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  1. Hire Wally Backman! He tries to win!

    Nov 12, 2010, 8:31 AM EDT

    Wally Backman

    Interesting conversation in the comment thread to yesterday’s post about how much impact a manager has on team performance.  In response to a commenter who asked if I thought managers had absolutely no affect, I said, no, I thought that managers are ultimately limited on the top end by the talent on their team, but…

  2. The challenge of writing for a newspaper audience

    Nov 12, 2010, 6:33 AM EDT

    Jeter error

    Marc Carig is the Yankees’ beat writer for the Newark Star-Ledger.  He’s easily my favorite Yankees’ beat guy going,* partially because he does great work, partially because he’s a nice, funny guy and partially because you can tell he takes his job seriously and thinks hard about his craft. That thinking is on display today…

  3. Uggla says long-term agreement with Marlins is ‘reachable’

    Nov 11, 2010, 9:54 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Atlanta Braves

    Dan Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million contract extension proposal from the Marlins last week.  But he’s not done negotiating. According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the arbitration-eligible second baseman told reporters Thursday that believes a long-term deal is “reachable” and that the two sides “can close the gap” before salary arbitration…

  4. UPDATE: D’Backs nearing two-year contract with Geoff Blum

    Nov 11, 2010, 8:29 PM EDT

    blum with bat

    The Diamondbacks are about to get… older. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Arizona is close to agreement on a one-year contract with infielder Geoff Blum. The veteran Blum posted a poor .267/.321/.356 batting line, two home runs and 22 RBI in 202 at-bats for the Astros this year and they rewarded that effort by…

  5. Pujols tops Votto as MLB announces Silver Slugger Awards

    Nov 11, 2010, 7:43 PM EDT

    pujols with silv slug

    Major League Baseball revealed its 2010 Silver Slugger Award recipients this evening during a one-hour special on MLB Network.  It’s the kind of show that would be far better suited for the announcement of Gold Gloves — you know, with highlights of great plays and range breakdowns — but MLBN probably had better programming lined…

  6. Boras: Adrian Beltre already drawing major interest

    Nov 11, 2010, 6:51 PM EDT

    beltre head up close

    Super-agent Scott Boras is making wild claims about one of his free agent clients.  Crazy, right? According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Boras told MLB Network Radio on Thursday afternoon that he has “never seen more interest in a player” than what he’s experiencing this fall with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.…

  7. Do managers matter?

    Nov 11, 2010, 5:36 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves, Game 3

    There has been a lot of heated talk about whether Wally Backman will be the bestest choice for Mets manager ever or whether he’ll sink the entire Mets franchise.  I mean, I imagine it’s possible some people have taken the middle ground on this, but this is the Internet, so that’s practically impossible. Enter J.C.…

  8. Why did No. 9 pick Karsten Whitson turn down $2.1 million from the Padres?

    Nov 11, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    karson whitson

    Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports has an interesting article about Karsten Whitson, a right-handed pitcher who was the ninth overall pick in June’s draft and turned down a $2.1 million offer to sign with the Padres in order to attend the University of Florida. The short version is that Whitson questioned whether he was truly…

  9. Introducing the Jeff Francoeur autobiography

    Nov 11, 2010, 4:58 PM EDT

    My daughter brought this book home from school today.  I’m assuming that “Eric Brown” is a pen name for Jeff Francoeur.  I’m also assuming that my daughter checking out books about baseball is a desperate plea for more time with her father, who has been taken from her by this accursed sport, but I’ll leave…

  10. Jermaine Dye wants to pull a Jim Edmonds

    Nov 11, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    Jermaine Dye

    Ken Rosenthal reports that Jermaine Dye — who spent 2010 playing golf, and my doesn’t he look rested — intends to play baseball again. Rosenthal says that Dye has been contacted by the Rays, Rockies and Phillies. He didn’t retire last year, he simply didn’t want to play for the kinds of low-dollar offers he…

