THE NEWBERG REPORT — OCTOBER 16, 2007
Twenty-one wins in 22 games. Good grief. Colorado, like Texas, was in fourth place in its division when its streak began a month ago. And the Rockies finished last in their division a year ago. And in 2005.
Angels general manager Bill Stoneman is expected to become former Angels general manager Bill Stoneman later today. What a strange last few weeks, with Terry Ryan, John Schuerholz, Walt Jocketty, Larry Beinfest, and now Stoneman (among a few others) leaving their GM posts.
One of the candidates who has emerged for the Cardinals job is Arizona assistant general manager Peter Woodfork, who was a finalist for the assistant position in Texas when Jon Daniels hired Thad Levine.
Levine is going to start popping up on those lists, too, if not this winter then probably next.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Yankees asked Tom Grieve after the 1994 season (right before they launched their run of 13 straight playoff seasons) if he was interested in becoming their general manager. I’d never heard that.
Sullivan also reports that Houston has received permission from Daniels to interview Rangers national crosschecker Kip **** for its vacant scouting director position.
The Rangers reinstated righthanders Akinori Otsuka, Willie Eyre, and Josh Rupe and infielder Joaquin Arias from the 60-day disabled list and removed righthanders Mike Wood and Eyre, catcher Chris Stewart, and outfielder Kevin Mahar from the 40-man roster.
Texas outrighted the latter four to the minor leagues, but Wood opted for free agency while Eyre agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Texas for the 2008 season (which he will spend rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery).
Stewart and Mahar, having not been outrighted previously, did not have the right to decline their assignments.
Philadelphia declined its 2008 option on catcher Rod Barajas. Boston designated lefthander Daniel Haigwood for assignment. Pittsburgh designated utility player Matt Kata for assignment.
Rumors are gaining steam that the Mets will approach Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo when his contact expires at the end of the month and offer him the same job there. Jaramillo — who managed the rookie-level Sarasota Rangers in the mid-1980s with Mets general manager Omar Minaya on his coaching staff — was a finalist for the managerial job in New York that ultimately went to Willie Randolph three years ago.
In the meantime, Jaramillo has reportedly spent time in Arizona working with the Rangers’ minor league hitters at Instructs.
Tampa Bay named former Rangers outfielder Dave Martinez bench coach, ending speculation that Don Wakamatsu was a possibility for that job.
ESPN’s Keith Law on the Rangers’ Arizona Fall League delegation: “Texas sent the best crop of prospects of any club. Taylor Teagarden, German Duran and Elvis Andrus (on the taxi squad, playing Wednesdays and Saturdays) are all part of the Rangers’ contingent. Teagarden’s throwing still isn’t all the way back after Tommy John surgery in 2006 — and it may not come back any more than it has — but he’s going to hit with a solid base and gap-to-gap approach. Duran shows surprising power with a very quick bat and a short path to the ball, and he’s a 55 glove and arm at third base. Andrus, acquired in the Mark Teixeira trade, is still more athleticism than baseball ability. But the ball really flies off his bat, and he has a very easy and coordinated swing.”
Law didn’t even mention Chris Davis, who fouled a pitch off his foot a week ago and has been sidelined ever since.
Law also neglected to mention John Mayberry Jr., who shares the league lead with three home runs (and has four walks to two strikeouts in 18 at-bats), or pitchers Matt Harrison, Danny Ray Herrera, and Kea Kometani.
When I wrote last week that “Duran homered, doubled off the top of the center field wall, singled twice, and walked, driving in two runs, scoring three times, and — interestingly — playing third base, a position he’d appeared at just one time professionally,” the note that he doubled off the wall was courtesy of Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the teams most likely to pursue free agent center fielder Torii Hunter this winter are Texas, the White Sox, the Yankees, San Francisco, Atlanta, and St. Louis.
The Rangers have built an extension on the left field wall of the Dr Pepper Youth Ballpark that resembles Boston’s Green Monster. I can’t wait for Max to play on that field one day.
If you are statistically inclined, check out Scott Lucas’s breakdown of the Rangers 2007 minor league statistics. Actually, it’s really cool stuff even if you lean more toward scouting than numbers.
Could anybody have guessed, on July 31, how wide the spectrum would be between what Eric Gagné and Kenny Lofton have done in the two and a half months since Texas traded them, and who would be on which side of that spectrum?
I learned from a friend the other day that there was a Newberg Report Bound Edition (the 2005 edition, specifically) on the shelves at Half Price Books a few weeks ago, and it happened to be a copy signed by Buck Showalter. My friend bought the book. The population of Bound Edition owners has grown by one.
We’re a couple weeks away from complete details on the 2008 Bound Edition, which will have a number of changes from the first eight editions of the book. Stay tuned.