Bando, A’s 3B of 1970s champs, dies at 78; Shelley Duncan named Yanks’ AAA mgr.

Catching up on some minor and major things. Minnesota traded Luis Arraez to the Marlins for Pablo Lopez. Lopez was rumored to be a Yankees’ target but the asking price was too steep. When I heard Arraez was on the block, I hoped the Yanks could get him, but a) they didn’t have the pitching prospects the Twins wanted, and b) Arraez, although versatile and who could play LF, isn’t that great defensively.

The Yankees named Shelley Duncan as their AAA manager at SWB. Duncan was a Yankee for 68 games from 2007-2009 before going to Cleveland and Tampa Bay from 2010-2013. Shelley is the brother of Chris and son of Dave Duncan. His dad was a long-time coach after his playing career ended so Shelley can draw on his father for some coaching advice.

Prospects are suspects. No matter how highly regarded prospects are, not all pan out (Remember Jesus Montero? Clint (now Jackson) Frazier? Jose Tabata)? Didn’t make the impact in the majors you though they would. Well, Miguel Andujar was just DFA’d by Pittsburgh. Andujar was 2nd in ROY voting in 2018 (.297-27-92 with 47 doubles) but never was the same after a 2019 shoulder injury, hitting just .230 with 8 HR since then in 114 MLB games. And Justus Sheffield was DFA’d by Seattle after going just 12-12, 5.47 in 48 games (33 starts) for them. The Yanks have top prospects in Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Jasson Dominguez, Spencer Jones, Everson Pereira and Austin Wells, but how many of them will make it? You hope for another “Core 4” but you never know.

Lastly, a notable passing. Sal Bando, 3B for the A’s dynasty that won 3 straight WES from 1972-1974 has passed away at the age of 78. That team is the only team other than the Yankees (1936-1939, 1949-1953 and 1998-2000) to win 3 WS in a row. Bando played for the A’s (Kansas City and Oakland) from 1966-1976 and then for the Milwaukee Brewers 1977-1981. He was a 4x All-Star who got MVP consideration 7x. Three of those times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting.

1971 RUNNERUP in MVP voting to teammate Vida Blue. .271-24-94, OPS+ 137.
1973 4th in MVP. .287-29-98, Led AL in doubles and total bases. OPS+ 150.
1974 3rd in MVP. .243-22-103. Led MLB in SF. OPS+ 130.

Bando averaged 154 games a year from 1968-1979, averaging .257-20-83, OPS+ 122. His 162-game average for his career was .254-19-83, OPS+ 119.

In 44 postseason games, he hit .245-5-13.

Baseball-Reference has Bando listed as the 16th best 3B of all-time. He only spent 1 year on the HOF ballot, getting just 3 out of 413 votes. I am not saying he is a Hall of Famer, and think he just misses out, but he should have received more consideration that that.

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