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Clemens, Pettitte, and Radke among 6 who file for FA PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 06 November 2006 09:50

Roger ClemensRoger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Brad Radke are among six players that have filed for free agency today. As of today, 169 players have filed for free agency. For complete listing of players that have filed for free agency pursuant to Article XX B(2) of the Basic Agreement, select the "2006 Free Agency Filings" navigation element in the tier to the left, or use the following link:

2006 Free Agency Filings

 
Rangers Name Ron Washington as Manager PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 06 November 2006 05:24

Ron WashingtonWashington Becomes 17th Fulltime Manager in Club History 

Arlington, TX – Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels today announced the hiring of Ron Washington as the 17th fulltime manager in club history.

“Ron is a teacher and winner who brings a great deal of integrity to our organization,” said Daniels.  "He is a straight-forward, energetic baseball man who we're excited to have lead the Rangers.

Washington has spent the last 11 seasons as a coach with the Oakland A’s. He has been the club’s third base coach the last 10 seasons after spending one season as the team’s first base coach.  During his time in Oakland, the A’s went to the American League Playoffs five times including an appearance in the American League Championship Series following the 2006 season.

Washington has been credited for developing much of Oakland's young infield talent in the last decade, including six-time gold glove third baseman Eric Chavez, and former MVP and current Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada.  In 2004 Chavez expressed his appreciation by giving Washington one of his gold glove trophies, signed "Wash, not without you.” 

During his time with the A’s, he helped Oakland lead the league in the fielding percentage in 2004 and 2005. Over the last five seasons Oakland posted the third-best fielding percentage in the league.

Washington’s coaching career began in 1991 in the New York Mets organization at Triple-A Tidewater.  He spent two seasons there before taking over as manager of Columbia, the Mets’ Class-A team, in the South Atlantic League.  In 1993 he guided the Bombers to a 64-77 record and a 59-76 mark in 1994. In 1995, he returned as a coach for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, which had moved to Norfolk. 

The former infielder spent all or parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota, Baltimore, Cleveland and Houston.  He made his debut with the Dodgers in 1977 and, despite hitting .368 in 10 games, did not return to the majors until 1981 with Minnesota.  He hit .271 with a career-high five home runs and 39 RBI in his first full season in the majors in 1982 and he batted a career best .294 for the Twins in 1984.

He spent six seasons with the Twins before joining Baltimore in 1987 where he appeared in 26 games.  He then played in 69 games with Cleveland in 1988 and seven games for the Astros in 1989. Washington finished his professional playing career with Triple-A Oklahoma in the Rangers organization in 1990. 

Washington appeared in 564 career major league games and batted .261 with 20 home runs and 146 RBI.  He appeared in 531 career games in the field and recorded a .961 fielding percentage.

The native of New Orleans graduated from John McDonogh High School in 1970 and attended Manatee Junior College.  He was signed as a free agent by Kansas City out of the Royals Baseball Academy.

Ron and his wife, Gerry, live in New Orleans. 

 
As African American fans decline, MLB sees growth in Latinos PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Sunday, 05 November 2006 08:46

MLBMLB is skillful at luring the Latino demographic into MLB as of late, but the percentage of African Americans in the stands continues to decline. At one point, African Americans made up a large portion of the MLB fan base, but that has been slowly deteriorating.

As reported by BusinessWeek:

What makes MLB's skillful wooing of Latino fans so fascinating is how starkly it differs from the sport's failed efforts to engage African Americans. Once blacks were among MLB's most die-hard fans, as MLB commissioner Bud Selig is fond of recalling. Selig revels in a childhood memory of sitting with his friend Herb Kohl (now a Democratic Senator from Wisconsin) at Chicago's Wrigley Field in May, 1947. "As I looked around I remember saying: 'My God, we're the only white people in the upper deck,"' Selig says.

Nearly 60 years later, blacks are fast vanishing from big-league seats -- and big-league fields. Black players held just 9% of roster spots in 2005, down from 18% in 1991. It's trickier to track black fans, because MLB doesn't keep count, but Scarborough Sports Marketing, based in New York, puts African American turnout at MLB games at 8% of total attendance. That's puny considering that blacks constitute 13% of the U.S. population and that more than a third of MLB teams are located in metro areas where blacks make up 25% or more of residents, according to 2000 U.S. Census data.

This tale of two minorities partly reflects cultural forces that MLB couldn't have anticipated. In black communities, baseball fell victim to "the perfect storm," says MLB Executive Vice-President Jimmie Lee Solomon. He cites the shrinking number of baseball diamonds in inner cities over several decades and the rise in popularity of football and basketball, which youths see as easier stepping stones to college scholarships and pro careers -- partly because baseball requires a long apprenticeship in the minor leagues.

The article goes on to say that "Latino nations make up 13% of big-league attendance, according to Scarborough. And they're not just cheering at ballparks: The number of Latinos who watch baseball or listen on the radio is up about 15% since 2001."

The article then goes on to mention the decline of African Americans in MLB. For example, the White Sox, who do track the number of minorities that come through the turnstiles, and how at one time boasted a solid African American fan base, can now "say only a mere 4.5% of fans coming through the turnstiles are black -- in a city with an African American population of 37%."

