October 2008

Bradley a Type B.

Multiple
local reports indicate that the Elias Sports Bureau rankings are now out, and
Milton Bradley has been classified as a Type B free agent.  That means if Texas offers him arbitration and he instead signs
elsewhere, the club will get a sandwich pick between the first and second
rounds of next June’s draft as compensation. 
Had he been a Type A, Texas
would have been entitled to the same compensatory pick plus the signing club’s
first-rounder (if in the latter half of that round) or second-rounder (if in
the upper half).

 

One way to
look at this is that there should now be more teams willing to consider a
multi-year offer to Bradley (if they’re comfortable with the health risks to do
so), since Type B’s cost a team none of their own draft picks.

 

For what it’s
worth, though speculation toward the end of the season was that Bradley was going
to be right on the line between Type A and Type B classification, it turns out
he had the third-highest Type B ranking, and his formula-generated calculation was
closer to the 10th Type B slot than to the first.

 

Also, Jamey
Wright evidently narrowly missed Type B classification, which means there will be
no draft pick compensation if the Rangers offer him arbitration and he signs
with someone else. 

 

Hank
Blalock is a Type B but that’s likely irrelevant, as Texas is expected to pick up his $6.2
million option for 2009 in the next week or so. 
Ramon Vazquez and Jason Jennings are no-compensation free agents, just
like Wright, as is Eddie Guardado, so if the Rangers are inclined to bring
Guardado back, they wouldn’t forfeit a draft pick to do so.

 

2009 Bound Edition of the Newberg Report.

NRBE_FC_small.jpg

I’m now taking preorders for the 2009 Bound Edition of the Newberg Report, my tenth annual book on the Texas Rangers.  It’s approximately 300 pages commemorating the 2008 season, which launched with high hopes inspired by the acquisition of Josh Hamilton, the return to the franchise of Nolan Ryan, and the recognition of a farm system that had risen in one year from one of baseball’s worst to one of its best and was poised to start supplying the big club with the first of several waves of high-end talent.  A second straight poor April was followed by a strong middle of the season and then a disappointing finish, but underlying it all was a spectacular season by dozens of young players, both on the farm and as big league rookies, that give this organization as much promise as it’s had in many, many years.

The 2009 Bound Edition not only looks back on 2008 but also serves as a primer on what you can expect from this organization for years to come.  Nowhere can you find more information and analysis on the players that the Rangers are developing as future members of the major league team and, in some scenarios, as ammunition to trade for veterans brought in to join the core of the club.

Nearly 900 of you on this mailing list are past customers of the Bound Edition, but for those of you who are relatively new to the Newberg Report, here is what you can expect from the book:

THE FEATURES

The book picks up right where the 2008 Bound Edition left off, taking you from October 3, 2007 to October 8, 2008 and containing every report I wrote in that span.  It’s the most thorough chronicle you’ll find of the twists and turns that the 2008 season took, and of the implications of the personnel moves that highlighted it.  Not just a complete record of the Rangers’ 2008 season, the book includes a feature section comprised of more than 50 pages of new material that won’t ever appear on the website or in any e-mail deliveries.  Included in that section are rankings and analysis of more than 70 Rangers prospects, broken down by position.

The “Poised” rankings of the 10 minor league position players and 10 minor league pitchers that I’m predicting breakout years for in 2009 are back, as is the annual “40-Man Roster Conundrum” chapter, in which I look at the roster decisions facing the organization this winter plus an explanation of how the Rule 5 Draft works, and also the popular Transactions Hornbook, giving you one place to go to learn, in great detail, how baseball’s rules work, with sections on waivers, options, outright assignments, arbitration, the amateur draft, and a bunch more.  

The Bound Edition contains complete 2008 statistics for every player who appeared with the Rangers’ big league club, all six minor league affiliates, and the Dominican Summer League squad, plus full details on the Rangers’ 2008 draft and a chronological rundown of every transaction Texas made in 2008.

The forewords for this 10th anniversary volume come from Nolan Ryan and Jeff Zimmerman, both of whom were part of the story here when the Newberg Report was born more than 10 years ago.

The glossy front and back covers once again feature action shots – taken by some of the best photographers in the business – of some of the Rangers’ top prospects, perfect for autographs.  The front cover also includes photos of the players who headlined the Rangers’ farm system in each of the first nine years of the Bound Edition.  The cover design was once again masterminded by the great Marty Yawnick of Type A Design.

