The former general sits down to talk about guiding a cash-strapped team, trading Pedro Martinez, and how much front offices have changed.
Jim Beattie won't be in Indianapolis for this year's Winter Meetings, but the erstwhile Expos and Orioles General Manager knows what goes on behind closed doors when his former brethren convene to talk trade. It was at the meetings 12 years ago that Beattie, then in charge of a financially-strapped Expos franchise, reluctantly laid the groundwork for trading Pedro Martinez to the Red Sox.
A preview of the Dominican Winter League, taking a look at the teams, stadiums, managers, and players to watch for.
The "National Religion" came back on October 16th, as the Dominican League launched its 56th edition. Reliably praised as having the highest level of talent among the winter leagues, one should expect to watch another mix of highly ranked prospects, mid-level major leaguers, a few recognizable American players, veterans looking for another shot, and some major league stars between now and the end of the Caribbean Series in February. The league format has six teams playing a 50-game regular-season schedule, with the four best records advancing to a long 18-game round-robin playoff, and the two remaining best clubs play a best-of-nine final series to decide the league's champion. Without further ado, here's what this season will bring us:
Tigres del Licey (Licey Tigers)
Home: Santo Domingo
2008-09 record: 26-24, fourth place (tied) regular season; 12-6, first place round-robin; beat the Gigantes in the final series 5-0.
Ballpark: Estadio Quisqueya; strong pitcher's park, with a Park Factor of 92.
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Today's Three 'Rs' are Replay, Rangers, and Rocktober, plus skipper shuffling and rumors from around the game.
Phil Cuzzi barely had enough time to mistakenly signal a foul ball when advocates of expanded instant replay started howling for change. Major League Baseball begrudgingly became the last major North American professional sports league to implement the use of television replays to help aid in umpiring calls in August, 2008. Replay reviews are used on boundary calls concerning home runs, and Commissioner Bud Selig had to have his arm twisted almost off to agree to that.
It's the end of the regular season, and while enough axes are flying to chop down a forest, one division's outcome is in doubt.
All the stretch-run races for post-season slots but one are settled on the regular season's final day today, as the Tigers will try to avoid an epic collapse after blowing a three-game lead to the Twins in the last three days to fall into a tie for the American League Central lead. Besides watching the Tigers host the White Sox and the Twins host the Royals in what could be the last game in the Metrodome, the only thing left to ponder is the race for the individual awards:
The ChiSox manager discusses handling pitchers, perception versus reality, and the way of Ozzieball.
Ozzie Guillen is his own man. Outspoken and sometimes misunderstood, the mercurial White Sox skipper is not only colorful, he is also smart as a fox. Considered one of the most cerebral players in the game during his playing days, the 44-year-old native of Venezuela has shown himself to be no less wise as a manager, having led the South Siders to a World Series title in 2005. Now he has his charges-considered second-division fodder by most prognosticators when the season began-atop the AL Central as the pennant race enters its home stretch. A big-league shortstop for 16 seasons and a third-base coach for three more, Guillen took over as the White Sox manager in November, 2003.
The next manager to be fired might see his job go to Torey Lovullo, a top candidate who's currently piloting the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
Torey Lovullo didn't end up in the Pittsburgh dugout this season as many had speculated, but the 43-year-old graduate of UCLA remains one of the top candidates for a skippering job in the game. Currently in his third season at the helm of Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, Lovullo spent parts of eight seasons as a big league infielder before joining the Indians organization as a minor league manager in 2002. David talked to Lovullo about the statistical revolution, what he learned from Terry Francona, and whether a manager should be held accountable for wins and losses.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.