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MLB off season thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2014 01:21 am
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lobo316



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DETROIT -- The Tigers have agreed to a one-year deal with shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias finished second in last year's AL Rookie of the Year vote, hitting .303 in 109 games with Boston and the Tigers. Detroit acquired him from the Red Sox in a three-way deal shortly before the trade deadline.

Iglesias replaced Jhonny Peralta at shortstop for Detroit while Peralta was serving a drug suspension last season. Peralta signed with St. Louis during the offseason.

Iglesias is part of an infield the Tigers hope will be improved defensively in 2014. Miguel Cabrera is moving from third base back to first to replace Prince Fielder, who was traded to the Texas Rangers.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2014 05:22 pm
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lobo316



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PITTSBURGH -- The Jolly Roger has walked the plank in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates announced Wednesday that the franchise will make the gold "P" the team's primary logo this season, replacing the beloved eye-patch wearing sailor who has been the club's main symbol for nearly 80 years.

The team will still have the Jolly Roger on the sleeves of some of its uniforms for the time being. Some variation of the Jolly Roger has been a part of the Pirates' identity since 1936, although the classic "P" dates back more than a century.

The club will continue to raise a black-and-white pirate flag in center field after home victories.

The Pirates have seen a huge increase in merchandise sales recently thanks to their improved play. Pittsburgh made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years in 2013.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2014 05:26 pm
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lobo316 wrote: The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement on a contract extension with manager Don Mattingly, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

The team is expected to announce the extension later this week.

Mattingly was already under contract for the 2014 season. Exact terms of the extension were unknown, although sources told ESPN that it covers the next three seasons.

Mattingly managed all of last season without assurances he would remain at the helm beyond this year. He revealed during a tense news conference after the season that his option for 2014 vested when the Dodgers made the NL Championship Series, and he displayed frustration at having been put in that position.

The Dodgers were surprised by the comments but quickly moved to assure Mattingly that he was viewed as part of their long-term future. The team initiated extension talks shortly thereafter.

While the process took several months, there was always a belief on both sides that an extension would be completed before spring training.

Mattingly is 260-225 in his three seasons as Dodgers manager. He finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting in 2013.

Mattingly came under fire last season as the Dodgers stumbled out of the gates and fell 9½ games out of first place on June 21. But the Dodgers always preferred to keep him, and allowed him the time to work the club through the struggles.

The Dodgers then went on a franchise-best 42-8 run over the next 50 games and wound up winning the NL West by 11 games before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Dodgers did not retain bench coach Trey Hillman, one of Mattingly's closest friends, after the season. However, that move had been decided before Mattingly's news conference at the end of the season, sources previously indicated to ESPN.

The team subsequently promoted highly regarded third-base coach Tim Wallach to bench coach, and retained the rest of Mattingly's staff.


 

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced a three-year contract extension with manager Don Mattingly on Wednesday.

His new deal starts next season and runs through 2016. Financial terms were not available.

Mattingly admitted Wednesday that he wishes his now-famous end-of-season news conference had gone differently. Days after the Dodgers were eliminated in the National League Championship Series, Mattingly said he felt entering the 2014 season on another one-year contract would make him a lame duck. He said Wednesday his comments were prompted by the fact that the Dodgers had not informed him at the time that they wanted to talk about a long-term extension.

His 2014 option, reportedly for $1.4 million, vested when the Dodgers advanced to the NLCS, but that contract is superseded by the new deal. He will be paid more than that, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

"Things just come out of you at that point. Looking back, I would have rather it had stayed in-house and been dealt with like that," Mattingly said. "I didn't have any preconceived notions. I was not trying to do anything like that."

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said terms of the new deal had been all but finalized three weeks ago but the team wanted to wait until it had signed several free agents and gotten through the holidays to make the announcement.

"A long ways back, we both knew what direction we wanted to go in, and we wanted him to be here," Colletti said.

Mattingly didn't attend Wednesday's news conference because he was stuck in his native Indiana after his flight was canceled by snow. He said a pipe in his home burst due to extreme cold and flooded his basement.

