to a playoff berth with a batting order that was Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and seven guys named Smoke and Mirrors.

In the 25th year of the franchise, the Rockies have a chance to grow up and elbow their way past the struggling Broncos as the team in Colorado that’s most serious about winning a championship.

I want a hot stove with heat. It beats sitting out in the cold, yammering about whether the Broncos should tank for a better draft pick, which is a conversation about losers, by losers, for losers.

The Broncos stink, and haven’t we beaten that dead horse enough? The Rockies have a golden opportunity give Colorado fans an alternative to wallowing in football misery. Of course, there’s the problem of opportunity cost. Rockies owner Dick Monfort would have to reach deep in his wallet to pay Santana, rather than pocket the savings of letting outfielder Carlos Gonzalez walk as a free agent.

Yes, ownership did invest $70 million for a five-year contract given to Desmond last winter. I never bought the idea Desmond was a first baseman, even after the Rockies issued him a big, new mitt and asked him to be a corner infielder for the first time in his major-league career. From the start, it appeared to me Desmond was signed as the replacement for CarGo in the outfield.

Guess what. The Rockies now tell us Desmond will be their starting left fielder in 2018. To quote the late, great Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise. After battling injuries for a large chunk of last season, I’m willing to let Desmond hit the reset button. But Colorado cannot afford to have a $70 million corner outfielder with a weak .375 slugging percentage again next season.

Santana is not Stanton. Heck, he’s not even as flashy as free agent Eric Hosmer, the first baseman from Kansas City whom Bridich has already declared to be too rich for Colorado’s budget. But Santana would work the count for a walk, lace a double in the gap and maybe show Arenado the Rockies are serious about winning every year.

Praise is due Bridich for constructing a roster that returned playoff baseball to Colorado. Well, almost. The Rockies made the postseason for the first time since 2009 but were eliminated by Arizona during a tense play-in game, which denied fans the actual experience of playoff fever at Coors Field.

Signing Shaw and McGee is all well and good. But it’s not front-page news. Our expectations for the Rockies, however, have been conditioned to be so low that when Bridich stands at a stove set to simmer, fans get what they get and don’t throw a fit.

C’mon, Rockies. A big bat is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, if you’re serious about getting back to the playoffs in 2018.

Turn up the heat. Please.

 



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/rockies-hot-stove-kiszla/
Rockies land lefty Jake McGee, discussions with Greg Holland continue as Rockies beef up bullpen

Rockies land lefty Jake McGee, discussions with Greg Holland continue as Rockies beef up bullpen

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25170739

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A few days before he departed for baseball’s winter meetings, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich laid out his top priority.

“We are looking to add talent and impact to our bullpen,” Bridich said. “We have to keep our minds open to as many ideas as we can.”

Bridich is putting that plan into action.

After coming to terms with right-hander Bryan Shaw on Tuesday night on a three-year deal, the Rockies reached an agreement Wednesday to bring hard-throwing left-hander Jake McGee back to Colorado, according to a major-league sources. Both deals are pending physicals, and the Rockies have not officially confirmed the contracts.

Shortly after the news on McGee broke, media reports spread at the winter meetings that the Rockies were close to bringing back closer Greg Holland on a multiyear deal. While Bridich acknowledged that the Rockies have a strong offer on the table for Holland, he pumped the brakes on those reports that said the deal for Holland was imminent.

“I would say (discussions are) ongoing, but I’m not really sure where that report came from earlier today,” Bridich said. “I would say there is definitely a pulse, but I would say there was probably an overstatement earlier this morning.”

McGee’s deal is for three years, with a team option for a fourth year. Shaw signed for three years at a total of $27 million, and McGee’s deal is believed to be in the same ballpark.

McGee went 0-2 with a 3.61 ERA last season, limiting opposing hitters to a .224 average. He made 62 appearances, his most since 2014. The hard-throwing McGee posted a 4.73 ERA in 30 games at Coors Field last season vs. a 2.64 ERA in 32 road games.

The Rockies acquired McGee, as well as young, right-handed starter German Marquez, from Tampa Bay before the 2016 season in a trade for slugger Corey Dickerson. That season, McGee went 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA and 15 saves in 57 games, but he was less effective than the Rockies had hoped. He was hindered by an injured left knee that limited his ability to push off the mound and reduced his fastball velocity. McGee worked hard to strengthen his legs during the offseason, and it paid off. His average fastball velocity rose from 94.1 to 95.3 mph, according to Fangraphs.

