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Astros extend Purpura's contract through '08 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 02 November 2006 06:11

Tim PurpuraHouston Astros general manager Tim Purpura's contract has been extended to 2008. His contract was set to expire at the end of the 2007 season.

 As reported:

"We greatly appreciate Tim's leadership and the job that he has done in his two seasons as the general manager of the Houston Astros," team chairman and CEO Drayton McLane said. "We made the World Series in his first season and missed the playoffs by one game to the eventual World Series champion in the second year.

"I feel strongly that our ballclub is charging forward as we continue toward our goal of bringing a World Series championship to Houston."

Prior to his current position, Purpura spent seven seasons overseeing Houston's player development and as assistant GM.

 (The AP)

 
A's add Black and Acta to managerial search PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 07:52

Oakland A'sThe Oakland Athletics announced today that they have expanded their search for a new manager by 2 more candidates. Bud Black and Manny Acta have been added to a list that includes Bob Geren, Ron Washington, Trey Hillman, Jamie Quirk, and Orel Hershiser.

Geren and Washington have already interviewed for the postion on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Hillman is interviewing today. The rest of the interview schedule for the postion is as follows:

Monday, Nov. 6 -- Bud Black
Tuesday, November 7 -- Jamie Quirk
Wednesday, November 8 -- Orel Hershiser
Sunday, November 12 -- Manny Acta 

The A's will not comment on any part of the interview process or candidates until all interviews have been completed.

 
Mota in violation of Drug agreement. 50 game suspension PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 07:39

MotaGuillermo Mota, currently a relief pitcher for the NY Mets, has been suspended 50 games for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. His suspension will start at the beginning of next season. The substance Mota tested positive for has not been released, although amphetamines would be ruled out as the names of players that test positive for them the first time are not released.

As reported:

In a statement issued Wednesday, Mota took "full responsibility" and said he would accept the suspension, saying he hoped to learn from his mistakes.

"I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable," Mota said in the statement. "To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me."

"To baseball fans everywhere, I understand that you are disappointed in me, and I don't blame you," he added. "I feel terrible and I promise this is the first and last time that this will happen."

Mota would be the first MLB player to be suspended under the stiffer penalities that were negotiated for a second time as part of the Joint Drug Agreement in the last CBA. Mota just yesterday filed for free agency. He was 4-3 with a 4.53 ERA in 2006.

(The AP)

 
Rubenstein statement on Steinbrenner's illness PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 06:55
Steinbrenner"George Steinbrenner is well and raising hell today (Tuesday, Oct, 31).

"He attended a performance of Cabaret in which his granddaughter, Haley Swindal, was a cast member, on Sunday afternoon at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is a Junior.

"George felt ill during the performance, which was held in a Revolutionary War auditorium with no air conditioning and the windows closed tight - it was very hot.

"An ambulance was called and it took George to the hospital where he was examined head to toe. George stayed overnight in the hospital and was released on Monday morning at which time he flew home and was back working in Tampa Monday afternoon.

"I've spoken to George several times on Monday and today, and he is ok. He's dived back into planning next season and is quite feisty. He's spoken several times to his staff, including Randy Levine and Lonn Trost.

"Steinbrenner said, 'I was disappointed that I couldn't watch Haley's full performance on Sunday.' The performance was cancelled at the intermission.

"George is just fine."
 
Orioles announce staff changes. Trebelhorn moves to Bench PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 05:50

OriolesTrebelhorn moves to bench, Dempsey to bullpen;

Trembley and Shiner also join major league staff

The  Orioles today announced that Juan Samuel and Sam Mejias have been added to their major league coaching staff for the 2007 season.

Samuel will coach third base, with Tom Trebelhorn taking over duties as bench coach for manager Sam Perlozzo.  Samuel managed the AA Binghamton Mets to a 70-70 record in the Eastern League this past season.  He spent the previous seven seasons as a coach for the Detroit Tigers, serving three years as first base coach and then four years as third base coach.  With the Orioles, he also will have responsibility for coaching and positioning infielders.

