Posted on: February 28, 2012 7:39 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 9:26 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Spring training always has its share of bumps and bruises, along with legitimate injuries, but it often takes a little time to figure out which is which.
Here's a brief roundup of some of Tuesday's injuries from around baseball.
• Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman could miss two weeks after his right knee popped out of place as he tried to scoop a low throw at first base.
"I was just doing pick drills and the knee gave out," Freeman told reporters (via MLB.com). "The kneecap went this way and I came back in. When I did this when I was playing in Triple-A, it took me two weeks. So that is what we are going on."
Freeman said he had a similar injury in 2010 and he could have come back after a week, but the team didn't want to push it.
• Speaking of the Braves,right-hander Tommy Hanson will retake his concussion test on Thursday and could throwing to live batters again that same day if he passes it. Hanson has been cleared for conditioning and throwing, but not for full workouts yet. He suffered a concussion in a car accident on Feb. 20. (MLB.com)
• Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has been dogged by injuries and illness each of the last two seasons, left Mariners camp on a cart Tuesday.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge told reporters Gutierrez hurt something in the pectoral region and had an MRI. The Mariners are still waiting on word of the results of the MRI. (Seattle Times)
• Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was held out of Tuesday's workout due to back spasms.
"I'm not worried," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters. "There's plenty of time."
Johnson said he didn't expect Werth to play in either of the Nationals' first two exhibition games, but he didn't plan on using too many of the Washington regulars in those games anyway. (NatsInsider.com)
• Rays rookie left-hander Matt Moore missed a second day with an abdomen strain, but Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters the team isn't worried, they're just being cautious.
"It's an over-conservative thing we're doing right now," Maddon told reporters. "I really believe the next day or two, he should be fine." (St. Petersburg Times)
• Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is expected back in camp on Wednesday after having his Achilles tendon examined in Baltimore on Monday. The Phillies said they wouldn't have word about his status until he returns. (CSNPhilly.com)
• Joba Chamberlain, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, threw off the mound for the first time Tuesday since the surgery. He threw 16 pitches and said he felt good afterward. He hopes to return in June. (Star-Ledger)
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Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:01 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Rays have signed manager Joe Maddon to a three-year extension, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.
Maddon's three-year contract was set to expire following the 2012 season, making $1.4 million this season. It can be assumed he's getting a well-deserved raise.
Maddon, 58, has a 495-477 record with Tampa and has twice been named the American League Manager of the Year, including last season when the Rays captured the wild card on the final day of the season. He also won the award in 2008 when the Rays won the American League pennant.
The Rays, who were 61-101 in Maddon's first season, have been to the playoffs three of the past four seasons and won two American League East titles, something some thought impossible before his reign.
Maddon's been a popular name in high-profile managerial searches, but he's repeatedly said he prefers to stay with the Rays -- and he's backed it up with not just his words, but his actions.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 4:54 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
At last year's Winter Meetings in Orlando there was a motion during the Baseball Writers Association of America's meeting to change the voting for the Manager of the Year Award until after the playoffs. The resolution was overwhelmingly voted down, but it did get me to thinking how Wednesday's choices would have been different had the voting taken place at the end of October rather than the end of September.
For the record, I voted against the measure. I believe the true test of a manager is over 162 games, while the playoffs can sometimes be a crapshoot with moves sometimes magnified more on whether they worked or not, rather than how things often even out over the course of a full season. Heck, the past postseason has turned managers from genius to idiot back to genius in the course of a single series.
In the American League, Maddon probably still would have won the award, regardless of when the vote was taken (as long as it was after the regular season, he was kind of an afterthought at the beginning of September). In the playoffs, the Rays fell to the Rangers in four games, but it was through no fault of Maddon's. Nobody expected the Rays to go on to the World Series, and they didn't.
None of the three other managers in the American League playoffs -- Texas' Ron Washington, New York's Joe Girardi or Detroit's Jim Leyland -- were seen as having great postseasons, or even good ones. Washington is always criticized for playing his hunches -- including starting Matt Harrison in Game 7 -- while Leyland didn't just Justin Verlander on short rest and engaged in a bunt-fest with Girardi that nearly broke Twitter, meaning Maddon wouldn't have to worry about giving up his crown if the voting were moved.
Had the voting been done after the playoffs, the National League winner would have certainly been different. After leading his underdog Diamondbacks to the playoffs, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson was the overwhelming winner in the National League Manager of the Year award, but just a less than two weeks after 28 of 32 ballots (mine included, for the record) had Gibson on top of their ballots, it might not have been such an easy choice.
