Hall snubs Marvin Miller again
Former manager Whitey Herzog and former umpire Doug Harvey were voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee yesterday. Herzog managed the Kansas City Royals (when they were good) and the St. Louis Cardinals over his 18-year career. Harvey was a National League umpire for 31 years and he called 4,670 games.
Again, it’s not the guys who got in that bug me; it’s the guy who didn’t. Once again, former union chief Marvin Miller fell short of enshrinement. To have former commissioner Bowie Kuhn in the Hall of Fame and not Miller is comical; the snubs have even prompted Miller to ask the Hall to take his name off of the ballot. Miller fell two votes shy of the nine required. Former Tigers owner John Fetzer came up just one vote shy of enshrinement.
McCourt hands over Dodgers reins
Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has turned over the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers to team president Dennis Mannion. This is of course in the midst of the nasty divorce battle between Frank and his wife Jamie. In an interesting interview between T.J. Simers and Mannion, everything from general manager Ned Colletti to the state of the team is discussed. At least I think so because it’s hard to tell whether this piece is serious or not.
Bloomberg gets into stats business
Bloomberg, L.P., which is best known for its long-running financial analysis software has taken a further step into the baseball world. This week the company introduced a baseball player evaluation software that’s going to be available to teams, agents and sports networks. The money might not be there to make this a really profitable venture, but it seems like it’s a product worth looking at.
Ultimately, MLB is hoping that one of Bloomberg’s products, a fantasy baseball module, brings fans to MLB.com and away from rival fantasy sites like Yahoo and ESPN.com. For now, teams will get a six month trial; it’ll be interesting to see whether this sticks or not.
MLB road trip
MLB is going down under as well as a few other places as they’ll send some of their All Stars on a barnstorming trip. The dates aren’t set, but it’s expected that the team will travel to South Korea and Australia after the 2010 season. This could lead to the Boston Red Sox opening the 2011 season in Australia. There are not a lot of details yet, but these kinds of things are always a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s always good to promote the game, but injuries can happen and it takes a toll on the players as they’re expected to play over and above what they do during the season.
Ozzie Guillen for commissioner
This is simply a great read. Former THT columnist Aaron Gleeman gives us a rundown of a press conference with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. There are too many great soundbites to go through them all, but his closing remarks where he says he’ll be the next MLB commissioner in 2012 after Bud Selig retires is simply priceless.
Hicks/Ryan rift develops in Rangers ownership bid
For those of you who haven’t been following this story, Tom Hicks, the owner of the Texas Rangers, has run into some financial trouble. The other problem is that he doesn’t want to give up control of the Rangers, so in addition to soliciting bids for the team from outside parties, he’s also put together a group that was supposed to include Nolan Ryan to keep control of the team. Then a former agent, Dennis Gilbert, threw his name in the mix. That would have allowed Hicks to retain control of the team but at the expense of giving Dennis Gilbert control over the day-to-day operations.
Unfortunately, that’s Nolan Ryan’s job, so when he got wind of this, he said he was gone if Gilbert was involved. Then Hicks backed off of the whole deal, and we’re now back to square one, just with a little animosity perhaps.