Re: The MLB Thread
Not a big Cardinal fan, and personally i'll always remember Tony managing in an A's uniform, especially those great teams of the late 80's, but this is truely the most perfect "going out on top" story i've ever heard. Not only do you stage a comeback during the regular season to basically win the wild card on the last day of the season to get into the playoffs on the last game, BUT you go on to stage another comeback down to your last OUT in a World Series, to win it.
Just an amazing story. Congrats to Tony and best of luck in the future.
Whenever I think about his A's tenure, I think about the 1988 and 1990 World Series losses. I think more fondly about his Cardinals tenure. I believe 3 World Series appearance in 8 years is very impressive given the unpredictablility of the MLB playoffs. Off the field, LaRussa is an interesting guy. He is a vegan who listens to heavy metal.
The only thing that irks me about LaRussa is how he is sometimes started beanball wars on incidental stuff. Hit one of his guys by accident and he'll order retallion and start shit. Same thing with plays at second base. Take out the second baseman on a perfectly legal play and he'll order his team to retalliate. There was that one time a few years ago where they had this nasty game with the Cubs and Dusty Baker got really pissed at him.
Not mentioned in the thread--Ryan Howard blowing out his achilles after the NLDS division loss. I don't really know how they're going to replace him since their payroll is pretty high.
Grady Sizemore is a good buy low candidate for an AL team.
Re: The MLB Thread
There are rumors that if the Cubs pass on re-signing Pena, that the Phillies will try to get Pena for one-year at 1B. Then just wait for Howard to get healthy.
And yeah, La Russa used to be known as a "dirty manager". He also had no problem, knowing tons of his players were juicing, as long as they scored runs. He claims he didn't know... but come on? The guy has managed more juicers than any other manager in history.
But guess what? They won't remember that. They'll remember those World trophies, and that's the bottom line. He'll go down as one of the greats.
Re: The MLB Thread
McCourt will sell Dodgers after senseless battle
by Tim Brown / Yahoo! Sports
LOS ANGELES – Frank McCourt agreed on Tuesday night to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers, an irrevocable commitment that means the legal battles might really be over.
No more lawyers, other than those empowered to usher the ballclub from McCourt to auction and into the hands of the next guy. The Dodgers and Major League Baseball will ask for U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to auction the team.
No more Frank, other than some cardboard boxes and a few memories of a man who never quite fit in, never quite got it.
No more Jamie, whose past two years appeared spent resolved to destroy her ex-husband or the Dodgers, whichever came apart first.
Turned out, it was a tie. Good for her.
So, no more family ownership of the Dodgers – at least not this family. It was little more than a story the McCourts hoped would soothe the locals anyway, trading on the name and spirit of the O’Malleys, peddling that for a while.
Few ever did buy it. Not when the financial commitment seemed low to every outlet but the McCourts. Not even when the Dodgers had their best teams in 20 years. All those years I’d told Frank McCourt his only job here was to win, and then he won and it hardly mattered. He’d even killed winning in this town.
That’s probably when you know it’s time to go.
It wasn’t for two years, however, two years after Frank and Jamie announced they’d separated, that the Dodgers were released from about the nastiest – and certainly the richest – divorce/custody/mudslinging court battle L.A. had ever seen. While L.A. might not have invented that sort of thing, it did perfect it. The McCourts came along and turned it into a world’s fair.
Then, on Tuesday night, arrived a joint statement: “The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt.”
In barely two weeks time, McCourt had settled with his ex-wife (for $130 million he still didn’t have) and had turned over the team to be sold. There would seem to be little left to fight. MLB officials called the agreement irrevocable. There is no minimum sale price demanded by McCourt or, apparently, guaranteed by MLB. There would seem to be no lack of potential bidders. L.A., like most places in need of a deep-pocketed owner, loves Mark Cuban. Dennis Gilbert, the former player agent, is expected to form a group of investors. Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is rumored to have an interest, as are handfuls of L.A. businessmen, including Ron Burkle and Alan Casden.
They’d all be a new start, maybe a reason to return to the ballpark, at least for a few months.
