What’s Happening in Baseball Today
October 30, 2020: The First Pitch
Proving that it’s never too old to manage—just ask the ghost of Connie Mack—Tony La Russa is hired on as the new manager of the Chicago White Sox, 41 years after he was hired the first time by the Pale Hose. The 76-year-old La Russa, retired for nine years and already in the Hall of Fame, previously piloted the White Sox from 1979-86, winning one AL West title in 1983 with the “Winning Ugly” roster. The 2021 season will be La Russa’s 34th year as manager, breaking a second-place tie with John McGraw for the most years piloting a major league team; he needs just 38 wins to pass McGraw for second on that all-time list. The aforementioned Mack is far ahead of all managers in terms of service, wins—and losses.
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, there aren’t too many people in the White Sox’ front office who are happy with La Russa’s return, skeptical that he’ll be able to adapt to the more analytically driven state of the game and the players who drive that process. Passan says: “This was a (White Sox owner) Jerry Reinsdorf decision. Simple as that.”
Two veteran players who’ve played their entire major league career with one team will likely now have to find a second. Milwaukee will not pick up its $15 million, 2021 option on Ryan Braun, who over 14 years emerged as the Brewers’ all-time home run leader, 2012 NL MVP and notorious Biogenesis patient. Meanwhile in Yankeeland, New York passed on its $10 million option to keep 13-year Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner, who’s third on the all-time franchise list with 270 steals.
It Was Whatever-Something Years Ago Today
2013: The Red Sox win their third world championship in 10 years—and this one’s emotional, following on the heels of an April terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon that traumatized the city of Boston. The 6-1 victory at Fenway Park over the Cardinals finishes the series in six games.
2019: In their 51st year of operation, the Washington Nationals—who began business as the Montreal Expos—win it all for the very first time, scoring all six of their runs in the final three innings to overcome an early 2-0 deficit and defeat the Astros at Houston in Game Seven, 6-2. All seven games of the World Series were won by the road team, something that had never happened before.
Shameless Link of the Day
Where is Ryan Braun on the Brewers’ all-time list of top hitters? Well, find out here.
You Say It’s Your Birthday
Current free agent Joe Panik is 30; Marco Scutaro, who preceded Panik at second base for the Giants, is 45; former slugger Danny Tartabull is 58; 109-game winner Mark Portugal is 58; 1970s speedster/outfielder Mickey Rivers is 72; Jim Perry, for a short while the better known brother between himself and Hall of Famer Gaylord, is 85. Born on this date is 1950s bopper Joe Adcock (1927), last NL .400 hitter Bill Terry (1898), early Deadball Era power source Buck Freeman (1871) and hitter supreme/Niagara Falls victim Ed Delahanty (1867).
Welcome to the New This Great Game
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