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Pedrique to oversee Astros Latin American Operations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 18 October 2006 05:36
Astros
Special assistant to GM will be in charge of Venezuelan, Dominican,and Colombian academies

HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Astros announced today that Al Pedrique, who currently serves as a special assistant to the general manager, will take over responsibility for all of the Astros operations in Latin America. The announcement was made by General Manager Tim Purpura.

Pedrique, a native of Venezuela who is a former Major League player, coach, and manager, will now be the Special Assistant to the General Manager for Latin American Operations. His responsibilities will include oversight of the franchise’s academies in Venezuela, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.  Pedrique will also be involved in all aspects of the club’s player development and scouting efforts in Latin America , working closely with Assistant General Manager Ricky Bennett, Senior Director for Baseball Operations David Gottfried, and Senior Director for Scouting and Player Personnel Paul Ricciarini.

Additionally, Pedrique also will work with Julio Linares, who oversees the Astros Dominican Academy and has been a member of the Astros organization since 1973.  Linares currently serves as the special assistant to the general manager for Dominican scouting and development.
Read more...
 
Selig not worried about Braves sale's delay PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 18:44

Atlanta BravesThe protracted process of finalizing Time Warner's sale of the Atlanta Braves to Colorado-based Liberty Media isn't worrying Commissioner Selig, saying that there is "steady progress" in completing the sale.

Asked at Game Five of the NLCS of the matter, Selig replied. "These deals often take a long time," Selig said. "This one appears to be making steady progress. And it really isn't causing any problem. The Braves are being very well run by [team president] Terry McGuirk, [general manager] John Schuerholz
and [manager] Bobby Cox.

"The fact that Time Warner does want to sell the club and we seem to be moving toward a resolution — of all the things I have to worry about today, that isn't one of them."

(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

 
Selig: St. Louis has good chance to host '09 All-Star game PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 16:36

New BuschCommissioner Selig has said that St. Louis has a very good chance of hosting the 2009 All-Star game. Selig made the comments at Game Five of the NLCS at New Busch Stadium, which opened this year.

As reported:

"I'd say very, very good," Selig said. "I like their chances a lot."

The new Busch Stadium opened in April, across the street from the old Busch, which hosted the All-Star game in 1966.

The 2007 game is scheduled for July 10 in San Francisco and the 2008 event is likely to be played at New York's Yankee Stadium, which is slated to be in its final season.

(The AP

 
Selig on labor talks: "No news is good news" PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 15:19

Major League BaseballWith no public discussion surrounding the current labor talks that are taking place in baseball, Commissioner Selig continued to say that, "No news is good news."

Key issues of the negotiations continue to be centered around revenue sharing, the Luxury Tax, and the Union's assertion that clubs are not currently spending revenue-sharing money to improve themselves at the major league level.

As Ronald Blum of the AP reports:

Owners and players agreed to a contract in August 2002 hours before players were set to strike. It was the first time since 1970 that players and owners reached a new collective bargaining agreement without a work stoppage.

"By the mid-'90s people were tired of reading about it," Selig said. "There were no winners. There was a lot of acrimony. There was a lot of hatred. There was a lot of bitterness. It was bad. I give both sides an enormous amount of credit.

"Why is the sport doing so remarkably well now? You have to put labor peace at the top of the list," he said. "It wasn't much of a relationship for 30 or 35 years. The relationship between the parties is now what it should be. It's mature. We understand them. They understand us. That's the way it's supposed to be. Owners and players fighting with commissioners in the middle fighting with both was just not a very happy set of circumstances."

Several player agents have said that the sides were getting much closer to a deal, but lawyers for the sides say no agreement has been reached.

The current CBA expires on Dec. 19.

(The AP

 
Epstein finally signs deal with Red Sox PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 11:20

Theo EpsteinTheo Epstein is now working under a signed agreement with the Red Sox. This after the GM that assembled the 2004 World Series Champions walked away from the club last October when his contract expired, leaving a three-year, $4.5 million extension on the table.

As reported:

Epstein and Lucchino, the Red Sox president, confirmed Tuesday that the Red Sox general manager has signed a document that "memorialized the agreement."

Epstein returned to the club in January but had not been working under a signed agreement.

(The AP)

 
Dusty Baker 'interested' in A's vacancy PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 01:26

Dusty BakerDusty Baker, the former manager of the Giants and Cubs is 'interested' in the A's managerial vacancy after Ken Macha's firing yesterday, but will not be calling GM Billy Beane to let him know. When asked about the A's managerial opening by phone, Baker said, "In the Bay Area, oh, yeah. It would be nice for me and my family."