After living the McCourt era here, after finding Mr. and Mrs. McCourt not repugnant but sad and lost, the end is shocking in its swiftness and equanimity.
Frank would never stop fighting. He said so. His friends said so. His record said so. When he was done swinging at Jamie, he’d started swinging at commissioner Bud Selig. Hell, didn’t matter, as long as there was someone out there at the end of his fists. It was about principle, right and wrong, even if he was the only one who could see it.
Really, through the summer, it seemed Frank’s anger was directed far more toward baseball than his ex-wife. And maybe that’s why he settled with her, to free up both hands for Selig.
And then, this. Sell?
McCourt had had enough, according to a friend. Selling the club was in the best interests of his family, McCourt had decided, and the best interests of the franchise, the city, everyone involved. There was no way back, not without killing more of it.
Couldn’t he have done this two years ago, when everybody was telling him it was his only way out? You know, before he spent all his equity on attorneys?
Instead, we rode this thing for two years. He dragged the revered Dodgers through bankruptcy, of all things. People – not players or executives, of course – had paychecks bounce and, when they waved a meek finger, were told, “Get in line.”
All that fight, two years in court, an organization pulled to pieces, the family trampled, surely the endgame was bigger than this.
Course, Dodger fans won’t care. The end is the end, and it’s all they’ve been thinking of. They can get back to baseball again.
Re: The MLB Thread
Teal to Green: Marlins' New Stadium Will Delight Both Fans and Environmentalists
by Ben Maller / The Post Game-Yahoo! Sports
For years, South Florida baseball fans have lamented about the local teams' lack of green thinking, but the Marlins' new ballpark will have tree-huggers dancing in the aisles. Environment-friendly features in the new palace will include everything from motion sensor lights in offices to recycled steel used to build the massive 37,000-seat stadium.
CBS Miami reports that new manager Ozzie Guillen's home locker room floor is made from recycled Nike sneakers.
It gets cooler -- literally. The retractable roof of the new hardball venue is covered with special white membrane to help dispense heat more evenly during those famous tropical Florida summers and provide cooling to areas around the ballpark.
There are 276 spaces reserved for fuel efficient vehicles. Waterless urinals will save 4.4 million gallons of water each baseball season while stadium kitchen appliances are energy-efficient and self-cleaning.
An impressive 98 percent of the extra construction materials will be recycled, with just 2 percent ending up in the landfill.
The Florida Marlins will be known as the Miami Marlins when the new ballpark opens its green doors in 154 days on April 4, 2012.
http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/dish/20 … room-floor (VIDEO INSIDE)
Re: The MLB Thread
Theo Epstein fires Cubs manager Mike Quade
by Rick Gano / AP Sports
CHICAGO (AP)—Theo Epstein is looking for a new manager to lead the Chicago Cubs. He knows exactly the type of candidate he wants, too.
In his first major on-field move since becoming the team’s president of baseball operations, Epstein fired Cubs manager Mike Quade on Wednesday and began the search for his replacement. The move came one day after the club introduced new general manager Jed Hoyer and scouting/player development head Jason McLeod.
Epstein, who joined the Cubs a little more than a week ago, quickly laid out the qualifications he has in mind for the team’s next manager. One of those is managerial and/or coaching experience in the major leagues, which would eliminate a popular fan choice in Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.
“The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level,” Epstein said.
Epstein spoke with Sandberg on Wednesday and let him know that he wasn’t in the Cubs’ plans. Sandberg, who managed in Chicago’s minor league system and left the organization after Quade was chosen to replace Lou Piniella during the 2010 season, does not have major league managerial or coaching experience. Sandberg managed Philadelphia’s Triple-A team last season and could be a candidate in St. Louis.
Another potential candidate in Chicago could be Terry Francona, Epstein’s manager in Boston who did not return to the Red Sox after their epic September collapse. Another name that’s been mentioned is Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who once played for the Cubs.
Epstein fired Quade but made sure he did it in person by traveling to Florida. He called Quade an “outstanding baseball guy” but said it was time for a change.
