Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

Trout, Kershaw MVPS; Dark dies

Mike Trout was named the unanimous MVP in the American League yesterday, and Clayton Kershaw became the first N.L. pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1968 to win the CYA and the MVP in the same season.

Kershaw is the third Dodger pitcher to be the CYA winner and the MVP in the same season, following Don Newcombe (1956) and Sandy Koufax (1963). When Newcombe and Koufax won, the CYA went to only one pitcher in all of baseball. With all due respect to Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, this year’s AL CYA winner, had those rules been in effect today, it’s safe to presume Kershaw would have been the CYA winner had there only been one award as it was from 1956-1966 and not have it split across leagues as it is today.

Alvin Dark, a SS and later manager, died yesterday at the age of 92. Dark played for the Boston Braves from 1946-1949, winning the NL pennant with them in 1948, the NY Giants from 1950-1956, winning the NL pennant in 1951 and the WS in 1954, the St. Louis Cardinals 1956-1958, the Chicago Cubs 1958-1959, the Philadelphia Phillies 1960 and the Milwaukee Braves 1960.

He managed the SF Giants to the 1962 pennant and the 1974 A’s to the World Championship. He won the AL West with the A’s in 1975.

He managed the Giants 1961-1964, KC A’s 1966-1967, Cleveland Indians 1968-1971, Oakland A’s 1974-1975 and SD Padres 1977.

He was a 3x All-Star and ROY in 1948.

He also was a fine football player (LSU) who was drafted by the Eagles.

His MLB debut was delayed due to WWII. When he won the ROY voting in 1948, he was 26 years old.

He was a .289 hitter with 126 HR in his career.

He finished 3rd in the voting for 1948 MVP (won by Musial), and hit .322 when the Braves won the pennant. In 1951, for the Giants, he hit .303, led the NL with 41 doubles and hit .417 in the WS. In 1954, he hit .293, had 20 HR and finished 5th in the MVP voting (won by Mays). He hit .412 in the WS that year.

 

Managers of the Year: Buck, Matt Williams

Buck Showalter and Matt Williams were named the AL and NL Managers of the year today, respectively.

For Buck, it is the third time he has won the award, following the 1994 Yankees (who had the best record in the AL at the time of the strike) and the 2004 Texas Rangers.

Robertson rejects qualifying offer; ROY voting

To no surprise, David Robertson has rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer and is free to negotiate with any team, including the Yankees. The qualifying offer this year is $15.3MM.

To date, no player has ever accepted a qualifying offer. If Robertson signs elsewhere, the Yanks get a compensatory draft pick.

In Rookie of the Year voting, Dellin Betances finished third in the A.L., and Masahiro Tanaka fifth. Tanaka probably would have finished higher had he not lost 1/3 of the season to injury.

Manager of the Year gets announced today. Baseball is in their awards stage.

Michael Cuddyer signed a deal with the Mets. The Mets’ DeGrom won the N.L. ROY.

New names were added to the Rays’ search for a manager: Barry Larkin & Doug Glanville.

Yankees re-sign OF Chris Young

Well, there goes my hope in the Yanks maybe going after Michael Morse for corner OF/backup 1B/ backup DH.

The Yanks re-signed Chris Young to be their 4th OF. The righty-hitting Young started last year with the Mets and finished it with the Yanks. He gets a one-year deal for $2.5 MM.

Young hit .222-11-38 combined last year, OPS+95. His 162 g. average is .234-23-71 with 19 SB. OPS+ 94. Has power and speed, but low batting average and averages 143 strikeouts a year.

Mostly a CF, he can play all 3 OF positions, and hit 32 HR in 2007 for Arizona. In 2010, he was an All-Star, when he hit 27 HR and had 28 SB for the D-Backs.

While Ichiro Suzuki, who just turned 41, still wants to play in the majors next year, the signing of Young probably means Ichiro is done with the Yankees. The Yanks have Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran in the outfield, two lefty hitters and a switch-hitter, and now have Young, a righty batter, to back them up. Ichiro, of course, is a lefty hitter.

Meanwhile, Raul Ibanez isn’t only being talked about as perhaps the Yanks next hitting coach, but he also is a finalist for the Rays’ open managerial position now that Joe Maddon has gone to manage the Cubs.

New Twins manager: HOF Paul Molitor.

 

 

 

Recent happenings.

Ok, since the WS ended, a couple of managerial moves.

Joe Maddon has opted out of his Rays contract and has taken over the Cubs job, replacing Rick Renteria.

HOF Paul Molitor will be the new manager of the Twins, who let Ron Gardenhire go.

The Yanks have offered a qualifying offer to David Robertson (1 yr., $15.3 MM). We will see if he accepts. So far, no one receiving a qualifying offer has accepted. This burned Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales last year. If D-Rob declines and goes elsewhere, the Yanks get a draft pick. Will D-Rob accept? Can they work out a deal?

The Yanks are apparently talking to Chase Headley to see if he wants to return. Headley could hit the open market, too.

Soon, I’ll be taking a look at the Yanks and will state what I would do if I were Cashman. You may have your own thoughts. Feel free to share.

In winter league ball, Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, Jose Pirela and Aaron Judge are all doing well. Bird tagged a 450 ft. hr in the Arizona Fall League all-star game.

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

WS Game 3: KC goes up 2 games to 1 with a 3-2 win.

Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored two runs, and KC’s bullpen tossed four innings of no-hit ball as the Royals beat the Giants in Game 3 of the WS Friday night 3-2 to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the World Series.

Game 4 Saturday night.

Surprising news today as Joe Maddon opted out of his contract as manager of the Rays. He won’t be out of work long.

Kevin Long signs on as hitting coach for the Mets, not too long after the Yanks let him go.

Jimmy Rollins and Paul Konerko share the Roberto Clemente Award for giving back to the community.