In a conference call, he said he thinks having a long-term deal will help his authority in the Dodgers' clubhouse, a room dominated by veteran players on hefty, long-term contracts.

"You've got to build respect personally with guys, and how you treat them is going to really, truly gain you respect. But also, when the organization shows you that respect from upper management, it sends a message to the players that they trust this guy and believe in him," Mattingly said. "That's where I think it makes the job easier."

Mattingly is 260-225 in his three seasons as Dodgers manager. He finished second in the NL Manager of the Year voting in 2013. Mattingly came under fire last season as the Dodgers stumbled out of the gate and were 9½ games out of first place on June 21.

The Dodgers then went on a franchise-best 42-8 run over the next 50 games and wound up winning the NL West by 11 games before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

Los Angeles did not retain bench coach Trey Hillman, one of Mattingly's closest friends, after the season. However, that move had been decided before Mattingly's news conference at the end of the season, sources previously indicated to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

The team subsequently promoted highly regarded third-base coach Tim Wallach to bench coach and retained the rest of Mattingly's staff.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2014 05:32 pm
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lobo316



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HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros have hired Tarrik Brock as their first base coach, replacing Eduardo Perez, who will not return for the upcoming season.

Pat Listach, who was hired to coach first base in October, will instead be Houston's third base coach.

The 40-year-old Brock worked for the past seven seasons as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator in the Marlins organization. Brock had a stint as the Marlins interim first base coach in 2010 and began his coaching career in 2006 as a hitting coach for rookie level Ogden.

Brock had a 13-year playing career spent mostly in the minors. He played 13 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2000.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 01:40 am
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Cleveland is replacing the Chief Wahoo logo.


from sportsyahoo.com:







Chief Wahoo, the smiling symbol of the Cleveland Indians since the 1940s who is beloved by many but deemed to be racist by others, is being replaced as a primary logo, uniform expert Paul Lukas reported Wednesday. Instead, the team will emphasize a block letter "C" they introduced in recent seasons. The Indians aren't eliminating the Chief — the home uniform will continue to feature him on caps and jersey sleeves — but fans will see less of him overall.

The Indians aren't the only team making a logo change for 2014. The Pittsburgh Pirates are "ditching" their eyepatch-wearing Jolly Rancher in favor of a gold "P." Yeeeargh — say it ain't so, mateys! Regardless, don't expect Bucs fans to stop raising the Jolly Roger flag at PNC Park after a victory.

As with any other Major League Baseball teams, the Indians and Pirates are trying to maximize the dollars they can make marketing their product while hurting as few feelings as possible.
 
While the Indians never come out and say they're marginalizing the Chief, they seem to be continuing a trend of de-emphasizing him. They removed him from the road uniform in recent seasons and they've reduced his visibility at spring training in Arizona, where more Native Americans live. They don't use him at every opportunity to publicize team events or programs anymore. They've also surveyed their fans asking their feelings on the Chief, as if to gain "permission" to make a change.

While it would seem that most of their hardcore supporters also support the Chief — or at least are neutral about him — other factions consider Wahoo to be an overtly racist caricature that demeans Native Americans. By moving to marginalize the Chief, the Indians can have it every possible way: Fans can buy more stuff with the hyped-up block "C" if they like. Fans still will be able to buy Chief Wahoo stuff in case they're afraid it's going out of style or will be taken away. It can even be used as clothing of defiance!

Simultaneously, the Indians can appear to be subtly appeasing those against use of the Chief while also being sensitive to Chief loyalists by keeping items with his kisser stocked in their stores.

It's a sound strategy, even if it's just a stopgap and they have to make a more permanent decision on the Chief someday. Cleveland's situation is probably different from that which faces the NFL's Washington Redskins. At some point in the future, it's going to become too socially unacceptable for the Redskins to keep their nickname. They'll be forced to change. The Indians have more wriggle room because the Chief is just a logo. He can hide.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 01:46 am
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DETROIT (AP) Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent muscle repair surgery Thursday after injuring himself last month during offseason conditioning.

Dr. Bill Meyers in Philadelphia performed the operation on Verlander, who is expected to need six weeks of rehab before being evaluated again. The first workout for Detroit's pitchers and catchers at spring training is scheduled for Feb. 14. The first spring training game is Feb. 25 against Florida Southern College.

