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October 9, 2000 12:00 am

The Managerial Shuffle

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Christina Kahrl

Now that Davey Johnson's pink slip has surfaced from a long lurk in the Dodgers' interoffice mail, there are five managers out of work. Within the next couple of weeks, we'll probably see Jimy Williams and Jim Fregosi join the list. While it makes for nifty trivia that no manager was fired in-season, the firings mean something slightly different for each of the teams. The usual crocodile tears are being shed for the public's benefit about how Buck Showalter, Gene Lamont, Terry Francona and Jack McKeon all deserve better, but what are the really important elements of these firings, and the hirings yet to come? And how much recycling are we going to have accept this time around?

If Jack McKeon was cranky enough to sue over the question of whether or not he was fired because of age discrimination, his dismissal would be a particularly interesting case. If Jim Bowden ends up selecting Bob Boone as McKeon's replacement, it would be Bowden who would have given greater evidence of age-related handicaps like memory loss. Has everyone forgotten Boone's ineptitude as a manager during his stints with Tacoma and Kansas City? There's a hint of a glaucoma problem here if Boone gets the job, at least as far as what George Bush called "the vision thing." Firing the oft-recycled McKeon for someone who hasn't demonstrated any core competency to deserve recycling strikes me as poor judgment on a par with acquiring Fonzie Bichette or Ruben Sierra. On a similar level of irrelevance, Bowden is supposed to be considering Hal McRae, last seen as the Phillies' hitting coach. I don't know what the fascination with uninspired and uninspiring ex-Royals managers represents, but it isn't a good thing. Why not dig up Duke Wathan? If the objective is to bring back Davey Johnson, that's fine, but if the choices are limited to Ken Griffey's dad and some ex-Royal flops, then Bowden isn't rating the job as one with any real importance.

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March 3, 2000 12:00 am

AL Central Notebook

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Christina Kahrl

Continuing our look around the divisions at what spots on whose rosters are being contested:

Chicago White Sox

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Agreed to terms with RHP Brad Clontz on a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. [2/17]

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February 22, 2000 12:00 am

NL Central Notebook

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Christina Kahrl

This week, let's take a look at some of the position battles for the teams in the division, whether the fight is for a starting job or just a spot on one of the rosters.

Chicago Cubs

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Signed INF Norberto Martin to a one-year contract. [1/9]

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