Waiting for the postseason to begin

A Look Back at the 2010 MLB Season – Back Stories

Elena Gustines has put together for Bats in the NYTimes.com an outstanding compilation of the memorable plays and milestones of the 2010 season. I have added some back-stories to her assemblage. Click here.

Three Homers in One Game – 2010

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2010 Perfect Games and No-Hitters

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Five Strikeouts in One Game, 2010

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2010 One-Hitters

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Firing up the Hot Stove

The Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ken Macha, and the Pittsburgh Pirates fired John Russell, raising the total of managers losing their jobs this year to eight.

  • Macha was 157-167 in two seasons with the Brewers.
  • Russell was 186-299 in three seasons with the Bucs.

The Dusty Has Settled

Manager Dusty Baker got a two-year contract extension through 2012 for leading the Cincinnati Reds to their first playoff appearance in 15 years. The Reds also offered two-year deals to the entire coaching staff.

Baker is 243-243 in three seasons with the Reds and 1405-1284 in a 17-year Major League career that includes four division championships with three teams, including the San Francisco Giants (1997, 2000), Chicago Cubs (2003) and now the Reds. He is the sixth manager in MLB history to win a division title with three teams, joining Davey Johnson, Tony LaRussa, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella and Joe Torre. Baker is only the second manager to lead different three National League teams to the playoffs and is the 25th manager in MLB history to record 1,400 career wins.

M & M out in New York

For those of you expecting to read about Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, sorry to disappoint, this is about the worst kept secret in New York. The New York Mets finally fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.

The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager although Bobby Valentine, who led the Mets to the 2000 World Series, and Wally Backman, a second baseman on the 1986 championship team, have been mentioned as potential replacements for Manuel.

The Interim is Out

The Arizona Diamondbacks removed the “interim” from the title and made Kirk Gibson their permanent manager, at least for the next two seasons. First-base coach Matt Williams and bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock will return, but pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., hitting coach Jack Howell, bench coach Bo Porter and third-base coach Joel Youngblood are out. The club is hoping to keep Stottlemyre in the organization but has not expressed an interest. Youngblood told the club he would return, likely in some capacity in the farm system.

The Diamondbacks went 34-49 under Gibson after he took over for A.J. Hinch in July.

In addition, Jerry Dipoto will remain in the organization as senior vice president of scouting and player development, a role that amounts to right-hand man of new General Manager Kevin Towers. He will oversee the amateur and professional scouting departments and the farm system. Dipoto served as interim general manager for close to three months until Towers was named the permanent GM on Sept. 22. The club will allow for Dipoto to interview for a general manager job should another team express interest in him.
2010 Managerial Madness – Fired, Retired and Hired

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Finally the grounds rules for Tropicana Field that affects fly balls that strike the upper two catwalks in the domed stadium have been changed. Instead of being in play, a batted ball that caroms off the A- and B-ring catwalks that support the stadium roof will be ruled a dead ball and the pitch will not count. Balls that strike the two lower catwalks in fair territory will continue to be home runs.

My cats Wilson and Allie wish they would stop hitting balls to where they walk period, but that would require a new stadium.

Padres News

  • The Padres are not picking up $8.5 million 2011 option for pitcher Chris Young however they are still open to having him back next season.
  • Padres general manager Jed Hoyer plans to meet with the agent for Adrian Gonzalez in the next few weeks to exercise his $5.5 million option for 2011, but they won’t guarantee anything. He will be a free agent after next season

All they have to do is act naturally

The Boston Herald gossip duo, Gayle Fee & Laura Raposa, reports that “Moneyball,” the movie starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, is expected to film on Lansdowne Street today and at Fenway Park tomorrow. Word is, Jonah Hill, who plays Beane’s assistant, and Chris Pratt, who plays first baseman Scott Hatteburg, are expected to be there. Knowing what happened at Fenway this season, let us hope they all leave uninjured.

And finally

Forbes.com brings us the story of the new watch that Alex Rodriguez had made to commemorate his 600th home run. It is called “The Big Bang Black Magic” and was made in a partnership between Hublot and Roberto Chiappelloni of Manfredi Jewels. It has a black ceramic case and bezel with a matching black dial and superluminova markers. This particular piece also has Alex’s signature and the number 600 etched on the sapphire glass; 500 similar pieces priced at $20,900 are on sale worldwide.