The book itself is full of player photos as well.

THE PRICE

As always, the 2009 Bound Edition is $25.

Because I have to front the costs, if you plan to buy copies of the book I would appreciate it if you’re able to send payment now.

If you pay for your order by November 15, I will waive the standard $2-per-book shipping charges.  Accordingly, the book will cost you only $23 if you pay by November 15, either by (1) check or money order, or (2) credit card through http://www.PayPal.com .  Since sales of the book have increased each year, it’s easier on me if I know early roughly how many to have the printer generate for the first run.  The books should be ready for delivery on or before December 10 at the latest, in time to help you not only stock your own reference shelf or coffee table but also fill Christmas and Chanukah lists for your friends and family.  

I know the $2 discount isn’t much, but I don’t have much of a margin to deal with.

As we’ve done the past several years, we’ll have a book release party, and I’m pleased to report that Jeff Zimmerman (Canada) and Derek Holland (Arizona) have committed to fly into town for the event, to sign autographs and shake hands and do a Q&A with us.  Details soon on the location, and the date (December 10 or 11, most likely).

I also have all the previous editions of the Bound Edition for sale.  The price breakdown is as follows:

2009 Bound Edition – $25 (but $23 if you pay by November 15)
2008 Bound Edition – $20
2007 Bound Edition – $15
2006 Bound Edition – $15
2005 Bound Edition – $15
2004 Bound Edition – $15
2003 Bound Edition – $15
2002 Bound Edition – $15
2001 Bound Edition – $15
1999/2000 Bound Edition – $10

SPECIALS

1. Again, if you pay by November 15, the price of the 2009 Bound Edition is reduced from $25 to $23.

2. A gift set of all ten Bound Editions is available for $125, which is a $35 discount.

ORDERING

For those who are in a position to pay now, I’d appreciate it.  You can order by credit card through PayPal (more on that in a moment) or you can send a check or money order in whatever amount your order comes to, payable to “Jamey Newberg,” at:

Jamey Newberg
Vincent & Moyé, P.C.
2001 Bryan Street, Suite 2000
Dallas, TX 75201
 
In addition to your check or money order, please make sure I have your mailing address, and specify how many of each book you want.

Ordering by credit card through PayPal is very easy.  Just go to http://www.paypal.com, select the “Send money” option, and type in gjsneaker@sbcglobal.net where it asks for the e-mail account (and again, make sure you identify exactly what years of the Bound Edition you want, so I know what to ship to you).

If PayPal is new to you, signing up is extremely user-friendly, costs you nothing, and is completely secure. Go to https://www.paypal.com/refer/pal=gjsneaker%40sbcglobal.net and follow the simple instructions.

For inventory and printing purposes, I would appreciate it if you would let me know how many copies of the books you plan to order, whether you’re sending payment to me immediately or not.

TO SUM UP

I want you to know how much I appreciate the level of support you all have given me in every phase of the Newberg Report.  Your support in the form of buying the Bound Edition is a concrete way to sustain it.  If you have questions about the book, please ask.

Again, here’s the drill:

1. Let me know what you plan to order, even if tentatively (please do this whether you are taking advantage of the early discount or instead plan to pay later on).

2. Pay by credit card at http://www.PayPal.com, sending it to the gjsneaker@sbcglobal.net account.

3. Or send payment by check or money order to:

Jamey Newberg
Vincent & Moyé, P.C.
2001 Bryan Street, Suite
2000
Dallas, TX 75201

 

Thanks again for your continued support of the Newberg Report.

Jamey Newberg
http://www.NewbergReport.com ;

 
 

Mike Maddux update.

The prolific Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports this afternoon that Ken Macha is likely to be named manager of the Brewers eventually (the league frowns upon announcements of this sort while the World Series is going on), and that he has no connection to incumbent Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux, to whom Milwaukee has not yet permitted the Rangers to talk about their own pitching coach vacancy.

Haudricourt reminds us that Maddux’s three-season stint as the AA Round Rock Express pitching coach after finishing his playing career with Houston in 2000 established a connection not only with Nolan Ryan, whose family owns and operates the Express, but also with new Rangers bench coach Jackie Moore, who was the Round Rock manager throughout Maddux’s time there.  But that’s not the most interesting part of the story.  

