February 14, 2013 |
Mike Piazza would never exist today. He would have to be created by the Hollywood machine that once embraced him. He was taken in the 62nd round of the 1988 baseball draft. There are no longer 62 rounds in the draft. He was given a private tryout at a locked Dodger Stadium as a favor to his family friend and quasi uncle, Tom Lasorda. There are few managers remaining with the longevity and power to make such arrangements. After two minor league seasons, he was no better than an average Class-A catcher, yet he was promoted to a higher Class A the following spring.
December 7, 2011 |
Reporting from Dallas — Seated at a table in a corner of the media workroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen was informed his team had reached an agreement with free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle on a four-year, $58-million contract. "Now, how about three more?" Guillen said. Three more, as in three more players. The few dozen reporters around him laughed. Long known for a form frugality that made Frank McCourt's Dodgers look like free spenders, the Marlins turned the baseball world upside down at the winter meetings this week by committing almost $200 million to three players — Buehrle, National League batting champion Jose Reyes and All-Star closer Heath Bell.
September 27, 2011 |
Chicago White Sox General Manager Ken Williams said Tuesday he's offered to step aside or take another job in the organization after some of his moves failed to pan out and the team foundered. Williams made his comments in the dugout the day after manager Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract with one year remaining. Guillen tweeted Tuesday that he was in town "ready to go" with the Florida Marlins. Williams said he made the offer to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and would have understood if the White Sox wanted to put someone else in his seat.
September 26, 2011 |
On deck in the Dodgers' bankruptcy case: the Florida Marlins? Could be, if Frank McCourt gets his way. As the bankruptcy proceedings increasingly resemble a grudge match cloaked in legal briefs, with Bud Selig threatening to banish the Dodgers from the league in order to rid it of McCourt, the Dodgers' owner might respond by trying to take down the commissioner. The Marlins could be in the collateral damage. In July, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross wrote of what he called "the underlying feud between the Commissioner and … Frank McCourt" and added: "It appears that their dispute will shortly be before the Court.
June 21, 2011 |
Hank Conger had a double and a single Tuesday night, but that did nothing to console the rookie catcher after the Angels' 5-2 loss to the Florida Marlins. Two more throws to second base on stolen-base attempts sailed high and away from their target — one on a pitchout — and one of those Marlins runners eventually scored in the sixth inning. Opponents have been successful on 35 of 42 stolen-base attempts against Conger. "I don't want to say the hits were useless tonight," Conger said, "but as a catcher, your four at-bats really aren't going to affect the game as much as you can behind the plate calling pitches, blocking balls in the dirt and throwing the ball well to second.
June 20, 2011 |
He has more wrinkles than most big league managers, is a little more hunched over, walks with a shuffle and, like many 80-year-olds, he's a little hard of hearing. When it comes to wit, though, Jack McKeon is still as quick and sharp as a top comic. McKeon was introduced Monday as interim manager of the reeling Florida Marlins, making him the second-oldest man to manage in the major leagues since Connie Mack, then 87, closed his career with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950.