While Maddon won the American League award based in part because of the Rays' late run to the playoffs, La Russa did the same in the National League and still finished third in the voting. Maddon's Rays were 9 1/2 games out of the wild card on Sept. 2, while La Russa's Cardinals were the 8 1/2 behind the Braves on that same date and went 17-7 over the rest of the season, winning the wild card on the final day.
La Russa added to that resume in the postseason when the Cardinals made an underdog run to the franchise's 11th World Series title. Along the way he was praised for the handling of his team's pitching staff up until a communication breakdown with his bullpen in Game 5 of the World Series in Texas. At that point, the so-called smartest man in baseball looked clueless and was called worse. Two more wins salvaged that reputation before La Russa retired on top.
Meanwhile, Gibson was roundly criticized for his perceived overaggressiveness early in the series, including a decision to pitch to Prince Fielder in a Game 1 loss. Gibson was then praised after pulling starter Joe Saunders in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks in a win. Overall, the Diamondbacks didn't lose the series because of Gibson's managing, but he did come out with his reputation taking a bit of a hit following the first five postseason games of his managerial career.
Despite the bullpen phone mixup in Texas, there's zero doubt La Russa would have added his fifth Manager of the Year award to his collection had the voting taken place after the playoffs. While Gibson shouldn't be making apologies for winning the Manager of the Year on Wednesday, it's unlikely he'd have it if the voting were done later -- but I'm pretty sure La Russa wouldn't trade his 2011 trophy for the one Gibson' received.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2011 awards, AL Central, AL East, AL West, awards, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Charlie Manuel, Diamondbacks, Jim Leyland, Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, Kirk Gibson, Manager of the Year, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Phillies, Rangers, Rays, Ron Roenicke, Ron Washington, Tigers, Tony La Russa, Yankees
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 5:10 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and Rays manager Joe Maddon overwhelmingly won the Manager of the Year award in the National League and American League, respectively, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday.
Gibson, who took over as the Diamondbacks skipper during the 2010 season, received 28 of 32 first-place votes after he guided Arizona to a 94-68 record and the National League West title. Arizona lost their National League division series to the Brewers in five games. First-year Brewers manager Ron Roenicke received three first-place votes, with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa receiving the other first-place vote. Roenicke finished second and La Russa third.
Maddon, in his sixth season with the Rays, received 26 of 28 first-place votes after leading the Rays to a 91-71 record and the American League wild card. The Rays trailed the Red Sox by 9 1/2 games on Sept. 2, before the team went 16-8 over their last 24 games, including winning their last five games to slip into the playoffs over the collapsing Red Sox. It is the second time Maddon has won the award, also winning in 2008. Detroit's Jim Leyland and Texas' Ron Washington received the other first-place votes, with Leyland finishing second and Washington third.
Both managers won the award in the time-honored tradition of exceeding expectations. Although the Rays won the AL East in 2010, the team lost Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza and nearly the team's entire bullpen from its 2010 team.
Gibson's Diamondbacks were an afterthought in the NL West after losing 97 games in 2010. However, Arizona took the NL West lead on Aug. 10 and left the defending champion Giants in the dust over the final two months of the season.
Posted on: November 11, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 8:29 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The interviews, it seems, are done for the three managerial openings. The Cubs, Cardinals and Red Sox are all done with their first round of interviews and it appears the hirings could come relatively soon.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals' next manager will come from one of the six candidates the team interviewed. The Cardinals interviewed former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Ryne Sandberg, third base coach Jose Oquendo, former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny, Triple-A manager Chris Maloney and White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing.
"I'm fairly confident that it will," Mozeliak told Goold when asked if the team's next manager would come from that list.
That does not mean there will not be further questions asked of any of those six, but it doesn't appear that a surprise candidate will emerge.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer wasn't quite as definitive about his team's next manager coming from the list of four interviews that they have already conducted.
"I wouldn't guarantee that it is (the entire list), but we feel really good about the four guys we brought in," Hoyer told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "We had four very good interviews. I wouldn't rule out an additional candidate, but it's not a certainty."
The team interviewed Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. on Friday. It has also interviewed Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.
The "additional candidate" could be Francona. Hoyer said Theo Epstein has already talked to Francona, and with the history between the two, a formal interview wouldn't be a necessity. There's also Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was the other finalist when Epstein hired Francona in Boston. Maddon's resume would certainly make an interview unnecessary, although the Cubs would have to work out a deal with the Rays for compensation -- something they've still been unable to accomplish with the Red Sox.