After an awful performance in 2016, Colorado’s rebuilt bullpen improved significantly last season, cutting the ERA from 5.10 to 4.40. The Rockies set a franchise record with 47 saves, the fourth-most in the majors. Holland contributed 41 of those saves.

But Holland, McGee and right-hander Pat Neshek all became free agents, leaving Colorado in need of a rebuild. Neshek signed a two-year, $16.25 million deal with Philadelphia on Wednesday.

For this current team, at least, it’s clear that a solid bullpen that can complement a young starting rotation is the path to success.

“In the now, and looking at our team, and looking at the market, and looking at the success our team had last year, all of those things have fed into our belief that this is a way to strengthen our team,” Bridich said.



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/rockies-sign-lefty-jake-mcgee-continue-discussions-in-bullpen-rebuild/
Chris Froome doping case: What’s salbutamol & what’s banned?

Chris Froome doping case: What’s salbutamol & what’s banned?

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25170481

LONDON — Chris Froome knows how little trust there is in his sport.

“People will forever be suspicious because of cycling’s history,” the five-time Tour de France champion told The Times of London earlier this year. “I completely get it. They have a right to be.”

Now the finger of suspicion is being pointed at Froome, with questions from cycling authorities after the Team Sky front-man failed a doping test following his use of the asthma drug, salbutamol. A urine sample taken at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of salbutamol at 2,000 nanograms per milliliter twice the World Anti-Doping Agency’s permitted levels.

Froome’s use of asthma medication is no secret, and he has also been granted therapeutic use exemptions to treat chest infections that aggravated his condition.

A look at the issues around Froome’s use of salbutamol:

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WHAT IS ALLOWED?

WADA permits salbutamol to be taken through inhalation only, in limited amounts. Through an inhaler, athletes with asthma can take up to 1,600 micrograms every 24 hours but cannot exceed 800 micrograms within 12 hours. The permitted concentration of salbutamol allowed in a urine sample cannot exceed 1,000 nanograms per milliliter. Classified as a beta-2 agonist and often sold as Ventolin, salbutamol helps to relieve the symptoms of asthma by expanding lung capacity.

According to Swiss physiologist Raphael Faiss, a non-asthmatic who takes the equivalent of 800 micrograms would see their performance improved by around two percent. It can be used in a performance-enhancing capacity to increase endurance, especially if taken intravenously or in tablet form which is banned by WADA.

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WHAT CAN AFFECT TEST RESULTS?

According to Faiss, intense effort, fatigue and dehydration can affect urine concentrations of salbutamol in doping tests. Everyone excretes and metabolizes salbutamol in different ways.

“Some individuals may have a greater metabolism and excretion rate that may cause the salbutamol concentration to be increased,” said Dr John Dickinson, an expert in respiratory problems in athletes, based in Britain’s University of Kent. “The World Anti-Doping Agency are aware of this and they will ask any athlete with adverse levels to provide evidence to explain why.”

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WHAT IS NEXT?

Froome’s backup “B” sample has confirmed the results of the initial test, according to the UCI, cycling’s governing body. Froome has not been suspended, but now he has to explain why his sample contained excessive amounts of salbutamol when the other 20 samples he provided at the Spanish Vuelta did not.

“There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of salbutamol,” said Dave Brailsford, team principal at Sky. “We’re committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion.

“I have the utmost confidence that Chris followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for salbutamol. Of course, we will do whatever we can to help address these questions.”

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PREVIOUS CASES

Italian cyclist Diego Ulissi was banned for nine months in 2015 after a urine sample showed 1900 nanograms per milliliter of salbutamol, almost double the permitted amount. He said he took Ventolin at the 2014 Giro d’Italia because he had bronchospasms.

Norwegian cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby lost his 2015 overall World Cup and Tour de Ski titles. While the medication is normally applied by a handheld metric dose inhaler, Johnsrud Sundby used a nebulizer and exceeded the allowed maximum dose of salbutamol. An International Ski Federation doping panel ruled that Johnsrud Sundby didn’t breach anti-doping rules. But WADA was successful in appealing in 2016 that a doping infringement had been committed, after showing Johnsrud Sundby had not obtained an exemption to use a higher dose.

Kazakhstan ice hockey player Ilya Solaryov was banned for two years in 2013. Solaryov claimed that he used salbutamol to treat breathing problems, but he was found to be trying to enhance his sports performance.



