My final ballots for major awards (cont.)
Gilbert wouldn't make big changes to Rangers front office
Prospective Rangers owner Dennis Gilbert won't make wholesale changes in the front office if he wins the team. There has been internet speculation that he'd hire longtime friend and confidant Kevin Towers as general manager, but it is believed Gilbert would keep the current regime in place.
Gilbert heads one of three or four groups bidding for the Rangers, who are expected to go for close to half a billion. Howard Greenberg and Jim Crane are two other known bidders, and according to sources, Greenberg has all but locked up Texas legend Nolan Ryan to join his group. Ryan is the current club president so it's presumed the baseball operations department also would be left alone should the Greenberg/Ryan group win.
With speculation out there that Gilbert would bring in Towers and his own people, there's been some concern among the folks currently in power. The former superagent who's now a consultant for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is a longtime friend of Towers and it isn't farfetchecd to think Gilbert would want the ex-Padre GM involved. Towers was let go in San Diego when new owner Jeff Moorad, also a former superagent, decided he wanted his own man. So changes are anything but unusual under these circumstances.
However, Daniels and his people have done an excellent job, beginning with the franchise-remaking trade of Mark Teixeira to the Braves, which netted them AL Rookie of the Year candidate Elvis Andrus and ultra-impressive right-hander Neftali Feliz, among others. The move of Rangers star Young to third base to accommodate Andrus worked wonders, while the hiring of Ryan's friend Mike Maddux as pitching coach seemed to transform the young pitching staff.
Beyond being known for getting Barry Bonds the then-record $43.75 million contract and representing an array of stars, Gilbert, a minor leaguer in the Red Sox's organization, is well known for his Scouts Foundation, which has for years raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for scouts in need. Gilbert's group is believed to have the support of commissioner Bud Selig, which is occasionally a plus in seeking to own a team.
The Phillies' first order of business this winter should be to lock up Cliff Lee. There's a $9 million option for 2010 that they'll pick up. But they need to keep him around a lot longer than that.
Larry Bowa and Don Mattingly should be managerial candidates somewhere by this point.
Great job by L.A. to blow through the Cardinals. St. Louis probably had an uphill battle to keep Holliday even before this series, but you have to wonder whether any lingering taste at the end will work against them, as well.
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez looks like he's an emerging star. Ten hits in five games vs. Philly: very impressive.
After their terrific season, Rockies management will try to bring back O'Dowd and Tracy now.
Rough playoffs for closers so far. Street, Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon all have blown up.
Last dance? With Papelbon earning the wrath of the Red Sox for making a negative comments before the Wagner trade and blowing up in Game 3, and Daniel Bard looking ready to go, the idea of trading Papelbon is at least likely to be considered by the Red Sox -- though it's rare for a team to trade an established closer.
Papelbon threw almost exclusively fastballs. And Monday night, Lidge threw only sliders in whiffing Tulowitzki. Perhaps that reflects the Phillies' scouting report. Or maybe Lidge had little faith he could throw the fastball for a strike
Billy Wagner told the New York Post he plans to retire. Sometimes players overreact after tough defeats. Wagner has been saying for years he might retire after this contract. But a return can't be ruled out.
Scioscia has been a New York serial killer in the postseason, Mike Vaccaro points out in Monday's Post.
Can't blame the Astros for adding Bob Melvin as a candidate.
According to MLB.com, Phil Garner called Astros GM Ed Wade to recommend Melvin. And then Wade took the opportunity to ask Garner if he was interested, and Garner responded by suggesting he was. Remind me never to ask Garner for career help. Yeesh.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Red Sox gave Cleveland permission to interview pitching coach John Farrell. But Farrell previously told the Red Sox he intends to stay. Farrell is well-respected and has been presumed to be the original No. 1 choice, but a manager needs to be fully committed to the job.
Meanwhile, Bobby Valentine, who'd be a tremendous choice, told the Plain Dealer via e-mail that he'd be "happy to talk to the guys who run the club.'' That would be Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti.
There were Indians acquisitions on every playoff team but the Angels: Lee and Ben Francisco (Phillies), DeRosa (Cardinals), Rafael Betancourt (Rockies), Martinez (Red Sox), Casey Blake (Dodgers), Sabathia (Yankees) and Carl Pavano (Twins).
Andy Pettitte has not committed to playing another year yet. But there's no reason to think he won't after the season and finish he's had.
Thome told the Chicago Sun-Times he wouldn't mind going back to the White Sox. He does need to be in the AL if he plays another year.
Gary Sheffield has told folks he'd like to play for the Marlins, according to the Miami Herald. That's the sort of young impressionable clubhouse that needs to stay away from the me-first Sheffield, who also needs to be in the AL, anyway.
Monday's tweet: Torre! Torii! Torrealba! Heyman on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman.
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