Haudricourt reports that Maddux’s Milwaukee contract expires Friday, which means that, in a few days, Texas won’t need the permission that Doug Melvin has refused thus far to grant and can talk to Maddux as a coaching free agent, basically.

I don’t know the nature of Macha’s relationship with Rick Peterson, but they were together in Oakland for parts of four seasons.  I suppose it could be inferred that Peterson and Maddux will be coaching pitchers for Texas and Milwaukee in 2009, even if we don’t know yet who will be where.

I suppose we’ll know soon enough.

Silly.

Ready?

Yesterday, Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis tackled a ranking of the best lefthander/righthander prospect duos in baseball in the online “Ask BA” column.  He came up with a top 10 — making it clear that he was considering only one pair per organization:

1. David Price/Wade Davis, Rays

2. Derek Holland/Neftali Feliz, Rangers

3. Brett Anderson/Trevor Cahill, Athletics

4. Brian Matusz/Chris Tillman, Orioles

5. Madison Bumgarner/Tim Alderson, Giants

6. Cole Rohrbough/Tommy Hanson, Braves

7. Ross Detwiler/Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

8. Sean West/Ryan Tucker, Marlins

9. Franklin Morales/Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies

10. Casey Crosby/Rick Porcello, Tigers

Yeah, but are you ready?

I asked Callis this afternoon how different his list might have looked had he considered more than one tandem per club.  Our exchange, paraphrased, went like this:

JDN: If Perez and Main were also considered, would they have fallen in your top 10 L/R duos?

JC: It’s funny, I was talking about that with someone else, too.  Perez and Main might have made the list, yes.  You could also say that Kiker and Beavan might make a top 15.  And I love Robbie Ross, too.

JDN: You enough of a fan of Font or Neil Ramirez or Hurley or Boscan to pair one of them up with Ross in that sort of hypothetical?

JC: I’d probably say Ramirez out of that group, obviously a lot more projection with the younger guys.  But yeah, you could say Texas could have four combos if we went 20 deep.  

JDN: Nice.

JC: Their pitching depth is pretty silly.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

Stuff.

Sometimes the agate type nudges us with a familiar name, reminding us that the train never slows down and that some players, in spite of the prospect rankings and minor league All-Star and even MVP honors, are fortunate to get that chance to jump aboard, and even more fortunate if they’re able to stay on half as long as we might have envisioned when they were having their way in the minor leagues.  In the last few days, Toronto designated outfielder Kevin Mench for assignment and the White Sox ran infielder Jason Bourgeois through waivers and outrighted his contract to AAA.

Other times the agate type quietly says a lot more.  Just a few days ago the transactions wire offered this:

Los Angeles Angels:  Purchased the contract of righthander Rafael Rodriguez from Double-A Arkansas.  Sent righthander Darren O’Day outright to AAA Salt Lake.

The interesting part is not that O’Day was outrighted after blazing through the Angels’ system to win an Opening Day spot in their bullpen in his second full pro season.  He suffered a torn labrum late in the year and is a question mark for 2009.  What caught my eye was the purchase of Rodriguez, a 24-year-old who posted a 1.86 ERA in his third run at AA hitters this year, followed by a 6.28 ERA after a late-season promotion to AAA.

There’s nothing about Rodriguez’s performance in particular that stands out.  He doesn’t have six fingers on each hand, as far as I know.  I don’t think he pitched in France or defected from Cuba.  But he was originally signed in 2001.

Why does that matter?

Because of his service time, if the Angels had waited until November to put him on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, that might have been too late.

Los Angeles learned that important lesson a year ago, when the club tried to add Warner Madrigal to the roster on November 6, nine days after the World Series had ended.  

In other words, nine days after Madrigal had earned six-year free agency rights.  

And several days before Texas opportunistically signed the converted outfielder, coming off a huge breakthrough season on the Class A mound.  

The Angels had every intention last summer to put Madrigal on the roster after the season, but by submitting the paperwork on November 6, they were asking for a procedural reassignment on a player that, as of one year ago today, they no longer controlled.

The Angels, I suspect, are the last team these days who would unwittingly fail to put a six-year-plus minor leaguer on its 40-man roster before the end of the World Series.  By adding Rodriguez to the roster on October 20 — two days before this year’s World Series even began — they made very sure that they weren’t going to lose another young reliever due to a paperwork screw-up.