The team did not identify the ''core muscle'' that was repaired, but called the surgery successful. General manager Dave Dombrowski said he team expects Verlander to participate in spring training and ''be in a position to compete'' at the beginning of the 2014 season.

Verlander went 13-12 last year with a 3.46 ERA for the AL Central champions.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 01:47 am
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lobo316 wrote: PITTSBURGH -- The Jolly Roger has walked the plank in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates announced Wednesday that the franchise will make the gold "P" the team's primary logo this season, replacing the beloved eye-patch wearing sailor who has been the club's main symbol for nearly 80 years.

The team will still have the Jolly Roger on the sleeves of some of its uniforms for the time being. Some variation of the Jolly Roger has been a part of the Pirates' identity since 1936, although the classic "P" dates back more than a century.

The club will continue to raise a black-and-white pirate flag in center field after home victories.

The Pirates have seen a huge increase in merchandise sales recently thanks to their improved play. Pittsburgh made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years in 2013.




That news came out over a month ago.


CanadianHorseman wrote: December 5thNew primary logo for Pirates in 2014.









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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 01:57 am
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New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who underwent Sept. 10 surgery in California for a herniated disk in his neck, has been fully cleared for baseball activities.

After attending David Wright's wedding, Parnell stayed on the West Coast to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins, who had performed the procedure.

Watkins cleared Parnell for full baseball activities. Parnell is expected to resume closing games for the Mets this season. He converted 22 of 26 chances last season.

"He looked terrific -- toned, strong, limber," said one person who recently saw Parnell.

Parnell had lost roughly 30 pounds while dealing with the herniated disk.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 04:06 am
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CanadianHorseman wrote:
That news came out over a month ago.



 I don't think he was trying to steal your thunder from a month ago, it was just a part of a C and P of that article on the Cleveland change.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 04:18 am
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khawk wrote: CanadianHorseman wrote:
That news came out over a month ago.



 I don't think he was trying to steal your thunder from a month ago, it was just a part of a C and P of that article on the Cleveland change.


Well - you should still give him sh*t for being late like you've been giving me for the Dead Pool and Fired Pool. :tongue:



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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 04:38 am
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CanadianHorseman wrote: khawk wrote: CanadianHorseman wrote:
That news came out over a month ago.



 I don't think he was trying to steal your thunder from a month ago, it was just a part of a C and P of that article on the Cleveland change.


Well - you should still give him sh*t for being late like you've been giving me for the Dead Pool and Fired Pool. :tongue:

I'll respond to this tomorrow, after I've had a chance to read everyone else's answers to this first. :)

Last edited on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 04:38 am by khawk

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 06:44 am
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OK - enough is enough. Although my picks for both pools were obviously late it's not like I looked over everybody's lists before sending in my picks and my actuals picks should make that fact obvious. In the Deal Pool 50 % of my picks were either island picks ( Jake LaMotta, Chuck Berry and Fats Dominio ) or else they were picked by only 1 other player ( Sid Caesar and BB King ). In the Fired Pool once again 50 % of my picks were either island picks ( Tom Coughlin, Jeff Ireland, Mike Smith and Joe Philbin ) or else picked by only 1 other player ( Mike Munchak ). Hopefully this puts your mind at ease about my lateness in sending in my picks. 



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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 07:29 am
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You're cute when your mad.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 07:40 am
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khawk wrote: You're cute when your mad.

Dammit - I'm cute all the time. My Grandma told me so. 



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 Posted: Fri Jan 10th, 2014 05:16 pm
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MIAMI (AP) Right-hander Kevin Slowey is among 22 nonroster players to receive spring training invitations from the Miami Marlins.

Slowey signed a minor league contract. He pitched in 22 games for the Marlins last year and went 3-6 with an ERA of 4.11.

Other nonroster players receiving invitations included left-hander Andrew Heaney, a top prospect, and right-hander Jesus Sanchez, who has a career record of 23-34. Also invited were left-hander Josh Spence, infielder Juan Diaz, and outfielders Matt Angle and Joe Benson.

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