Quade got the job after the Cubs went 24-13 during a 37-game interim audition at the end of the 2010 season. He had replaced Piniella—who retired— on an interim basis.
But the Cubs then stumbled through another disappointing year, finishing fifth in the NL Central with a 71-91 record that extended their infamous World Series championship drought to 103 years.
Epstein and Hoyer had a long meeting with Quade last week. Epstein had another lengthy conversation with him after a news conference Tuesday to introduce Hoyer and McLeod.
“While Mike is clearly an asset to any organization and any major league staff, Jed and I believe that the Cubs would benefit long-term from bringing in a manager for 2012 who can come in with a clean slate and offer new direction,” Epstein said.
He said the search for Quade’s replacement would begin immediately. Quade had a year left on his two-year deal. His only season as manager was filled with criticism and questions.
Such as, why didn’t he intentionally walk Albert Pujols in an extra-inning game in St. Louis? The Cardinals’ star then hit a game-winning homer. Why did he leave starter Randy Wells in so long against the White Sox, resulting in another tough loss?
Why didn’t he play September call-ups more with the Cubs so far out of contention?
Quade’s season got off to a difficult start when the Cubs lost two members of their starting rotation, Andrew Cashner and Wells, in early April. It didn’t get much better.
Quade was ejected seven times in his first season and he got in a screaming match with starter Ryan Dempster, one of the clubhouse leaders. His general manager, Jim Hendry, was fired during the season. Ryan Theriot, now with St. Louis, at one point said the Cubs were playing like a Triple-A team and mercurial right-hander Carlos Zambrano was a handful all year, criticizing his own closer and then cleaning out his locker after giving up five home runs to Atlanta.
The 54-year-old Quade managed more than 2,300 minor league games in the Montreal, Philadelphia, Oakland and Cubs farm systems before arriving in Chicago.
The Chicago-area native was originally selected by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the 1979 draft out of the University of New Orleans and spent four seasons as an outfielder in Pittsburgh’s minor league system before entering the coaching ranks.
He held his first managerial position in 1985, with Class-A Macon. He was promoted to Piniella’s staff after running the Iowa Cubs from 2003-06, a stint that included two first-place finishes in four seasons. He was Chicago’s third base coach starting in 2007 until taking over for Piniella. He was also a first base coach in Oakland from 2000-02.
Epstein said he’s yet to decide if the team will bring back Zambrano and called his conversations with the pitcher’s agent enlightening.
The Cubs are also likely saying goodbye to third baseman Aramis Ramirez. After the team exercised its part of a $16 million mutual option, Ramirez declined and became a free agent. He is looking for a multiyear deal.
Still unresolved is the compensation the Cubs owe the Red Sox for plucking Epstein away with a year left on his contract as GM in Boston. Commissioner Bud Selig said he would mediate if the two sides hadn’t agreed by Tuesday, but Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, promoted after Epstein left, said the teams have agreed to extend by at least a week their deadline for settling on compensation.
Epstein agreed to a five-year deal with the Cubs worth a reported $18.5 million.
Re: The MLB Thread
Phillies sign veteran slugger Jim Thome to 1-year deal; second stint with team
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jim Thome wants his second stint in Philadelphia to come with the World Series title he missed the first time around.
Thome agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract with the Phillies on Saturday, returning to the franchise for a second time.
The 41-year-old Thome hit .256 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI in a combined 93 games with the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians last season. He batted .350 with runners in scoring position and .424 over his final 11 games of the season.
“Every player sees the way the Phillies have done things,” Thome said. “They’ve set the bar very, very high.”
Thome played for Philadelphia from 2003-05 and has remained close with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, his hitting coach for several years in Cleveland.
“Everyone knows my relationship with Jimmy,” Manuel said. “But he’s not here because of that. He’s here to contribute to our team in a positive way, both on and off the field.”
Thome hit .260 with 96 home runs and 266 RBIs in his first stint with the Phillies.
“I think the Phillies have set the bar very high in baseball,” Thome said. “This is as good a place in baseball right now to be in.”
Thome has a .277 career average with 604 homers and 1,674 RBIs. He is one of just eight players to hit more than 600 homers.