Baseball America, evaluating a 2008 Rangers draft crop that added depth to what it says “may be baseball’s best farm system,” issued the following assessments yesterday:

BEST PURE HITTER: 1B Justin Smoak (1B Clark Murphy, OF Mike Bianucci, 1B/OF Jared Bolden, and OF Joey Butler also recognized)

BEST POWER HITTER: Smoak (whose “prodigious power from both sides of the plate” and Gold Glove-caliber defense trigger a Mark Teixeira comp)

FASTEST RUNNER: OF Rafael Hill

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Smoak (C Doug Hogan also recognized)

BEST FASTBALL: LHP’s Robbie Ross and Tim Murphy, and RHP’s Joe Wieland, Matt Thompson, and Justin Gutsie (with a nod to Wieland as the best bet to separate himself in this category)

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Ross’s hard slider or LHP Corey Young’s 11-to-5 curve

BEST PRO DEBUT: Wieland, Clark Murphy

BEST ATHLETE: Butler, Hill

MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: C Ben Petralli (unsigned picks RHP Jack Armstrong and OF John Ruettiger also noted)

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Smoak, Young, Tim Murphy

BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Butler, Young  

THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: “The Rangers, who went over slot to sign Smoak, Ross, Clark Murphy, Thompson and Bianucci, also made a serious run at both Armstrong and 3B Harold Martinez.”

Lots of good stuff in the feature, which is available online if you have a BA subscription.  Which you should.

Of all the arbitration-eligibles that Florida has, the three that Miami reports suggest the Marlins are shopping most aggressively are lefthander Scott Olsen, right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg, and first baseman Mike Jacobs (a low-average, .514-slugging DH-type heading into his first arbitration winter).  There’s an argument that any of those three could fit here, to varying degrees, and the Marlins need a catcher.

So stay tuned.

But also recognize that the analysis is not whether we have a catcher who can fetch what Florida is offering (and of course there are other pitchers on that club worth chasing).  It’s whether Jon Daniels chooses the right trade partner — or partners — to reallocate the Rangers’ unique depth behind the plate to improve the club’s pitching inventory.

We’ve now read in the past couple weeks, incidentally, that Boston made a trade offer for Gerald Laird last winter (Boston Globe) and for Taylor Teagarden in July (Boston Herald) and that some in baseball operations for the Red Sox covet Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Boston Globe).  

It’s going to be a fascinating Rangers winter, maybe in no case more so than in terms of the league-wide interest in the Rangers’ catchers.

A website that covers Japanese baseball reported last week that the Hanshin Tigers “are planning to aggressively pursue” outfielder Nelson Cruz this offseason.  Doubt Texas would be interested in moving Cruz at this point, especially in a cash move.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman suggests that the “Phillies, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mets, Orioles and Rangers are all seen as potential suitors” for Manny Ramirez.  

Nah.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if Scott Boras said so.

Heyman also says the Mets, Rangers, and Indians are looking at left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes, and suggests that Texas might be among the American League clubs that righthander Jake Peavy has already indicated he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause for.  

Still no word out of Milwaukee whether Mike Maddux will return as pitching coach — the Rangers (who don’t yet have Doug Melvin’s permission to interview Maddux) obviously have serious interest or else they would have named someone else pitching coach by now — and that surely won’t be settled until the Brewers name a new manager.

Kenny Rogers wants to pitch at age 44 in 2009.  He’s a free agent.

Not a whole lot of impact stuff in this report, but the general manager meetings begin in six days in Dana Point, California.  There’s going to be a lot of trade groundwork laid — if not trade activity itself — during those four-day meetings.  

That’s when it’ll be time, as a Rangers fan, to buckle up.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

Michael Young is MLB's Marvin Miller Man of the Year.

The Major League Baseball Players Association has announced that Michael Young is the winner of the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, presented to “the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.”  

Among the off-field ventures that Michael and his wife Cristina Barbosa-Young actively devote their time to is Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of pediatric cancer through innovative research, education, and treatment, while providing hope to children affected by the disease through funding and various events.

In 2005, Michael helped fund the furnishing of an outpatient physical therapy room at Children’s Medical Center, and in 2006, he began the Young Heroes Scholarship program, which annually awards cancer survivors with college scholarship funds and laptop computers.  In 2007, Michael and Cristina took 25 children on a holiday shopping spree in conjunction with the Hotel Ministry, a branch of Mission Arlington.  

