Major League Baseball may have an expanded video replay system in place for next season, Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre said today according to USA Today.
Torre presented team owners with an update on replay at meetings held the last two days in New York, an agenda item that received added focus after two mistakes by umpires in the past week drew criticism from the commissioner’s office.
“We’re just trying to do what makes sense for the game,” Torre said at a news conference. “You could start replaying stuff from the first inning on and then time the game by your calendar. We have rhythm in this game that we don’t want to disrupt.”
Torre said technology has to complement what MLB wants to implement and decisions still have to be made on how extensively replay would be used. Currently, replay is only used to review home runs — whether they’re fair or foul, cleared the fence or were subject to fan interference.
“Right now it’s just trying to make a decision on how to go about it and what we think is most important to take a look at,” Torre said. “We’re hopeful that replay will be in place by 2014.”
Torre said the only thing not being considered for expanded review is judgment calls by umpires such as balls and strikes. Tag and trap plays may be reviewed, as could balls hit down the foul lines, with baseball looking at employing a system similar to that used by tennis on line calls.
“I’ve been approached many times with people saying, ‘Why don’t you just put a couple guys in the booth and that should solve it?’” Torre said about calls for baseball having a separate replay official. “Well, this past week we had three umpires look at the replay and they got it wrong, unfortunately. It’s not always that easy.”
Torre said he hopes to have specific replay proposals to present at the next league meeting in August and that whatever system is implemented won’t be a “knee-jerk thing.”
“We just can’t throw something to somebody and say, ‘Here, we’re going to do this tomorrow,” Torre said. “We need to make sure when we do roll it out that we’re prepared and training is a part of it.”
As spring training games get rolling in Florida and Arizona around Major League Baseball, there’s no shortage of news coming from Yankees camp stationed in Tampa. Some positive news on Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes and some really unfortunate news on Curtis Granderson.
The latest from Tampa:
- Derek Jeter took the next step in his recovery on Saturday, running and doing agility drills on the field for the first time since breaking his ankle in the 2012 postseason. On Sunday, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman gave a more definite timetable for Jeter, stating that his shortstop would return to game action around March 10. Cashman did note that Jeter would be limited to serving as a designated hitter in his first few games back.
- Phil Hughes is taking the next step in his recovery from a bulging disc in his back today. He will be in a pool today, either doing some jogging or swimming as he works his way back from injury. Cashman indicated on Sunday that Hughes would do three to five days of pool work before he is able to pick up a baseball.
- During his first at-bat of Spring Training, Yankees slugger Curtis Granderson was hit in his right forearm on a pitch from Blue Jays left-hand pitcher J.A. Happ and exited the game. He was taken to a local hospital for what was thought to be precautionary x-rays which ultimately revealed the fracture. The Yankees expect Granderson to be out of action for approximately 10 weeks.
A little more than 24 hours before the Baltimore Ravens battle the New England Patriots to decide the AFC representative in this year’s Super Bowl, Baltimore sports fans are coping with the loss of Orioles Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver.
Here’s the full story from USA Today
by Paul White, USA TODAY Sports
Published: 01/19/2013 12:13pm
The lasting visions of Earl Weaver always will include an irate man with hat askew, kicking dirt and screaming at an umpire. But the Hall of Fame manager was more innovator than instigator.
Weaver, who won four American League pennants and a World Series during his 17 seasons as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, died early today after collapsing during an Orioles-sponsored cruise. He was 82. The cause of death was not immediately revealed.
It was Weaver who pioneered use of radar guns to measure pitchers’ velocity. It was Weaver who kept a stack of index cards to keep track of pitcher-vs.-batter matchups, long before the computerization of the game’s statistics.
And, of course, it was Weaver whose 94 ejections – often flamboyant and even once before a game even started – that made him most memorable. That total still is an American League record, topped in the majors only be the recently retired Bobby Cox and Hall of Famer John McGraw.
“The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager,” Weaver once said. “It won’t hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game.”
But he also said, in a 1986 interview, “On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived.’ ”
The Orioles are holding their annual FanFest this weekend and a moment of silence was held as the event opened this morning.
“Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Baltimore Orioles and one of the greatest in the history of the game,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos said in a statement released by the team. “Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field. This is a sad day.”
Said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig: “Earl Weaver was a brilliant baseball man, a true tactician in the dugout and one of the key figures in the rich history of the Baltimore Orioles…Earl’s managerial style proved visionary, as many people in the game adopted his strategy and techniques years later.
“Earl was well known for being one of the game’s most colorful characters with a memorable wit, but he was also amongst its most loyal. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Marianne, their family and all Orioles fans.”
Weaver, who never played in the majors, replaced Hank Bauer as Baltimore manager midway through the 1968 season. His 48-34 record the rest of that season wasn’t enough to catch the Detroit Tigers in the AL race, but the Orioles’ second-place finish was a message to the rest of the league. Weaver’s teams would win the next three pennants and the 1970 World Series.
“Bad ballplayers make good managers,” Weaver said. “Not the other way around. … A manager’s job is simple. For 162 games, you try not to screw up all the smart stuff your organization did last December.”
Weaver joined his organization in 1957 at manager of a minor league team in Fitzgerald, Ga.
He worked his way through the Baltimore farm system and was added to the major league coaching staff in 1967.
The Orioles team he inherited certainly was talented. It included future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson. Another, pitcher Jim Palmer, would be promoted from the minors in 1969, the year Weaver’s heavily favored team lost the World Series to the New York Mets.
He got his World Series victory a year later, winning seven of eight post-season games – a three-game sweep of Minnesota in the AL Championship Series and a five-game World Series triumph over Cincinnati.
Weaver’s relationship with his players often was as colorful as his celebrated battles with umpires.
Palmer once said, “The only thing Earl knows about a curveball is that he couldn’t hit it.”
But Weaver hardly was worried about his relationships.
“I don’t know if I said 10 words to Frank Robinson while he played for me,” Weaver said.
But those players understood Weaver was ahead of his time.
“He used to keep these little cards with what guys used to hit off certain guys,” said current Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who was an Oriole in Weaver’s first five seasons as manager. “This guy was 2-for-6. This guy was 1-for-10. I tried to explain to him, ‘Earl, you know what the standard deviation curve is?’ He says, ‘What the hell is that.’ ”
But he knew how to use players, making frequent use of platoons, having a left- and a right-handed hitter share a position. He also would list as the designated hitter in his starting lineup a pitcher who he didn’t plan to use, then insert a real hitter when that spot in the batting order came up.
Weaver managed the Orioles through the 1982 season, then replaced Joe Altobelli during the 1985 season and retired for good after 1986, the only losing season of his major league career. His final record was 1,480-1,060, the .583 winning percentage ranking fifth all-time among post-1900 managers.
The Orioles retired his No. 4 in 1982 and a plaque with his name and number is on the corner of the home dugout in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Weaver was know for positioning himself at the corner of a dugout nearest the runway to the clubhouse so he could go up the tunnel and sneak a cigarette, especially in the late innings of tight games. Reliever Don Stanhouse, who for awhile was Weaver’s closer, was nicknamed “Fullpack” for his effect on his manager.
Weaver, who has spent most of his post-baseball life in South Florida, was in Baltimore last summer at an unveiling of a statue honoring him.
Copyright 2012 USATODAY.com
Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
The best player on the free agent market is a free agent no longer. Josh Hamilton has decided to leave the comfort zone that was the Texas Rangers and join Albert Pujols and phenom Mike Trout in Los Angeles as a member of the Angels.
That’s right, the same team that surprised the baseball world with the signing of Albert Pulols (10-year, $254 million) and pitcher C.J. Wilson (5-year $77 million) during last years Winter Meetings has signed the embattled superstar slugger to a 5-year deal worth $125 million, according to sources. Yahoo’s Tim Brown first reported that the sides were nearing a (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was the first to report the signing. (on Twitter). According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, the Angels are hoping to have Hamilton’s physical completed by (on Twitter).
The general consensus throughout the offseason was that Hamilton would shop around but ultimately re-up with the Rangers. In fact, it was reported that Hamilton would give the Rangers a chance to match any offer he received from other teams before deciding to accept. Well, after Hamilton signed with the Angels reports surfaced that Rangers officials – specifically GM Jon Daniels – is not pleased with the way the negotiations ended, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). The GM did not get a call to match Los Angeles’ offer, as expected. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers had been willing to offer four years to retain (Twitter link).
