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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)

 
A's fire Macha PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 16 October 2006 09:05

Ken MachaKen Macha has been fired as manager of the Oakland A's. This in spite of guiding the club past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1990.

As reported earlier today, the reasons seemed to be poor communications with players, as well as what some players called a "calloiusness" when it came to players with injuries. 

As reported:

Macha, 50, had two years remaining on his contract — a deal he agreed to last off-season after rejecting the A's initial three-year offer and pursuing other options. His overuse of relievers was another source of contention with Beane, and according to the Chronicle, Macha also displayed a callous attitude toward injured players.

The A's beat the Twins in the ALDS — their first triumph in five postseason series under Beane — but were swept by the Tigers in the American League Championship Series, four games to none.

(Fox Sports)

 
MLB/Reebok to offer custom footwear PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 16 October 2006 07:48
Reebok MLB ShoesMLB PROPERTIES, REEBOK TO OFFER FANS CUSTOMIZED FOOTWEAR

New Reebok Platform Marks First Time Licensed, Customized Shoes Sold Online

Major League Baseball Properties is joining with licensee Reebok International, the MLB Authentic Collection official supplier of footwear, to give fans the opportunity to design customized footwear with their favorite Major League Baseball Club logos and colors. The new platform, which launched today, marks the first time that MLB licensed shoes can be customized online.

Fans visiting the site, www.RBKCUSTOM.com, can customize every inch of their shoes – from the tongues to the soles. Design options include: multiple team logo options, including current and vintage marks and designs; 16+ leather materials; contrast stitching options; and personalizing with the wearer’s name on the back heel. RBKCustom provides consumers with the opportunity to customize with features such as heel clips, lace eyelets and sole types.

“Major League Baseball is thrilled to expand our relationship with Reebok to offer fans the chance to express their avidity and passion for their favorite Clubs through custom MLB shoes,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. “Reebok brings a level of excellence to its product and service, which gives MLB great pride and confidence in offering this new service to our fans.”
Read more...
 
Piniella to become manager of the Cubs PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 16 October 2006 07:33

Lou PiniellaESPN Radio and the Associated Press are reporting that Lou Piniella will be introduced as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs as early as today.  Piniella is currently a broadcaster for the Fox network.
 
Piniella would replace Dusty Baker, who is at the end of a four-year contract.  Piniella has managed the Yankees, Mariners, Tampa Bay, and led the Cincinnati Reds to the World Series championship in 1990.  While in Seattle, he led the Mariners to an AL record-tying 116 wins.

As reported:

Piniella received a three-year contract, according to another AP source. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. The hiring was first reported by ESPN radio. 

(The AP)

 
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