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Is Ken Macha done in Oakland? PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 16 October 2006 04:19

Ken MachaKen Macha's time as manager of the Oakland A's may be done, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Speculation is that Macha may be let go due to his inability to communicate well with his players and as Slusser reports it, "what injured players have described as a callous attitude toward them."

As reported:

Macha has had issues with players in the past, including outfielders Terrence Long, Adam Piatt and Chris Singleton, as well as former batting coach Thad Bosley and former pitching coach Rick Peterson. This year, Macha had differences of opinion with outfielders Jay Payton and Mark Kotsay and reliever Scott Sauerbeck.

Toward the end of the season, one member of the starting lineup was openly critical of Macha in the clubhouse. By the final weekend of the regular season, another prominent member of the team had joined in the criticism. Several players went so far as to take their complaints to Beane, telling him they did not want to return to the club if Macha remained as manager, according to sources.

On Sunday, backup catcher Adam Melhuse joined the list of disgruntled players, saying, "For the last two years, our relationship has deteriorated to nothing. He didn't even speak to me for well over the last month. For me, as a backup, all I want is communication. Every other coach, I get along with great, but with Macha, it is not an exaggeration to say he doesn't speak to me -- not 'Hi,' not anything.

"It's tough to go to work every day knowing you're working for someone who doesn't think much of you as a player and on top of that, doesn't even acknowledge you." 

GM Billy Beane would not comment other than to say that players, as well as staff, are all evaluated in the off-season.

There is speculation that Joe Girardi would be a likely candidate to fill Macha's shoes, if he is indeed let go.

(The San Francisco Chronicle

 
St. Claire to be retained as Nationals pitching coach PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 16 October 2006 03:50
St. ClaireThe Washington Nationals today announced that pitching coach Randy St. Claire will be retained for the 2007 season.  The club also notified its other coaches that positions on the 2007 staff will be filled after the ongoing managerial search is completed. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.
 
Chances of A's relocation: "9.5 out of 10" PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 14 October 2006 12:00

Lew WolffBefore Game 4 of the ALCS, Lew Wolff was asked a number of questions ranging from taking the tarp off the upper deck ("If we get back to Oakland," he said with a smile, "I'll open the (upper) deck and sit up there myself, if that's incentive enough." The upper deck was not supposed to be open till the World Series... if they had made it.) to relocation within Alameda Co.

On the latter, it was reported:

Wolff was asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, the chances of the A's relocating to Fremont. He wouldn't answer. But when the question was worded more vaguely -- the chances of relocating elsewhere in the Bay Area -- he said "9.5." His focus remains Fremont, and he is planning to make an announcement to that effect in the offseason.

(The San Francisco Chronicle

 
Angels Raise Price of Almost All Tickets PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Sunday, 15 October 2006 13:28

AngelsThe cost of going to an Angels game next year will be higher in almost all cases, and in the case of premium seats, the cost may be considerably higher.

The Angels also removed about 9,300 seats from the "buy two, get two free" season-ticket program.

The reasoning for the dropping of the program was cited by Robert Alvarado, the Angels' director of marketing and ticket sales, as a case of those purchasing the tickets taking advantage of the secondary ticket market.

As reported:

"It made it very inexpensive to buy seats and conveniently dump them," he said.

The "buy two, get two free" program will remain available — with no price increase — for about 4,200 less-desirable seats on the view level, generally above the foul poles. Under that program, seats priced at $15 and $12 can be purchased for $7.50 and $6, respectively.

The Diamond Club seats, sold for $82.50 this year, will jump to $125 for the first row, $104 for the next five rows and $93 elsewhere. The seats behind the dugout on the field level, sold this year at $49.50 for the first row and $42 otherwise, will jump to $58 for the first row, $52 for the next five rows and $46 otherwise.

All other seat prices will be raised from $1 to $4. Single game-day prices have not yet been announced.

(The LA Times)

 
Yankees fire advance scouts Taylor, Cottier PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 13 October 2006 12:00

YankeesIn a move that had been coming for some time, the Yankees have fired their advance scouts, Chuck Cottier and Wade Taylor. Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that the move was"not [the] result solely from Cottier's and Taylor's work in preparation for the Yankees' American League Division Series against the Tigers."

As reported:

I have no animosity toward the organization," Taylor told Newsday. "That's baseball."

Taylor said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman informed him Wednesday that he and Cottier won't be retained and that the Yankees will enter 2007 without advance scouts. Cashman confirmed the decision on the two scouts but said the Yankees will use advance scouts next season.

Taylor, 40, the Yankees' advance scout since 1996, pitched for the Yankees in 1991. Cottier, 70, worked on and off with Taylor, rejoining him for good in 2002. Cottier managed the Mariners from 1984 through 1986 and also coached for the Mets and other teams.

(Newsday

 
Coliseum board approves lease extension for A's PDF Print E-mail
Facility News
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 13 October 2006 12:00

McAfee ColiseumLess than a month after breaking off talks with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to extend their lease at McAfee Coliseum, the Coliseum Authority unanimously approved a lease extension Friday that would extend the lease for the A's till 2010 or possibly 2013.