The signings of Pujols and Wilson last year combined with the addition of Hamilton will push the Angels’ payroll to the $165 million. It would represent a franchise record, but would not push the team past baseball’s luxury tax.
Most of us would love to be Alex Rodriguez. He’s got more more money than any of us could imagine, movie star looks, and is the third baseman on the most illustrious franchise in all of sports. Not to mention, he is widely thought to be one of the greatest baseball players of his era and possibly one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, period. He’s a lifetime .340 hitter with over 650 career home runs and nearly 2,000 RBI.
One would think its good to be Alex Rodriguez. Well, not so much lately – especially after the Yankees’ dramatic come from behind victory in Game 4 of the ALDS – in which Rodriguez was pinch-hit for by 40 year old platoon player Raul Ibanez.
With the Yankees trailing Orioles by a run in the ninth inning and staring a 2-1 series hole dead in the face two outs away from being on the brink of elimination from the ALDS, manager Joe Girardi called Alex Rodriguez back to the bench and inserted pinch hitter Raul Ibanez in his place. The result produced one of the most memorable games in the Yankees’ long, illustrious postseason history: Ibanez homered into the right field seats to tie the game, and then did it again in the 12th inning to win it.
Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York has already dubbed the move as the “pinch hit heard ‘round the world”.
Strangely enough, both veterans were originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners two decades ago. Not that there’s much comparison beyond that: Ibanez was taken with the 1,006th pick in 1992, A-Rod with the first pick in 1993.
And yet Girardi’s move made plenty of sense. With the bases clear and the Yankees two outs away from a loss, the situation called for a long ball. Rodriguez’s power swing has been MIA for weeks. With a right handed pitcher on the mound and Yankee Stadium’s short right field wall beckoning, the lefty swinging Ibanez was simply a better bet to go deep.
But the move underscores a developing problem for the Yankees going forward. Rodriguez – he of 647 lifetime homers and three MVP awards, one of the greatest players of all time – was pinch-hit for with a playoff game on the line. A short time ago, that would have been unthinkable. At 37, A-Rod’s skills appear to be in sharp decline. Yet thanks to a move by partner Hank Steinbrenner five years ago, the Yankees are committed to Rodriquez for $114 million plus potential bonuses for another five years, through 2017 (we haven’t heard much from Hank in the past few years – brother Hal is clearly running things now).
Yankee brass has stated its desire to drop the club’s $200 million payroll to under $190 million by 2014 in order to drastically reduce the luxury tax bill it would owe under the new collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated in 2011. The problem: in 2014, A-Rod, who will turn 39 that season, will still be making $25 million. CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, who will be 33 and 34, respectively, will take up another $46 million. And the team’s best player, Robinson Cano, still needs to be re-signed once his current deal runs out after next season. There is zero chance the Yankees will let Cano walk, or that he will be making anything less than $20 million in 2014. That adds up to at least $91 million tied up in four players.
And what if Derek Jeter, who put up a strong season this year, wants to keep going? If Jeter’s 2013 season is anything close to his 2012 season, then public relations alone would probably force the Yankees to cough up a decent contract to the captain, even as he turns 40 (Mariano Rivera? He’s vowed to do one more year, but two seems unlikely).
The Steinbrenner family naturally wants to keep selling the big money Legends Suites at their four-year-old baseball palace, and keep the value of their YES Network propped up as much as possible. But that is tough to do when a large portion of payroll is devoted to a few core players on the downside of the slope while trying to fillout the balance of the roster with younger, cheaper talent.
Remember, just a short while ago General Manager Brian Cashman was ready to let A-Rod leave when he opted out of his prior contract back in 2007, only to be overruled by the caving Hank Steinbrenner. Now Cashman has Steinbrenner to thank for making his job tougher.
Regardless, pinch-hitting for Rodriguez worked out well last night because Raul Ibanez came up big and the Yankees won the game. However, this story is going to continue to evolve and it’s going to be fascinating to see how A-Rod reacts both on and off the field moving forward in the 2012 playoffs and beyond.