(BusinessWeek

 
Goodman on MLB to Vegas: "It Died" PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 04 November 2006 15:11

Oscar GoodmanSome may recall that there was conversation around the Florida Marlins possibly relocating to San Antonio earlier this year. As far flung as that sounded, what wasn't heard of was a conversation about the Marlins moving to Las Vegas. The Marlins said they were informed by MLB to not investigate the market as a possible relocation city, and yesterday that was confirmed in an interview with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. In the article by Ian Thomson that covers the NBA, Goodman was asked about the relocation effort. As reported:

"It died. I spoke to (baseball commissioner Bud) Selig because the Marlins had come out to see me and I wanted to pursue that. They called me and they said that Selig didn't want them talking to me. I called (the commissioner's office) up and verified that, and I wasn't about to make an enemy. I've had (NFL commissioner Paul) Tagliabue that I've had to contend with, so I didn't want to make an enemy out of Selig too.''

(SI.com

 
Colletti says he isn't afraid to make a big deal PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 04 November 2006 08:41
Dodgers

While the Dodgers say that are not going to pursue Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, they do plan to be aggressive in pursuing top-tier talent in what is shaping up to be a gold rush on free agents this off-season.

After three-days of meetings with the Dodgers front office, they are "more convinced than ever that they must add a power hitter, at least one standout starting pitcher and arms in the bullpen."

As reported:

"We have a much clearer view of which of our young players are everyday big-league players than we did a year ago," he said. "Going into last December, I really wanted to leave as many options open as possible.

"Now I have a better feel for where the organization is in many respects. I'd be inclined to do a long-term deal for somebody we really want if that's what it takes."

Colletti plans to set his sights high as soon as free agents can accept offers Nov. 12. Starting pitchers Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt and Greg Maddux, outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee, and third baseman Aramis Ramirez can expect to hear from the Dodgers.

(The LA Times

 
MLB Owners Unanimously Approve New Labor Deal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 03 November 2006 06:19

MLBBaseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that the owners of the 30 Major League Clubs have unanimously approved the five-year labor contract with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The club vote on the new contract, which will allow play to continue uninterrupted through the 2011 season, was conducted by conference call.

“Unanimous approval by the clubs is yet another indicator of the peace and prosperity that exists in the industry,” said Commissioner Selig. “This agreement gives us a great opportunity to continue to grow the game in all ways and expand on the Golden Age of the sport.”

(Editors note: The Players' Association must still ratify the agreement before the new Basic Agreement is fully approved. That process has not yet been completed by the MLBPA)

 
MLB wants season openers in China PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 02 November 2006 08:04

ChinaIt seems that Opening Day may not be limited to just the US or Japan in the future. MLB is pursuing hosting regular season games in China.

"Our goal is to open the season in China -- with regular-season games -- in the very near future," MLB president Bob DuPuy told Reuters on Thursday.

"We think that China provides enormous opportunity to us and that in a very short period of time China can do for Major League Baseball what Japan has done for Major League Baseball."

The reasons are twofold. For one, baseball is now allowed to be played in China after the game was banned for nearly 50 years by Chairman Mao Zedung. Now that baseball is allowed in the county, MLB wants to tap into the market ahead of the '08 Summer Olympic Games. As Bob DuPuy added, "We're trying to develop something in China similar to the relationship we have now with Japan."  

(Reuters)

 
Tribune Co. accepting bids on Cubs PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 02 November 2006 07:35

CubsWith bids for the  sale of the Tribune Co. looking lackluster, the company has offered up individual holdings for sale, with the Chicago Cubs being one of them. This does not necessarily mean that the club will be sold as an individual piece, as reported by the LA Times:

The request for bids on individual Tribune businesses does not mean that offers for the whole company will be rejected, the sources said, but rather that the company felt obligated to assess its value by seeing how much the units might fetch.

Substantial offers for the units could prompt the private equity firms to raise their bids for the entire company, said a private equity executive who asked not to be named because he had not been authorized to speak about the deal.

"If you are an investment banker representing management right now you say, 'Well, let's see if any of these offers are for real' " said the executive. "Maybe if they are, then private equity recalculates value, knowing there is a real buyer out there" for pieces of the company.

Many analysts feel that the Cubs could easily fetch in excess of $600 million. 

(The LA Times

 
Dombrowski gets 4-year extension PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 02 November 2006 06:53

Dave DombrowskiDave Dombrowski has been given a four-year contract extension with the Detroit Tigers that will see him as general manager, president and chief executive officer of the club till 2011.

Dombrowski assembled the players that was the first Tigers team to get to the World Series since 1984.

As reported:

"Dave is a great leader and a great `baseball guy' who is bright, hardworking and committed to success," owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement. "He is clearly the top executive in baseball today and unmatched in terms of his ability to oversee this club both on and off the field.

"I am confident that we will continue to make the same great strides in the years ahead that we did this season under his strong leadership."

Through savvy trades and signings along with sound drafts, Dombrowski helped the Tigers build a team good enough to reach the World Series for the first time since 1984 and to end a streak of 12 straight losing seasons. Detroit lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games, three years after setting an AL record with 119 losses.

(The AP)

 
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