Thome was once considered the Phillies’ franchise player when he signed as a free agent in the winter of 2002.
With his down-home charm and mammoth homers, Thome was an instant hit in Philadelphia. He led the NL in homers in 2003 with 47 and hit 42 the next season. In the final game at Veterans Stadium in 2003, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt raised Thome’s hand at home plate in a symbolic passing of the torch.
On June 14, 2004, Thome hit career homer No. 400 in Philadelphia.
Back and elbow injuries limited him to 59 games in 2005, when he slumped to .207 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 193 at-bats. Ryan Howard’s emergence made it easier to consider moving Thome.
Howard is recovering from surgery on his left Achilles. Thome, expected to add some left-handed pop off the bench, could be called on to play first base. Thome said he’ll be preparing this offseason. Aside from a symbolic appearance at third base for the Indians in his finale at Progressive Field this season, Thome has not played defensively since 2007.
Thome had been taking his career year by year. When Amaro and the Phillies called early in the free agency period, Thome jumped at the reunion.
“When a team like the Phillies called, that’s a great opportunity to be in,” he said. “There was history here. I think to me, it was a good decision.”
Thome went to the World Series in 1995 and 1997 but the Indians came up short both times. He left after the 2002 season and signed a six-year, $85 million deal with the Phillies. Thome helped usher in the Phillies’ move to Citizens Bank Park in 2004 and their rise to NL East contenders.
He was traded before the Phillies started their current run of five straight NL East titles. The Phillies won the World Series in 2008 and were eliminated this season by eventual champion St. Louis in the NL division series.
Winning a World Series is the lone void over Thome’s stellar career. He believes a return to the perennial NL power can help win him a ring.
“When they win, they create a lot of very good things,” Thome said.
Re: The MLB Thread
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela
by Andrew Cawthorne / Reuters
CARACAS, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Washington Nationals baseball catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped on Wednesday from a family home in Venezuela, police and colleagues said.
“We only know four armed men in a van took him away from his house,” Kathe Vilera, a spokeswoman for the local Aragua Tigres team where Ramos was playing during the Major League Baseball off-season, said on her Twitter site.
The Tigres (Tigers) are based in the city of Maracay, and Ramos was taken in the nearby city of Valencia.
Kidnappings are rife in the South American nation, where crime and violence rival some of the world’s worst trouble spots.
Police confirmed the kidnapping and said they were deploying to try to rescue him, although the 24-year-old Venezuelan player’s location was unknown.
“Two men burst in when he was spending time with family and friends, about 7 p.m,” Jose Humberto Ramirez, national director of Venezuela’s investigative police force, told local radio.
Baseball is Venezuela’s No. 1 sport, with local fans immensely proud of their players who have made it into the U.S. major leagues.
Most kidnappings in Venezuela are for financial motives, with gangs demanding large ransoms and mainly preying on local businessmen and landowners.
“There is still no news, we are still waiting and praying,” Vilera added.
Ramos had a .267 batting average with 15 home runs and 52 runs batted in for Washington in the 2011 season. (Additional reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Re: The MLB Thread
What the fuck? You know, if I lived in a shithole country that anytime I got a few bucks in my pocket I and my family was in danger of being kidnapped for ransom... i'd leave the fuckin' dump never to return, and move my whole bloodline out of the piece of shit.
"That's racist!" Yeah I know...
Re: The MLB Thread
Jorge Posada says he won't be back with the Yankees in 2012
by Ronald Blum / AP Sports
NEW YORK (AP)—After five World Series rings, seven American League pennants and five All-Star appearances, Jorge Posada says his career with the New York Yankees is over.
“I don’t think there’s not even a percentage of chance that I can come back,” the 40-year-old catcher said Wednesday night before his foundation’s annual dinner. “It’s not going to happen.”
After 17 seasons in pinstripes, Posada faces the same choice Bernie Williams had after the 2006 season: Retire and ensure that his entire big league career was with the Yankees or move on to another team. Posada said his agents had heard from about a half-dozen clubs expressing interest and he probably will wait until January or early February to make up his mind.