As far as Francona's successor in Boston, Alomar, Sveum and Mackanin have already interviewed with the Red Sox. Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo interviewed on Friday and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont will interview on Saturday. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters after Louvullo's post-interview news conference that the team had no plans on bringing in additional candidates after interviewing Lamont on Saturday. He also added that the team had not been formally turned down by another other organization when seeking permission to interview candidates.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, BEn Cherington, Ben Cherington, Blue Jays, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Chris Maloney, Cubs, Dale Sveum, Gene Lamont, Indians, Jed Hoyer, Joe Maddon, Joe McEwing, John Mozeliak, Jose Oquendo, managerial changes, Mike Maddux, Mike Matheny, NL Central, NL East, Pete Mackanin, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Ryne Sandberg, Sandy Alomar Jr., Terry Francona, Theo Epstein, Tigers, Torey Lovullo, White Sox
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:25 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:09 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Cardinals begin a 10-day process to find Tony La Russa's successor as manager, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will be among those interviewed, as will former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg, who was passed up for the Cubs job last season and will not be considered this year. The Cardinals received permission from Sandberg's employer, the Phillies, to interview for the Cardinals opening. Also joining Francona in interviews is longtime St. Louis third-base coach Jose Oquendo, who would be the best internal replacement.
Sources also say GM John Mozeliak will interview St. Louis Triple-A Chris Maloney, minor-league instructor and former Cardinal catcher Mike Matheny and White Sox coach Joe McEwing. Rays manager Joe Maddon is apparently not in play, with sources saying the club has not asked permission to interview Maddon. Maddon's bench coach, Dave Martinez, also has not received an invitation, although that could change. What Mozeliak will prioritize, along with chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., as the head the search committee, will be a good working relationship with Mozeliak and a track record of player development.
The Cards are hoping to name their manager by Nov. 14's GM meetings, which is a more aggressive timetable than Boston has laid out for its own search. The Red Sox have interviewed Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers bench coach Dale Sveum, the latter interviewing on Wednesday. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington wants a new manager by Thanksgiving. Cubs GM Theo Epstein fired Mike Quade on Wednesday, so he is entering his own search as well.
"They know what they're doing," outgoing manager Tony La Russa said on Wednesday, saying he would only offer his opinion if asked. "I expect they'll make a sound choice."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:11 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Since the end of the season, there's been the assumption that Mike Quade would be out as the Cubs manager and he'd be replaced by Ryne Sandberg. Everything seemed to be playing out that way this offseason when Theo Epstein was hired by the Cubs and never really gave the impression that Quade would return.
The Cubs made the first part official on Wednesday, but made a question of the second part in a release the team sent out saying Quade would not return in 2012. While Sandberg would be a natural fit, Epstein's quote in the release gives some pause:
"The managerial search process begins immediately. We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success. 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."
That means Sandberg -- who has spent the last five years as a minor league manager -- won't be considered. According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, Epstein has alerady informed Sandberg that he wasn't in consideration.
Here's a look at some of the possibilities:
Terry Francona: Francona will always be tied to Epstein. The two had success in Boston and there's definitely a mutual admiration. Epstein has gobbled up former Red Sox cronies since joining the Cubs, what's one more?
Dave Martinez: The Rays' bench coach is one of the hottest names when manager positions have opened up -- and he's got a Chicago connection. Martinez had two stints with the Cubs, breaking in with the organization in 1986 before being traded to Montreal. He also played there in 2000.
Pete Mackanin: A Chicago native, Mackanin has already interviewed for the Red Sox job and in addition to serving as the Phillies' bench coach in each of the last three seasons, Mackanin has twice been an interim manager -- and both of those stints came in the NL Central, with the Pirates and Reds.
Dale Sveum: Like Mackanin, Sveum is being interviewed in Boston. And it shouldn't be a surprise that there will be overlap in candidates between the two, since Epstein was involved in rounding up the candidates for the Red Sox manager position. The two organizations will have similar lists when looking for its next manager. Sveum spent two years as the Red Sox third base coach and impressed the Boston brass (including Epstein) before returning to Milwaukee where he has served as third base coach, bench coach and hitting coach under three different managers.
DeMarlo Hale: Hale's been on Boston's staff since 2006, including the last two as Francona's bench coach. Hale is a Chicago native.
Tim Bogar: Like Hale, Bogar's also been on Francona's staff in Boston, serving as the team's third base coach the last two seasons and the first base coach in 2009. He also worked for Joe Maddon in Tampa. He's also managed in the Cleveland and Houston minor league organizations.