  11. Marlins moving Chris Coghlan from left field to third base

    Nov 11, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

    Chris Coghlan

    Chris Coghlan has played left field in all but one of his 219 career games, but according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com “the Marlins plan on converting Coghlan from left field to third base” in 2011. It presumably won’t take much to convert him, because Coghlan was actually a full-time infielder in the minors before…

  12. The Phillies hire Juan Samuel to coach third base, move Perlozzo to first

    Nov 11, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Juan Samuel

    Wow, ever write a blog post and realize that you didn’t need much more than the headline.  Yep, that pretty much says it all: Juan Samuel will be the third base coach, Sam Perlozzo moves to first. This pretty much negates everything I said about Samuel’s stolen base proficiency the other day, because it’s not…

  13. Carlos Beltran “would have to listen” if Mets approached him about trade or move to right field

    Nov 11, 2010, 3:17 PM EDT

    Carlos Beltran

    Carlos Beltran held a conference call this afternoon to discuss the opening of a $6.5 million high school and baseball academy in his native Puerto Rico, but also gave some interesting answers to questions about his future with the Mets. Beltran made it very clear that he’d like to remain with the Mets and continue…

  14. The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Arizona Diamondbacks

    Nov 11, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    Schilling Diamondbacks

    Best: Minor variations aside, the Diamondbacks have only really had two uniforms. The current one and the old one.  The current one is not what I’d consider the Platonic ideal of baseball style, but as you’ll see in a second, I believe it to be the superior look. Worst: Incorporating teal, purple, black, pinstripes and…

  15. With trade rumors swirling, Kosuke Fukudome buys a $1.3 million condo in Chicago

    Nov 11, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    Kosuke Fukudome

    This could mean absolutely nothing or it could mean that he’s not paying much attention to the trade rumors swirling this week, but Kosuke Fukudome just bought a three-bedroom condo in Chicago for $1.32 million. Dennis Rodkin of ChicagoMag.com reports that Fukudome and his wife had been renting a place since signing with the Cubs…

  16. Heard This: Cliff Lee has concerns about Texas

    Nov 11, 2010, 2:17 PM EDT

    Lee-cliff-101031

    Over the past few weeks we’ve heard all manner of things about what may or may not motivate Cliff Lee.  His wife hates New York. He’s a country boy who wants to stay near Arkansas. Yankee fans are rude, rude rude! I think this kind of thing is somewhat meaningless — the contract offers are…

  17. The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Los Angeles Dodgers

    Nov 11, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    Walt Alston

    The Best: The Dodgers are one of the three best lookin’ teams of all time (I’ll get to the other two in the coming days, but you can probably guess).  Since adopting the basics of their now-classic design in 1938, they have really only changed two things: (1) the addition of the red number in…

  18. Red Sox’s reported interest in John Buck seems surprising

    Nov 11, 2010, 1:47 PM EDT

    john-buck-blue-jays

    According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com “the Red Sox are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit of free-agent catcher John Buck” if Victor Martinez signs elsewhere. On one hand that makes sense, as both Martinez and Jason Varitek are free agents and Buck is generally considered the second-best catcher on the market this offseason.…

  19. Marvin Miller probably owes Jim Palmer an apology

    Nov 11, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Jim Palmer

    Earlier today I ran that Marvin Miller quote in which he called Jim Palmer “an anti-union sonuvabitch.”  Seems that neither I nor Mr. Miller reads the New York Times, because Palmer had this to say yesterday: “My vote has been and will always be for Marvin. He gave the modern day player a voice, completely…

  20. Joe Morgan “was not surprised by ESPN’s decision”

    Nov 11, 2010, 1:19 PM EDT

    Joe Morgan headshot

    Joe Morgan issued a short statement to address ESPN declining to renew his contract after 20 years as the lead analyst on “Sunday Night Baseball”: I was not surprised by ESPN’s decision. They have been taking “Sunday Night Baseball” in a different direction the last two years and I was not comfortable with that direction.…

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