Whitey Herzog, who managed the Cardinals to three World Series and the Royals to three AL West Division crowns, received 14 of 16 votes and will join veteran umpire Doug Harvey at the podium in Cooperstown next July. If you are a Bill James fan, you probably know a lot about Whitey – James would quote, praise, or refer to him constantly and with good reason. Herzog was a bright guy who could manage teams with power, speed, and was the Marty Schottenheimer of MLB – you start by having good defense supporting pitchers who threw strikes. Then, figure out the best way to score some runs and win the division… Doug Harvey was a well respected umpire for 31 years and certainly deserves inclusion. No pioneers or titans of business received enough votes – and Marvin Miller was dismissed, unfairly, again. [SI et al]
Hot Stove Takes…
Ivan Rodriguez signed a two-year deal worth $6 million to help mold Washington National pitchers into championship form – and back up Jesus Flores, who could learn a thing or two from the former gold glover… [ESPN]
Adam Everett resigned with the Tigers for $1.55 million next year – a $550,000 raise. Everett isn’t a championship quality player anymore. He’s a below average offensive performer and last year Detroit shortstops (as a team) were about three plays worse than the average shortstop for every 800 balls put in play. Everett used to be a glove guy, but he’s now getting a little long in the tooth. He’ll turn 33 before he shows up for spring training and he won’t be getting better.
Brad Penny is close to signing a one-year deal with St. Louis worth $7.5 million and incentives, valid upon passing a physical. I love Brad Penny – works fast, throws strikes, seems like a likeable guy. Of course, he’s dangerous in an all-you-can-eat buffet, and that worries me. No matter, I’d always want him on my team. And, it’s nice when the professionals agree with me (thanks, Keith Law). [ESPN]
The Nationals acquired reliever Brian Bruney from the Yankees for a player to be named later. To make room on the roster, Washington released Saul Rivera and his 6.10 ERA in 2009. This is an immediate improvement. [SI]
The big buzz is a potential deal between Arizona, New York, and Detroit that would send Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, Edwin Jackson to Arizona, and Max Scherzer to Detroit (among other stuff). If you want to read buzz recaps, click on the links below:
Off the transaction wire, the Tigers traded Clay Rapada to Texas. Rapada gives Texas lefty depth in the bullpen. And, Colorado released Matt Murton – a player who deserved a bit better career. He’s only 28 and can still hit some.
I Told You So…
Cliff Corcoran surmises that Seattle’s signing of Chone Figgins was to shore up the defense – but, if you read my post on this topic, you’ll get a different opinion. Figgins is more dependable and a better offensive performer, but his range is not in the same league as Adrian Beltre. [SI]
Ryne Sandberg will manage the AAA Iowa Cubs, following a season in AA Tennessee, and two seasons managing in Peoria. [SI]
Glove men Tim Foli (1950) and Ed Brinkman (1941) were born on this day – so put on the mitt and field a couple of grounders…
Others celebrating with cake, cards, or remembrances include: Jimmy Austin (1879), “The Rabbi of Swat” Mose Solomon (1900), Hank Thompson (1925), Mike Mussina (1968), Reed Johnson (1976), Vernon Wells (1978).