Miguel Cabrera is one of the best hitters of this generation. He averages a BA of .318, with 34 home runs, and 120 RBI per season. Yet every time he has had a truly outstanding season is has been outshined by another individual performance. Last year he was outshined by teammate Justin Verlander, and he finished second in 2010 to Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton. However, based on his numbers (and not on if the Tigers are a playoff team or not) alone Miguel Cabrera is worthy of the American League MVP for 2012.
We can put the numbers aside for a moment and just reflect on the fact that Cabrera has done something that hasn’t been done in 45 years, winning the Triple Crown. A feat that has not be accomplished since 1967. In order to win baseball’s Triple Crown, a player must lead his league in all three of the major offensive categories (BA, HR, RBI). Cabrera finished the 2012 season doing just that. He hit .330 with 44 home runs and a whopping 139 RBI.
As amazing as his achievements are, Cabrera’s achievement wasn’t assured until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their 14-2 rout of the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera. Cabrera went 0-for-2 against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season hitting four points higher than Angels rookie Mike Trout, his toughest competition for AL MVP.
“It was like, everybody said to me it was unbelievable, they [my teammates] were excited to see this, enjoy this, be a part of something big, and winning, I feel better. It’s an unbelievable feeling, I can’t describe the feeling right now.” – Miguel Cabrera
However, many have Los Angeles Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout as the MVP favorite. There is little doubt that Trout will win the AL rookie of the year, but Cabrera’s performance throughout all of 2012 (and specifically the last month or so in games the Tigers absolutely had to win) is MVP worthy. Of course, winning the Triple Crown (which would insure his early election to the Baseball Hall of Fame) may be the larger prize.
Rookie sensation Mike Trout has had an unbelievable season but in my opinion he’s not the AL MVP for 2012. Not even close. I can foresee multiple MVP awards in Trout’s future, but not this year. Trout was a standout on an otherwise sorely underachieving LA Angels team. Cabrera was dominant all year long and needed every bit of his Triple Crown season to help lead his team to the AL Central division championship and a spot in the post season. I believe Cabrera was the MVP with or without winning the Triple Crown but now that he has, it should be a forgone conclusion
Major League Baseball’s last Triple Crown winner, Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, offered his congratulations.
“I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox completed a huge blockbuster trade on Saturday. The trade was one of baseball’s largest ever trades and could shift the power of the National League West to the Dodgers. For the storied franchise of the Dodgers, it was their largest ever trade. Acquired by the Dodgers from the Sox were Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and minor leaguer Nick Punto.
The deal sent five players from the Dodgers to the Sox. The Dodgers were purchased in March for $2.15 billion and the new ownership group has made a number of moves since. However, this move is the biggest to date with the team taking on $262 million of new payroll. Management said it was important for them to make the trade so they could stay in the race for the NL West division title or a wildcard berth in the playoffs.
Currently the Dodgers are only two games behind the San Francisco Giants for first place in the divisional race. Boston received five players – James Loney, Allen Webster, Rubby de la Rosa, Jerry Sands and Ivan de Jesus – in the trade. Boston is going through a rough season under the helm of Bobby Valentine and two of those traded to Los Angeles – Josh Becket and Adrian Gonzalez – had been vocal in their opposition to Valentine’s decisions.
Gonzalez was the centerpiece of the entire trade. He is currently hitting .300 for the season with 16 home runs and 89 runs batted in. He was in the starting lineup for the Dodgers’ game on Saturday night against the Miami Marlins. He batted fifth behind Matt Kemp and contributed right away with a three-run home run in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Melky Cabrera
When Melky Cabrera received a 50-game suspension after he tested positive for testosterone, the San Francisco Giants outfielder appeared to take his punishment in stride, releasing a statement in which he accepted full responsibility for breaking the rules.
Now, it appears Cabrera did anything but go quietly once baseball’s steroid cops were on his case.
The New York Daily News is reporting that Cabrera and at least one of his handlers concocted an elaborate scheme to get his positive test thrown out, including creating a web site that was to advertise a topical cream that does not exist.