As reported:

"My best is yet to come," Baker said. "Whoever gets me is gonna get a manager who's on a mission to win. I'm a better manager because of what happened the last couple of years."

The Chicago Cubs self-destructed this season. Ace pitchers Kerry Wood and Mark Prior couldn't throw. Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett missed significant playing time because of injuries. The Cubs didn't win, and Baker was fired.

"You hate to see it happen to a colleague," Baker said of Macha. "But it happens in baseball. Nobody knows the problem. Most of the time, they have only part of the information. If I come out and say it, you're slighting the organization, you're slighting the players, and you're slighting yourself."

Baker ended his playing career 20 years ago with the Athletics.

(The Contra Costa Times)

 
Red Sox hire Farrell to be pitching coach PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 01:04

Red SoxJohn Farrell, the former director of player development for the Cleveland Indians, was hired as the new pitching coach for the Red Sox yesterday. His long-standing relationship with manager Terry Francona was considered one of the deciding factors in the hiring.

As reported:

Farrell, whose hiring was officially announced by the Sox yesterday, was a teammate of Francona's with the Indians in 1988, and they were together in Detroit in 1996, when Farrell pitched for the Tigers and Francona was third base coach.

Farrell, 44, had an outstanding record as a farm director with the Indians, who were named Organization of the Year by USA Today in 2003 and 2004 and were cited by Baseball America in 2003 as having the best farm system in baseball.

"We think he's going to make a real impact in this organization," said Epstein, the Sox general manager. ``We think he's going to help us win. Tito and I are very excited to have him on board. Can't wait to get started working with him."

The Sox will have to decide whether Al Nipper is a fit with Farrell to remain as the bullpen coach. Nipper took over as interim pitching coach for Dave Wallace last winter, when Wallace needed hip surgery that kept him sidelined most of the season.

(The Boston Globe)

 
It's Official: Cubs hire Piniella PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 00:57

Lou PiniellaAs reported early yesterday, Lou Piniella has been hired to manage the Chicago Cubs. He replaces Dusty Baker who was fired earlier this month. Terms of the deal are $10 million over 3 years, with a club option for a fourth year in 2010.  Piniella will be introduced to the media on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

As reported:

I really feel strongly that Lou is the perfect guy for the task right now," general manager Jim Hendry said. "I think he's very enthusiastic about the opportunity. The winning record, from the first game he played to the last game he managed, speaks for itself."

Hendry lauded Piniella's intensity, calling him a "great fit for the city and for the organization, from top to bottom." He was secure enough in his job to give Piniella one more guaranteed year on his contract than he has on his own (Hendry was extended through 2008 last April).

Changing the culture of a franchise synonymous with losing, and fast-forwarding a turnaround after a 96-loss season and the worst record in the National League, are gargantuan tasks for the man they call "Sweet Lou." But he managed to do just that in Seattle, where the Mariners went from a sad-sack expansion team to a frequent postseason contender during his 10-year stay.

(The Chicago Tribune

 
Howe, Lopes, Williams hired by Phillies PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 16 October 2006 15:54

The Phillies today assembled an all-star cast of former managers as coaches for the club.

Art Howe (Astros, A's, Mets), Davey Lopes (Brewers) and Jimy Williams (Blue Jays, Red Sox, Astros) each signed a one-year contract Monday to join Jerry Manuel's staff, making it one of the most star studded coaching staffs in recent memory.

As reported:

"They have instant credibility," general manager Pat Gillick said. "Hopefully the players listen to their ideas."

Two days after the Phillies finished 85-77 and narrowly missed the playoffs for the second straight year, the team didn't renew the contracts of first-base coach Marc Bombard, third-base coach Bill Dancy and bench coach Gary Varsho.

Instead, Gillick gave the beleaguered Manuel an opportunity to reshape his staff going into the final season of his three-year contract. Manuel's managing skills have come under intense scrutiny in Philadelphia since he replaced Larry Bowa following the 2004 season.

Manuel led the Phillies to within one game of wild-card winner Houston last year. This season, he helped them overcome a poor start and midseason roster purge to stay in contention for a playoff spot until the next-to-last game.

When Manuel was asked if he was worried about his job being in jeopardy with such high profile former managers under him, Manuel replied, "Why wouldn't we want to have the best possible people we can have," he said. "I feel good about it because I think we have the best possible staff."

(The AP)

 
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