“Do I want to do it for somebody else? Do I want to leave home? Do I want to do it all over again without knowing anybody?” he said, with his wife Laura at his side.
Following the retirements of Williams and Andy Pettitte last winter, Posada’s exit will leave only 37-year-old Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, who turns 42 on Nov. 29, from the core group that propelled the Yankees to their recent run of titles.
Posada lost his catching job after 2010 and was shifted to designated hitter with one season left on a $52.4 million, four-year contract. The switch-hitter struggled against left-handers and was batting .165 on May 14 when he was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order against Boston. He asked to be taken out of the lineup, saying he wasn’t ready to play.
“At the end of the day, it’s a business. You look back and you wish there were some things that could have gone differently, but they didn’t,” Posada said. “I’m not bitter at the Yankees. I’m not bitter at Joe Girardi. I’m not bitter at Brian Cashman. It just happened. I wish at that moment I would have changed a couple things. But it happened, and you know what? You learn from it.”
Posada recovered to hit .268 for the rest of the season, leaving him with a .235 average, 14 homers and 44 RBIs. His two-run pinch-hit single on Sept. 21 beat Tampa Bay to clinch the AL East, earning him one last huge ovation, and he hit .429 (6 for 14) in the five-game loss to Detroit in the division series.
After the last game, Posada got choked up.
“It was very hard that day, very emotional that night,” he recalled. “It was tough for me to know that I was not coming back.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been noncommittal about Posada’s future.
“Obviously decisions have to be made,” he said earlier Wednesday. `I’m not prepared to talk about that at this point in time.”
Posada doesn’t think New York would want him as an instructor for young catchers Jesus Montero and Austin Romine.
“I don’t think I’m going to be around with the Yankees,” he said before adding: “I love teaching. I think I can help out. If I’m not playing, I will be doing something with baseball.”
When his contract expired after the 2006 season, the then 36-year-old Williams was offered a minor league deal with an invitation to prove himself during spring training. Despite requests from manager Joe Torre, Williams turned down the offer.
Does Posada feel his phaseout was similar?
“If you had asked me that question in February of this year, I would have said no. But now I would say yes,” Posada responded. “It went the same way, pretty much.”
Posada speaks often with Williams, who has advised him to make sure the decision to retire or move on is right for him.
“I think after he stays home a few more months and he realizes how hard it is to stay home with the kids, I think he’s going to pay a team to have him play,” Laura said, jokingly. “Honestly, what I said to him was you need to really be sure about your decision, because you don’t want to have any regrets. You don’t want to feel in your mind that you didn’t accomplish something that you set out to accomplish when you started playing baseball. He has been playing baseball all his life, so it’s really hard to wake up and not have anything to do.”
Posada will consider only contending teams for a job that is likely to be a part-time catcher or DH and pinch-hitter. But he’s reluctant to alter a career biography that lists only one team.
“I will always be a Yankee,” he said. “The New York Yankees for me is my second family. It will be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn another set of rules and all that stuff.”
His wife suggested he might want to stick around to reach 300 homers. He has 275.
“I would love to get 300. It’s not going to happen,” he said.
If he does play, she had a suggestion—the Marlins. The Posadas make their offseason home in the area.
“I love Miami,” she said.
NOTES: The foundation raises money for research into craniosynostosis, a disease that causes bones in the skull to fuse prematurely. Jorge Luis Posada, who turns 12 this month, has had nine operations. The Posada’s repeatedly thanked the Yankees for their contributions to the foundation.
Re: The MLB Thread
Not shocked. He was fucking terrible this season. On top of that he cocked a diva attitude walking out on one game, because Girardi was gonna bat his ass 9th. The Mets could smell the stink coming off the guy.
He MIGHT get some offers to DH in the AL on some smaller market, low-potential teams just to put some butts in the seats, but if I were him... i'd just walk. All those rings, all those successful years, all that time nothing other than a Yankee.
Just keep your dignity and retire a Yankee. Don't pull a Willie Mays and stay in so long your whiffing at balls on the outside plate in a Met uniform.