Michael is the first Rangers player to win the award, which is in its 12th year and, notably, is based on the votes of his fellow Major League players.  Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols were runners-up.
 
The Rangers will recognize Michael and Cristina at the club’s Sluggers of the West Awards Dinner on Friday, January 23, at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas.  Josh Hamilton will be recognized at the event as the Rangers’ Player of the Year.

 

Another fascinating Josh Hamilton story.

With just
over two hours to go, the two prevailing bids for the autographed copies of
Josh Hamilton’s autobiography, “Beyond Belief,” are each for $600.  If you are still interested in bidding more, please
email me at jnewberg@vimolaw.com before 5:00.

 

I also want
to direct your attention to a really well-done account of Hamilton’s fascinating pre-addiction life.  Parts
of it are especially chilling, given what we know now about what he went
through not long after the four-part St.
Petersburg Times
series (three written by Anne Hull during and following his
1999 rookie season and one – eerily – written by Marc Topkin as an epilogue of
sorts – but a prologue in another way of looking at it – three days before
the infamous truck accident in which he and his parents were involved during
spring training 2001), and all of it, I suspect, will give you a greater
appreciation for the life that Michael Main and Manuel Pina and Justin Smoak
and Shane Funk and Bill Richardson and dozens of others like them live, and have
lived. 

 

Think what
you want about life in the lower minor leagues – I bet this series will change
your perspective.  It’s really, really
well crafted, and the fact that it happens to have been written about Josh Hamilton
before he’d faced any real adversity in his life obviously gives it another couple
layers of wow.

 

You can
find all four parts (which happen to also have a ton of childhood and teenaged photos
of Hamilton) at
this link:

 

http://www.sptimes.com/News/webspecials/abaseballstory/

 

But beware:
It’s going to command a good half-hour of your time, if not more.  Well worth it, in my opinion.

 

Again, two
hours to go in the bidding for the two signed books.  Thanks.

 

Jamey

 

 

Blake could return.

According to at least one local report, the Rangers will rehire Boston Red Sox vice president/media relations John Blake, who served in various roles for the Rangers from 1984 through 2004, including director of media relations, vice president of public relations, and senior vice president for communications (a title he also held for the Dallas Stars from 1999 through 2003).  While his job description is unconfirmed, the report points out that Jim Sundberg had held the position of executive vice president over public relations until his promotion two weeks to senior executive vice president, and that Blake could come in to assume a title similar to the one that Sundberg vacated.

Since leaving the Rangers in 2004, Blake has served as director of information for the World Baseball Classic; commissioner and chief operating officer of the Texas Collegiate League; chief operating officer of the Northern Professional Baseball League; vice president of communications for Ryan-Sanders Baseball, Nolan’s Ryan’s company that operates the Round Rock Express and Corpus Christi Hooks; and vice president/media relations for the Red Sox, a position he has held for the last three years.

You’ve never seen a more detailed, nugget-packed interview with Jon Daniels than the one that Mike Hindman of the Dallas Morning News just posted at http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/10/q-a-with-rangers-gm-jon-daniels.html.

Josh Hamilton, who made public appearances the last two days to talk about his book, “Beyond Belief,” will appear on the Ticket (1310 AM or http://www.theticket.com/listen.htm) at 8:50 this morning.

Bidding for the two autographed copies of Hamilton’s book closes at 5 p.m. today.  Right now we have a $575 bid and two $500 bids, so I’m hoping someone will at least come in with a higher bid than $500 so we can break that deadlock for the second book.

One hundred percent of the two winning bids will go to Triple Play Ministry, which Josh and his wife Katie are starting up this off-season.

To bid, just email me with an amount.  You can go here to monitor the status of the bidding all day.  I’ll post the top two bids (anonymously — just amounts, not names) every time they change.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

Coaching staff decisions imminent.

With the interview stage apparently complete, the Rangers are reportedly close to making a decision between Jackie Moore and John McLaren to fill the bench coach position, and between Perry Hill and the organization’s minor league field coordinator, Dave Anderson, to serve as infield instructor.  If Hill prevails, he would presumably coach first base, with Gary Pettis sliding over to third; if Anderson gets the job, he would coach third.

Andy Hawkins is still considered the frontrunner for bullpen coach, while pitching coach, the most important of the vacancies, remains the least predictable.  Rick Peterson and Dave Wallace have interviewed, and there continues to be speculation that Texas is interested in talking to Milwaukee pitching coach Mike Maddux.  