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/chris-froome-doping-case/
Middle Boulder Creek watershed is hands off under new Eldora expansion agreement

Middle Boulder Creek watershed is hands off under new Eldora expansion agreement

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25170266

When the time comes for Eldora to grow outside its current boundaries, the ski area will stretch its alpine and nordic trails south, preserving Middle Boulder Creek and the Hessie-Lost Lake area to the north.

The latest expansion plans are a culmination of two years of discussions between the resort and neighbors and environmentalists upset by a proposal that encroached on the Middle Boulder Creek watershed.

Eldora is entering into a formal agreement with Boulder County, the Sierra Club and the Middle Boulder Creek Coalition that will guide future development and preservation of the neighboring wilderness areas. The Boulder County Commissioners are expected to sign off on a statement of principles during a review Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Eldora general manager Brent Tregaskis, who took over for the 2015-16 season, said the plans for the future are stronger because of the work done by the conflicting groups.

“We appreciate the agreement’s recognition of the ecological importance of Boulder’s namesake watershed, vital wildlife habitat in our national forest and the gateway to Indian Peaks Wilderness,” Boulder attorney Mike Chiropolos said on behalf of the Middle Boulder Creek Coalition.

To read more of this story go to dailycamera.com



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/eldora-ski-area-expansion-cant-include-middle-boulder-creek/
Agent Scott Boras comments on Marlins turning team into “pawn shop” under Derek Jeter

Agent Scott Boras comments on Marlins turning team into “pawn shop” under Derek Jeter

14/12/2017, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 25169787

Derek Jeter owns five World Series rings, which may be the reason agent Scott Boras had jewelry on his mind when discussing the Miami Marlins’ new ownership.

Boras said Jeter and his group are turning the Marlins into a pawn shop.

It was yet another jab at the Marlins’ direction under new CEO Jeter, who continued the team’s payroll purge Wednesday by trading outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Speaking at baseball’s winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Boras said Jeter inherited a team with a strong foundation of young players that needed only more pitching to become a title contender. Boras said the group that bought the team should have been more carefully vetted to prevent the dismantling, which included trading major league home-run king Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

“You would hope that … MLB would screen the ownership so that we have an ownership that comes in and provides additions,” Boras said. Instead, “they come in and they redirect, so you’re not a jewelry store that’s coveting your diamonds, you now become the pawn shop that is trying to pay the rent of the building, rather than focusing on the diamonds and growth that you covet.”

In contrast to Boras, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he’s excited about the direction of the franchise, which hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. Mattingly defended his new boss, and predicted Jeter will improve as a baseball executive, just as he improved at shortstop.

“Derek may be the first to admit, ‘Hey, I would do some things maybe a little differently,'” Mattingly said. “I don’t know that. But I look back to Derek’s first year in pro ball. He makes 58 errors — 50-something errors — at shortstop, and we know what happened after that.”

Jeter actually committed 56 errors at Single-A Greensboro in 1993, his second pro season. He went on to become a 14-time All-Star.

Mattingly anticipates that Jeter will approach his new job the same way he approached his last one.

“He has got a lot on his plate, a lot going on, a lot happening very fast,” said Mattingly, who played with Jeter on the Yankees and later coached him. “But I fully expect any adjustments that he has to make or that he thinks he has to make, we’re just going to move forward. We’re not going to look back. We’re going to keep our eye on the prize and where we’re going, and we’ll make the adjustments as an organization.”

Detractors say Jeter’s group overpaid for the Marlins and is underfinanced. Boras said that’s the reason the group is cutting payroll.

Jeter also has drawn criticism for skipping this week’s winter meetings. Instead, he attended a Miami Dolphins game Monday night.

“With his stature as a player, people ask questions about his decision-making,” Boras said. “I’m not clear that it is his decision-making. … You see an owner at an NFL game, something tells me that he’s hired someone else to manage the construct of the team.”

Jeter, however, has said he’ll be hands-on with both baseball and business operations. And Mattingly, who is going into his third year as the Marlins’ manager, said Jeter’s plan for Miami will work.

“To know actually what our direction is, and to know that we’re going to sustain that and we’re going to build this organization from the bottom to the top, and it’s going to be consistent and we’re going to stay with it, it’s an exciting time for me,” he said. “We needed a reset. What we were trying to accomplish and the way we were doing it, trying to win, it just wasn’t working.”

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AP Baseball Writers Ben Walker and Ronald Blum in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, contributed to this report.



http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/13/derek-jeter-marlins-scott-boras-pawn-shop-comments/
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