Cabrera apparently believed he could have his positive test overturned by attemping to prove he ingested a banned substance through no fault of his own.
The Daily News reports that Juan Nunez, a “paid associate” of Cabrera’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, spent upward of $10,000 to acquire a web site and then create an advertisement for a topical cream that they’d ostensibly claim Cabrera took not knowing it would trigger a positive drug test.
But Cabrera’s end run around the drug policy did not get far. In fact, Cabrera did not go through baseball’s appeal process, accepting his ban before the information-gathering portion was complete.
The Daily News also reports that Cabrera’s maneuvers have attracted attention from federal investigators and further scrutiny from MLB; Seth and Sam Levinson are reportedly not part of the federal probe.
Why allegedly concoct such a thin alibi? Well, Cabrera and others who test positive may feel emboldened by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun’s successful appeal of a 50-game suspension when his sample showed elevated levels of testosterone.
The language in the drug policy that Braun exploited has since been tightened up. As for Cabrera’s caper? Perhaps he should have known that creating phony web sites and products usually doesn’t end well.
San Francisco Giants’ outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games after violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The Giants only have 45 regular season games remaining on the schedule so Cabrera won’t be eligible to rejoin the team until the early portions of the postseason should the Giants make it. Entering play today, the Giants, tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used,” Cabrera said in a statement. “I am deeply sorry for my mistake.”
The All-Star outfielder was in the midst of a career revival of sorts during his first season in San Francisco. Cabrera landed with the Giants after stops in Atlanta and Kansas City after he was traded by the New York Yankees prior to the 2010 season. He currently leads the league with 159 hits and holds a .346/.390/.516 line with 11 homers and 60 RBI for San Francisco.
According to reports, Cabrera tested positive for testosterone. His suspension is effective immediately.
Earlier today, Major League Baseball set the rosters for the 83rd All-Star Game on July 10. Here’s a look at the full roster and the Final Vote candidates for both leagues.
- C: Mike Napoli, Rangers
- 1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers
- 2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
- 3B: Adrian Beltre, Rangers
- SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees
- OF: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
- OF: Curtis Granderson, Yankees
- OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
- DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
- C: Buster Posey, Giants
- 1B: Joey Votto, Reds
- 2B: Dan Uggla, Braves
- 3B: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
- SS: Rafael Furcal, Cardinals
- OF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
- OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
- OF: Melky Cabrera, Giants
- Ryan Cook, Athletics
- Matt Harrison, Rangers
- Felix Hernandez, Mariners
- Jim Johnson, Orioles
- Joe Nathan, Rangers
- Chris Perez, Indians
- David Price, Rays
- Fernando Rodney, Rays
- CC Sabathia, Yankees
- Chris Sale, White Sox
- Justin Verlander, Tigers
- Jered Weaver, Angels
- C.J. Wilson, Angels
- Matt Cain, Giants
- Aroldis Chapman, Reds
- R.A. Dickey, Mets
- Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
- Cole Hamels, Phillies
- Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
- Craig Kimbrel, Braves
- Lance Lynn, Cardinals
- Wade Miley, Diamondbacks
- Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
- Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
- Huston Street, Padres
- Joe Mauer, Twins
- Matt Wieters, Orioles
- Elvis Andrus, Rangers
- Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
- Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
- Ian Kinsler, Rangers
- Paul Konerko, White Sox
- Adam Jones, Orioles
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Mark Trumbo, Angels
- Billy Butler, Royals
- Adam Dunn, White Sox
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Starlin Castro, Cubs
- Ian Desmond, Nationals
- Bryan LaHair, Cubs
- David Wright, Mets
- Ryan Braun, Brewers
- Jay Bruce, Reds
- Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
- Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
- Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
AL Final Vote Candidates
- Yu Darvish, Rangers
- Jonathan Broxton, Royals
- Ernesto Frieri, Angels
- Jason Hammel, Orioles
- Jake Peavy, White Sox
NL Final Vote Candidates
- Bryce Harper, Nationals
- Michael Bourn, Astros
- David Freese, Cardinals
- Aaron Hill, D’backs
- Chipper Jones, Braves
CLICK HERE to vote for your favorite candidate.