            Samuel, 46, batted .259 in a 16-year career with 7 different teams.  He was a three-time All-Star and won the National League’s Silver Slugger Award for second basemen with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1987

Mejias, 56, will serve as the Orioles’ first base coach.  He has managed the Phillies’ Dominican Summer League team for the past seven seasons.  Prior to that he was Seattle’s first base coach from 1993 through 1999, working the first three years on the same coaching staff with Perlozzo.

Mejias managed 10 years in Cincinnati’s minor league system after ending a 16-year professional playing career.  He batted .247 in six seasons as an outfielder with four major league teams

Both Mejias and Samuel are natives of the Dominican Republic.

Rick Dempsey, who began last season as the Orioles’ bullpen coach before moving to first base in June, will return to the bullpen and assist pitching coach Leo Mazzone working with the relief pitchers.  Dempsey, in his fifth season as an Orioles coach, also will continue to work with the team’s catchers. 

Trebelhorn has been the Orioles’ third base coach for the past 6 seasons, except for two months spent as bench coach after Perlozzo was named interim manager in August 2005.  Lee Elia, the Orioles’ bench coach last season, informed the club of his intention not to return to the coaching staff.

Dave Trembley, who managed AAA Ottawa the last two years after two years as manager at AA Bowie, will take over the newly created position of major league field coordinator.  In his new capacity, Trembley will take over Trebelhorn’s duties in setting up spring training drills and instruction as pre-game batting practice during the regular season.  He also will serve as a batting practice pitcher.

The Orioles also announced that Jay Shiner has been promoted to serve as the Orioles’ strength and conditioning coach.  He has spent the last three seasons as the organization’s minor league coordinator after 3 ½ years as the AAA team’s strength and conditioning coach, at Rochester and at Ottawa.  He replaces Tim Bishop, who resigned after 14 years to enter private business.

Larry McCall, who spent 18 years as a minor league pitching coach for the Orioles before being promoted to bullpen coach last June, and Orlando Gomez, who had served as a batting practice pitcher and bullpen catcher the last two years, both have been reassigned to the Orioles minor league staff, with specific assignments to be announced at a later date.

 
MLBPA to meet with player agents today PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 01:20

MLBPAThe Players Association will hold information meetings with player agents today to brief them on the new Basic Agreement. The 70-page agreement has already been circulated amongst management.

As reported:

The other interesting aspect of the agreement is the elimination of all the key free agent dates -- Jan. 8 (last day a club can re-sign its own free agents) and May 1 (the first day a player can re-sign with his former team if he hadn't already).

"The new CBA will level the playing field for a team losing a free agent," said longtime agent Randy Hendricks. "The prior system was put in as a response to the owners' collusion of the mid-to-late 1980s. The current belief that the parties have a very good working relationship has relieved many of those concerns. Hence, the Jan. 8 and May 1 dates have been abolished. This means that a team losing a free agent can negotiate continuously with that free agent under the same rules as the other 29 clubs. That did not exist over the past 16 or so years."

(The Boston Globe)

 
White Sox exercise options on Buehrle, Dye, and Iguchi PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 30 October 2006 06:28

White SoxWHITE SOX EXERCISE 2007 OPTIONS ON MARK BUEHRLE, JERMAINE DYE AND TADAHITO IGUCHI; DECLINE ON DUSTIN HERMANSON

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have exercised the 2007 club options on the contracts of left-handed pitcher Mark Buehrle, outfielder Jermaine Dye and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.  The White Sox also declined the 2007 club option on right-handed pitcher Dustin Hermanson.

Under terms on the contracts, Buehrle will earn $9,500,000 in 2007, Dye will receive $6,750,000 or $7,000,000 pending results of American League postseason award balloting, and Iguchi will earn a $3,250,000 base salary.  Hermanson will receive a $500,000 buyout on the $3,650,000 club option.

Buehrle, 27, went 12-13 with a 4.99 ERA (113 ER/204.0 IP) in 32 starts for the White Sox in 2006.  He suffered his first career losing record but became the first pitcher in Sox history to make 30 or more starts in six consecutive seasons.

Buehrle also became one of seven pitchers in franchise history to record 10 or more victories in six straight campaigns, and he is one of four active pitchers to throw at least 200.0 IP in each of the last six seasons.

Dye, 33, was named to The Sporting News All-Star Team after hitting .315 with a career-high 44 home runs and 120 RBI in 146 games.  Dye’s 44 home runs are the second-highest total in Sox history behind Albert Belle’s 48 in 1998. 

The 2005 World Series Most Valuable Player ranked second in the AL in 2006 in home runs, third in slugging percentage (.622), tied for third in total bases (335), fifth in RBI, tied for fifth in extra-base hits (74) and seventh in average with runners in scoring position (.351).  Dye has hit 75 home runs in two seasons with the White Sox.

Iguchi, 31, batted .281 with 18 home runs, 67 RBI and 97 runs scored in 138 games in 2006, his second with the White Sox after spending eight seasons in Japan.  Iguchi led all AL second basemen in home runs and runs scored and ranked third in RBI and slugging percentage (.420).  His .988 fielding percentage was sixth among AL second basemen.

Hermanson, 33, missed most of the 2006 season with lower back inflammation, returning to the Sox in September to go 0-0 with a 4.05 ERA (3 ER/6.2 IP) in six relief appearances.  Hermanson recorded a 2.04 ERA (13 ER/57.1 IP) and  34 saves for the White Sox in 2005.

 
When collusion may not be collusion PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 28 October 2006 03:10

MLBYesterday I reported that during the 2002 free agency period, collusion to suppress player salaries took place, and that payments to the players were made to offset that collusion. The Sports Business Daily reported this, as did Bill Madden of the NY Daily News. After making some calls, it appears the addressing of the grievances involving the 2002 FA period may be more of a book-clearing matter than anything.

Lots of grievances are filed by the players against the league. Someone doesn't get his airfare covered, you show up drunk to a game and got benched -- what have you -- hundreds of them are filed annually. Word is that there was a backlog of them, possibly going back years, that were still outstanding.

Many will recall that in 2002, many agents believed that salaries were being supressed through owners or the league colluding. While many agents filed information with the MLBPA, and grievances were filed, nothing could be proven.

Fast-forward to the new CBA. What appears to have been negotiated is a number of these outstanding grievances that have been sitting in limbo waiting to be addressed. In the case of the grievances regarding collusion, it appears what has happened is a case where management said, "Look, we don't want to have this issue from 2002 clouding the new agreement. Agree to settle these outstanding grievances involving claims of collusion, so that we can place wording in the new agreement that says this matter from 2002 can no longer be grieved. Let's not sour this new deal with these matters from the past."

So, apparently, the sides agreed on the matter. The paltry dollar figure associated to the settlement underscores that this was more of a book-clearing incident, than the type of colluding we saw during the '90s. My plans are to talk to the MLBPA and League headquarters on Monday to see if anyone will comment on this issue. -- Maury Brown

 
Collusion occurred in 2002. Payments awarded PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 27 October 2006 03:03

MLBHere's one interesting bit of information that was surely not expanded upon in the CBA press announcement earlier this week.

It is being reported, that as part of the new agreement, payments have been awarded to the players after some 50 grievances were filed regarding collusion during the 2002 free agency period. The total dollar figure of the payments is reported to be $12 million. Bill Madden has confirmed that offers “were actually being determined for the clubs by MLB’s central office.”

Given the small figure on the payments, this issue was most likely a matter of keeping things in check. The payments will come out of $70 million in Luxury Tax dollars held in reserve by MLB.

While the picture being painted of the labor negotiations is one of peace, love, and understanding, one can imagine that this issue was probably far from it. - Maury Brown

 
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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?