There has been speculation that the A's may announce a move to Fremont in the off-season, and the lease extension has a provision within it that would address that possible scenario, should the club decide to relocate.

As reported:

The deal allows the A's to cancel their lease without penalties if the team leaves for another stadium in Alameda County.

A's owner Lewis Wolff has expressed interest in moving the team to Fremont, about 20 miles south of Oakland in the same county, and the Oakland Tribune reported earlier this week that Wolff's company purchased 10 acres of land near the Fremont site that the A's have eyed for a new stadium.

The terms of the lease extension also include the end of attendance-based rent payments.

Under the current lease, which runs through 2007, the team shared half of its revenue from ticket sales after 2 million tickets were sold. This year, the team brought in 1.9 million fans for home games.

Formal approval by the parties still must be made. However, Alameda County, the City of Oakland and the Athletics said they agree to it in principle.

(The AP

 

 
Steve Lyons Fired from Fox PDF Print E-mail
Media News (Television, Radio, Internet)
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 14 October 2006 09:56

Steve LyonsSteve Lyons has been fired from Fox for making a racially insensitive comment during yesterday's ALCS game regarding Lou Piniella.

"Steve Lyons has been relieved of his Fox Sports duties for making comments on air that the company found inappropriate," network spokesman Dan Bell said. 

As reported:

In the second inning of Friday's game between Detroit and Oakland, Piniella talked about the success light-hitting A's infielder Marco Scutaro had in the first round of the playoffs. Piniella said that slugger Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez needed to contribute, comparing Scutaro's production to finding a "wallet on Friday" and hoping it happened again the next week.

Later, Piniella said the A's needed Thomas to get "en fuego" -- hot in Spanish -- because he was currently "frio" -- or cold. After Brennaman praised Piniella for being bilingual, Lyons spoke up.

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."

"I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit too close to him now," Lyons continued.

Fox executives told Lyons after the game he had been fired.

(The AP

To read Maury Brown's interview with Steve Lyons, select the link here on The Biz of Baseball.

 
Farrell expected to be new Red Sox pitching coach PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 14 October 2006 04:28

Red SoxJohn Farrell, who is currently serving as the Cleveland Indians' director of player development, is the likely sucessor to Dave Wallace as the new pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox.

Dave Magadan, the hitting coach for the Padres, has been brought on by the Red Sox as well, in an undetermined role.

As reported:

Magadan attended Sox meetings in Boston late last week and was asked his opinion on players. If he does not hire Magadan as hitting coach, Epstein, who was with Magadan while working in baseball operations for the Padres, could use him as a special assignment scout or evaluator.

Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro, who would only confirm that Farrell had interviewed with the Sox, was lavish in his praise of the former righthander, who had a career record of 36-46 in the big leagues from 1987-96. He and Francona were Indians teammates in 1988, and later worked together in 2001 in Cleveland, where Francona served as a special assistant in baseball operations to then-GM John Hart.

"He's an impact guy, a very special, unique guy because of his communication skills, presence, experience, and skill set," Shapiro said. ``He's had an impact on every guy in the organization. Hands on, he helped [rookie Fausto] Carmona get through what he had to deal with this season, and if you noticed, Carmona finished strong. Jason Davis's development . . . Jeremy Sowers . . .

"This is a guy, his ceiling is so unique, he could be an impact general manager or an impact pitching coach."

(The Boston Globe

 
White Sox fire Raines. Guillen to Return PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 13 October 2006 11:06

Tim RainesTim Raines has been fired after one season as the bench coach for the Chicago White Sox. Raines took the blame for the losses incurred this season that prevented the 2005 World Series Champions from getting back to the post season.

Raines was hired in November 2004, serving as a first base coach in 2005. An All-Star player, he played for 23 seasons with the Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A's, Orioles, and Marlins. 

The team also announced that the rest of the staff, including manager Ozzie Guillen, hitting coach Greg Walker and pitching coach Don Cooper, all will return for 2007.

(The AP )

 
Selig Considers Changes for the Postseason PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 13 October 2006 10:45

SeligCommissioner Selig said today that in the off-season he would consider changes to the postseason format next year. One facet of the postseason that will most likely not be changing will be the 5 game format for the Division Series.

Matters that Selig said he would consider:

  • He would like to see at least one World Series game played during the day.
  • To place some advantages back into winning a respective Division, give Wild Card teams less home games in the postseason.
  • On cutting the season down to 154 games: "I'm a devotee of the 154-game season, but nobody wants to cut the regular season," he said. "I don't see it."

As reported:

Major League Baseball has the chance to re-examine the postseason schedule next year because the new television contract mandates that the World Series start on Tuesday, rather than a weekend.

As a result, three additional off-days probably will be inserted into either the playoffs or regular season. That would give baseball a chance to expand the first round -- as it stands, however, officials seem to be leaning toward adding a travel day between Games 4 and 5.

Selig touted the Wild Card as a great addition to the game, however, he added that going to 8 playoff teams was out of the question, at this time.

"I can't imagine, given the abuse I took, that anybody can imagine this sport without wild cards," he said. "The only question I get now is, 'Why aren't there more?"'

(The AP

 
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