Mike Maddux: Not only is Maddux a respected pitching coach, he also happens to be the brother of a Greg Maddux, who is beloved by the Ricketts and has served in the Cubs front office.
Joe Maddon: Maddon was a finalist for the Red Sox job when Epstein hired Francona. While Maddon has said he's not interested in going anywhere, there's always a chance.
John Farrell: Sure, the Blue Jays put on a full-court press to keep him away from the Red Sox, but maybe they'll be more open to let him talk to a team outside the American League East. Farrell's son is currently a pitcher at Northwestern.
Joe Girardi: Girardi's name is always going to be connected to the Cubs job when it's open, even if there's little-to-no chance he leaves the Yankees at this point.
Bobby Valentine: His name comes up with just about every opening nowadays, so why not one more?For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:16 pm
By Matt Snyder
It's back to reality in St. Louis. The Cardinals got to bask in the glory of their World Series championship for a few days, culminating with a parade Sunday afternoon. Afterwards, manager Tony La Russa told the players he's retiring. Monday morning, the move was announced in a press conference at Busch Stadium.
So it's back to business for general manager John Mozeliak. Here are a few names that might be considered -- or at least names that people might be throwing around the rumor mill in the next few days:
Terry Francona - It feels like he's got to be the immediate front-runner, though this is only speculation. Francona won two pennants and two World Series championships in eight seasons for the Red Sox, piling up a .574 winning percentage despite playing in the toughest division in baseball. He needed to get out of Boston and he did, but that doesn't mean he's averse to another job immediately.
Joe Maddon - Maddon took over the embarrassment that was the Devil Rays back in 2006. In 2008 they were just the Rays and playing in the World Series. These Rays are a perennial contender and Maddon's as much a part of that as anyone. There's no question Maddon is one of the best managers in baseball, but would he leave Tampa Bay? If Mozeliak wants Maddon, he needs to sell Maddon on the difference in experience between Tampa Bay's financial woes, low fan support and awful facilities to what he'd get in St. Louis.
Bobby Valentine - Hey, there's a managerial opening, so we have to throw Valentine's name in the ring, right? I actually think it's a rule, so don't blame me for falling in line.
Ryne Sandberg - Sandberg is probably closer to getting his first shot than Pendleton, but both the Red Sox and Cubs are likely strongly considering him. It would be another slap in the face to the rival Cubs if the Cardinals hired the Hall of Famer (he played the overwhelming majority of his career for the Cubs -- just a heads-up to those historically challenged), but should that even be a consideration in the hiring process?
Jose Oquendo - Another former Cardinals player, the versatile Oquendo was with St. Louis from 1986-1995. He has been the Cardinals' third-base coach since 2000 and has interviewed for several other managerial openings. Oquendo also served as the manager for Puerto Rico in each of the first two World Baseball Classics.
Jim Riggleman - Riggleman played in the Cardinals' minor-league system and also managed at both the Class-A and Double-A levels for the Cardinals back in the early 1980s. He's a very highly respected baseball man, but his track record as a manager isn't sparkling. He's managed 12 seasons and made the playoffs just once (the 1998 Cubs, who had to win a one-game playoff to take the wild card). Also, the manner in which he resigned this past season from the Nationals' managerial post can't leave teams pining to hire Riggleman.
Joe Torre - Um, yeah, he's not going to manage anymore. Don't waste your time even thinking about this one.
Dave Duncan - The best pitching coach in the game is too valuable in his current role. Plus, not many pitching coaches make a successful transition to manager. I can't see the Cardinals taking this route.
Mark McGwire - One year of being a hitting coach doesn't mean he's ready to be a big-league manager. There are so many more qualified guys to have the manager job, I don't see Big Mac even being a consideration.
Albert Pujols - Hey, the White Sox considered Paul Konerko as a player-manager, right? And what better way to afford Pujols than to give him the salaries for both the manager and a superstar first baseman. Plus, he's been calling hit-and-run for years! (This is a joke, by the way. Pujols is not going to be even considered).
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Albert Pujols, Bobby Valentine, Cardinals, Dave Duncan, Jim Riggleman, Joe Maddon, Joe Torre, Jose Oquendo, La Russa retires, managerial changes, Mark McGwire, Matt Snyder, NL Central, retirement, Ryne Sandberg, Terry Francona, Terry Pendleton, Tony La Russa, Tony La Russa retirement, Tony La Russa retires