The Brewers would like to bring Maddux back but haven’t hired a manager, and there could be managerial candidates who would have pitching coach sidekicks they’d want to bring with them.  The club has already decided that hitting coach Jim Skaalen won’t return in 2009, but there’s no clarity yet on Maddux.

Interestingly — and surprisingly — Buck Showalter’s name has been mentioned as a Brewers possibility (though not as prominently as Willie Randolph, Ken Macha, or Bob Brenly’s).  The two pitching coaches Showalter had in Texas — Orel Hershiser and Mark Connor — are not employed by any organization at the moment.

It may be that the uncertainty of Maddux’s situation will linger too long for Jon Daniels, who has said he’d like to have Ron Washington’s staff in place this week.

Once the coaching staff is set, presumably the roster moves back to the front burner.  Sean McAdam wrote this in yesterday’s Boston Herald: “Allard Baird, a special assistant to [Red Sox general manager Theo] Epstein, spent a portion of this season scouting potential replacements for [catcher Jason] Varitek and found little.  The Sox have zeroed in on Texas because they have two young catchers with potential in Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  The Sox, in fact, made an offer for Teagarden at the trade deadline, only to have it rejected.”

Sure is nice to be taking calls rather than having to make them.

It’s a fascinating scenario.  Theoretically, you could line up four Texas catchers on one side (Teagarden, Saltalamacchia, Gerald Laird, Max Ramirez) and four Boston pitchers on the other (Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard) — with Ramirez and Bard fairly clearly on a slightly lower tier than the others — and imagine a number of different scenarios, some of which will favor Texas slightly and others giving Boston an edge.  Even if this is the direction that Daniels and Epstein want to go — that is, zeroing in on each other as the preferred trade partner to accomplish what they want — there’s still one heck of a negotiation ahead as the two of them try to get their guy without having to give up whomever they consider closest to untouchable.

The bad news is that there are a number of teams with catching depth to trade.  The good news is that there are several teams hunting for a catcher.  The better news is that of the teams with catchers to trade, nobody has better ones right now than Texas.

Outfielder Julio Borbon (.229/.357/.286, seven walks and 10 strikeouts in 35 at-bats, two stolen bases in three tries) and righthander John Bannister (0-1, 2.70, six hits and five walks in 6.2 innings, six strikeouts) were chosen to play in Friday’s Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game.  Rosters were chosen based on input from scouting and minor league directors from every organization, and not every team was awarded multiple selections — there’s a gathering buzz about how well the 24-year-old (and Rule 5-eligible) Bannister is throwing.  

Seattle never asked for permission to interview John Hart for its general manager vacancy, according to at least one story out of Washington.  The finalists for the job are reportedly Diamondbacks director of player personnel Jerry Dipoto, Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng, Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava, and Brewers special assistant to the general manager Jack Zduriencik.  

The frontrunner appears to be DiPoto, whom Texas was interested in offering a front office position to three winters ago after he’d transitioned from his post as Colorado’s director of professional scouting to a role in the club’s television booth.  DiPoto instead went to Arizona to become its director of professional scouting, reuniting with general manager Josh Byrnes, with whom he’d worked in both Boston and Colorado.  

Chris Davis finished 11th in Baseball America’s ranking of baseball’s top 20 rookies in 2008.  No other Rangers earned mention.

Rick Knapp, whom Detroit just hired to be the Tigers’ new pitching coach, was a minor league pitching coach for Texas in the mid-’90s.  

The White Sox outrighted utility man Jason Bourgeois.  

Bidding for the two autographed copies of Josh Hamilton’s book, “Beyond Belief,” closes at 5 p.m. tomorrow.  The leading bids at the moment are $500 and $300.

 

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

Autographed Josh Hamilton books.

As you all know, the publishers of Josh’s new autobiography, “Beyond
Belief,” have given me two extra books to give to the Newberg Report
community, and we decided a week ago to put the books up for bidding,
with 100% of the two winning bids going to Josh’s charitable entity.

Those two books are now autographed by Josh himself.

The bidding is hereby reopened, and the two bids to beat, at the moment, are $500 and $300.

We will close the bidding at 5 p.m. this Thursday (Oct. 23).

Simply email your bid(s) to me between now and then, at gjsneaker@sbcglobal.net.

Thanks.

Jamey

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers