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Ross named Indians director of player development PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 24 October 2006 01:14
IndiansSpent the last three seasons as the director of Latin American operations; Pitched in the Tribe's minor league system from 1995-99 

The Cleveland Indians yesterday announced Ross Atkins has been named director of player development. Atkins replaces John Farrell, who was recently named the pitching coach of the Boston Red Sox.

Prior to today's promotion, Atkins served as the organization's director of Latin American operations since being named to the post in August of 2003. In his new role Ross will oversee all elements of the Tribe's player development system, including the organization's six (6) minor league affiliates and the Latin American program in the Dominican Republic.

Ross inherits a player development system that ranked 5th (out of 30) last year in combined winning percentage (.544, 448-376) and sported players who compiled the lowest ERA (Scott Lewis), most wins (Chuck Lofgren) and 2nd highest batting average (Kevin Kouzmanoff) in all of minor league Baseball in 2006. In addition, A Kinston won the Carolina League Championship & AA Akron lost in Eastern League finals.

Atkins, 33, was the assistant director of player development to Farrell from 2001-03 prior to becoming director of Latin American operations where he oversaw the organization's operations in Latin America. The Wake Forest graduate and Miami, FL native pitched for five seasons from 1995-99 in the Tribe's minor league system before entering the front office.

"We are excited to promote someone with Ross' experience, passion and knowledge of our player development system," said Cleveland Indians Executive Vice President & General Manager Mark Shapiro. "Ross will bring both a new dynamic and energy to our player development system while ensuring consistency in our philosophy and direction."

 
Girardi withdraws from Nats candidacy PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 23 October 2006 16:38

Joe GirardiJoe Girardi, who has been considered the top candidate to fill the managerial vacancy with the Washintgon Nationals, has removed himself from consideration for the position.  Girardi cited his not wishing to uproot his family for the second time in as many years as the main reason for removing himself from consideration. "We just moved," he said. "This was a tough decision, but for my family, it's the right one."

As reported:

The loss of Girardi leaves the Nationals with several potential candidates, including New York Yankees first base coach Tony Peña, a former manager in Kansas City whom Bowden tried to hire as a coach before this past season. New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta, who has managed at Class A, is supposed to interview this week. Atlanta hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who hasn't managed at any level, is another candidate, though it's unclear whether Pendleton would want to leave his three children in suburban Atlanta to pursue a job elsewhere.

Former Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker said yesterday that he hadn't heard from Bowden in a week, and it appears his candidacy is, at best, dormant. "It's the same situation," Baker said by phone.

Two other candidates -- Houston bench coach Cecil Cooper and Chicago White Sox third base coach Joey Cora -- were informed last week that they would not be finalists for the job. Because of the secrecy of the Nationals' search, it's possible there are other candidates who have not been publicly identified.

There has been speculation that Girardi covets managing the Yankees as Joe Torre's contract runs out at the end of next season. Girardi was Torre's former bench-coach.

"That has nothing to do with it," he said. "I have too much respect for Joe Torre to ever think like that. I think Joe should manage as long as he wants. I had no thoughts about the Yankees in making this decision."

 (The Washington Post)

 
More details surface on the new labor agreement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 22 October 2006 17:42

MLBThe following breaks down in more detail the new labor agreement, as it is currently known, that has been tentatively reached.

  • The duration will be 5-years, from 2007 to 2011.  No agreement prior has been as long.
  • Both parties were working to complete a memorandum of agreement in writing. That may occur today or tomorrow.
  • No major changes were made in the agreement from the current 2002-2006 CBA. The agreement deals with the following tweaks to the system:
        • As expected, minimum salary will rise from the current $327,000 a year.
        • The luxury tax will remain in place, with changes to the numbers that create the thresholds, as well as the percentage that would be levied against a club breaking the threshold.
        • Revenue sharing based on net local revenues will remain in place. The percentage of increase will go up from the current 34%.
        • While details are unknown at this time, the union negotiated, and got, a mechanism by which revenue sharing dollars should be spent on MLB player payroll. This issue was negotiated as there has been concern that some clubs are simply pocketing a portion of the revenue sharing dollars, as opposed to reinvesting them to improve their major league teams.
        • The current Joint Drug Agreement that was altered twice during the current CBA will remain intact. It would be logical for the agreement to now be synced up with the CBA, as the current agreement has not been on the same cycle. 
        • Draft-choice compensation for lost free agents will be reduced, but not completely eliminated. Teams losing the top tier of free agents will continue to receive compensation.

On the deal, the announcement will come at one of the games in St. Louis. Both Commissioner Selig and Executive Director Fehr will make the joint announcement. This would most likely occur on Fox television during the World Series broadcast.

Articles covering the tentative agreement:

Blum: Players and owners reach tentative agreement on new labor contact

Chass: Negotiators Have Worked Out 5-Year Labor Deal  

Bodley: New MLB labor deal just around the corner

 
Tentative agreement on new labor contract reached PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Sunday, 22 October 2006 09:45

Major League BaseballToday, the Players Association and management reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal that will run for 5 years, ending in 2011.

The agreement needs to be approved in writing, but it seems that an announcement will be made when the World Series shifts to St. Louis later this week.

Tweaks to the current system involving revenue sharing, the luxury tax, and methods to ensure that revenue sharing dollars zre used on major league payrolls are seen as part of the deal.

As reported by Ronald Blum of the AP:

The deal, struck during bargaining in New York on Friday night and Saturday, is subject to the sides putting the agreement in writing, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized.

Lawyers were working on drafting language Sunday, and they hoped to put the finishing touches on it Monday or Tuesday. Once that happened, commissioner Bud Selig would announce it in St. Louis at the World Series. 

As always, check back with The Biz of Baseball for news on this issue as it breaks.

(The AP

 
New CBA to be 5-years in length PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 21 October 2006 18:22

MLBIn an unprecedented move, management and the Players' Association will announce a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will be not 4, but 5-years in length, ending in 2011.

Both sides worked till 3am Saturday morning with MLB CFO Bob DuPuy in attendance, before he headed to the World Series, to try and complete a deal. Lawyers for both sides headed back to the negotiating table again later in the day.

As we reported last week, plans are to try and get a tentative agreement in place, and have a joint announcement on Fox by Commissioner Selig and Executive Director Fehr before the end of the World Series. If all goes well, the announcement would occur at one of the games in St. Louis.

Revenue sharing, the Luxury Tax, some method to ensure that revenue sharing is spent on MLB payroll (a rumor of a possible salary floor has been mentioned, but could not be confirmed), and the removal of draft pick compensation are the primary topics of the negotiations.

With a 5-year agreement in place, MLB will have 16 years of labor peace before the next negotiations, something unheard of in the past as every negotiation up to 2002 had ended in some form of work stoppage. Add to this, if the agreement is arrived at next week, it will occur more than a month ahead of the December 19th deadline.

 
Labor update: Sides meet through Friday evening PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 20 October 2006 15:38

Major League BaseballLawyers for both management and the Players Association pushed negotiations into Friday night, continuing to put the final touches on a tentative labor agreement. With the push is the continued feeling that a possible joint announcement by Commissioner Selig and Executive Director Fehr might come as early as during the World Series.

Player agents and management officials have said all week that the sides were closing in on an agreement.

The current contract expires Dec. 19, and the negotiations have been held without public acrimony for the first time in more than three decades.

 
Labor Contract May Be Ready Soon PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 20 October 2006 07:30

Major League BaseballAs reported earlier this week, there is a continuing sense that a tentative agreement on a new CBA might be announced as early as this weekend. Management and the Players Association have been meeting daily and are very close to finalizing the deal.

As reported by Murray Chass of the NY Times:

The talks have become so intensive in recent days that meetings have gone into evening hours and some sessions even took place last weekend, said the person with knowledge of the talks, who was not authorized to speak about them.

Revenue sharing and a payroll tax, baseball’s two major economic issues, have been the most important matters discussed in negotiations, but no radical changes are expected.

Negotiators are expected to eliminate draft-choice compensation for lost free agents, a step they came close to taking four years ago.

Normally, baseball does not like to upstage their major events, which the World Series is. This announcement, however, would be exceptionally good for baseball and would override those concerns. Selig has said that if the two sides reach an agreement in the next 10 days, he would happily announce it himself.

(The NY Times

 
Umpires for 102nd World Series Announced PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 20 October 2006 05:19

2006 World SeriesRandy Marsh, Working His Fifth Fall Classic, to Serve as Crew Chief

Randy Marsh, who is in his 25th year as a Major League Umpire, will be the Crew Chief for the 102nd World Series and will call balls and strikes for Game One of the 2006 Fall Classic, it was announced today.

Marsh’s crew will include Tim McClelland (24th year Major League Umpire), John Hirschbeck (23rd year), Mike Winters (17th year), Wally Bell (14th year) and Alfonso Marquez (7th year).

Marsh will be on the field for the World Series for the fifth time in his career (others: 1990, ’97, ’99, ’03). Marsh also was Crew Chief for the 2003 Fall Classic. The Kentucky native has worked five Division Series and seven League Championship Series overall.

This marks McClelland’s fourth World Series assignment; the second for Hirschbeck and Winters; and the first for Bell and Marquez. All six Umpires assigned to this year’s World Series worked the 2006 Division Series, during which Marsh, McClelland and Hirschbeck served as Crew Chiefs.

UMPIRE ROTATION, 102nd WORLD SERIES
Game One Umpire - Previous Postseason Assignments - Game Assignments

  • HP Randy Marsh (Chief) 5 DS (’98-99, ’01, ’03, ’06); 7 LCS (’89, ’92, ’95, ’00, ’02, ’04-05); 4 WS (’90, ’97, ’99, ’03)
  • 1B Alfonso Marquez 4 DS (’01-02, ’05-06); 1 LCS (’03)
  • 2B Wally Bell 5 DS (’98-99, ’03-04, ’06); 3 LCS (’00-01, ’05)
  • 3B Mike Winters 6 DS (’98-02, ’06); 2 LCS (’97, ’04); 1 WS (’02)
  • LF John Hirschbeck 7 DS (’95, ’98-99, ’01, ’03, ’05-06); 4 LCS (’90, ’97, ’00, ’04); 1 WS (’95)
  • RF Tim McClelland 5 DS (’97, ’00, ’02, ’04, ’06); 7 LCS (’88, ’95, ’99, ’01, ’03, ’05); 3 WS (’93, ’00, ’02)
 
Twins sign Gardenhire to two-year extension PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 20 October 2006 02:44


Ron GardenhireTeam also re-signs coaching staff through 2008

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN - The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have signed Manager Ron Gardenhire to a two-year contract extension. The deal will take effect for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, as he is under contract for 2007 as part of a two-year extension he signed on January 5, 2005.

In addition, the Twins have signed pitching coach Rick Anderson, bench coach Steve Liddle, bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third base coach Scott Ullger, hitting coach Joe Vavra and first base coach Jerry White to contracts which will run through the 2008 season.

“Ron and his staff have done a tremendous job, not only in 2006, but over the last several years,” said Twins General Manager Terry Ryan. “Their leadership, knowledge and work ethic have helped our players excel in this organization.”

Gardenhire, 48, was named manager of the Twins on January 4, 2002. He has led the Twins to the American League Central Division title in four of his five seasons as manager, becoming the third manager in Major League history to reach the playoffs in four of his first five seasons (Cito Gaston, 1989-93 with Toronto and Larry Dierker, 1997-2001 with Houston).

He has a career record of 455-354 (.562) as a Major League manager, and in 2006 became the first manager in club history to have five consecutive winning seasons. Since the beginning of 2002, Gardenhire has the fourth most wins among all managers (Joe Torre – 497, Tony LaRussa – 470 and Bobby Cox - 467).

 
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