Tag:Jack McKeon
Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:50 pm

Bochy upset at Hurdle, McKeon criticism

McCutchenBy Evan Brunell

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle says Bruce Bochy, the manager for the NL All-Star team thanks to winning the World Series with the Giants last season, "whiffed" on not selecting Andrew McCutchen (pictured) to the team.

New Marlins skipper Jack McKeon also spoke out, wondering how Bochy could have justified taking Tim Lincecum with a 6-7 record. (Hint to Jack: His ERA is 3.14, and he's pitched better than that figure.)

Understandably, Bochy is a bit bruised from being called out.

“What’s bothered me are some comments made from other managers because now you start getting a little personal and [you] disparage other players,’’ Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News. “I don’t think that’s what the game is about.”

Bochy also added that he never heard from Hurdle or McKeon before selecting the team, but other managers called to lobby for their players. "The two that are complaining I’ve known for 25 years," Bochy said. "I didn’t hear from them. Sure, that bothers me.”

The Giants skipper, who opted to take Mets right-fielder Carlos Beltran with his "at-large" pick instead of McCutchen, called the Pirates star a "great young player," but added that the 24-year-old's recent hitting streak came too late. McCutchen ended April with a .219/.330/.417 line, but his OPS has gone up in each month since. He's currently hitting .291/.390/.494 with 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases, absolutely worthy of selection.

“I could go to every team and there’s a guy who didn’t make it and has the numbers to be there,’’ Bochy said. “You don’t want to snub anybody.”

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: July 4, 2011 12:58 pm

Pepper: Head indoors during All-Star Weekend

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's not that I'm not looking forward to heading to Phoenix on Saturday; it's just that, well, it's going to be really, really hot and that doesn't sound like fun.

The average temperature in Phoenix on July 12? 107. I don't care how dry that heat is, it's still hot.

Phoenix has wanted to host an All-Star Game for years, but with the All-Star Game comes more than just nine innings of baseball. There's the Futures Game, a celebrity softball game, the Home Run Derby, FanFest and an influx of people, all walking around the area around the ballpark. Anyone outside is going to be hot.

The Diamondbacks are planning as many things indoors as they can, according to this Arizona Republic article. The team may open the roof for a possible flyover during the national anthem, but that would take place during the hottest part of the day.

Also, the usual parade will be about two blocks and players have been told not to wear suits and ties.

Team president Derrick Hall tells the newspaper, "I think everyone is going to be shocked how comfortable it's going to be."

I hope so. Then I can get ready for Kansas City next July -- and that could be even worse, just ask Ichiro (language NSFW).

CLOSER QUESTION: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire stood behind closer Matt Capps after pulling him Sunday, but Capps may not be the closer for long. He has blown six saves in 19 chances, and Joe Nathan is back and healthy. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

FREAK OR FISH?: Marlins manager Jack McKeon questioned Bruce Bochy's selection of Tim Lincecum for the All-Star team. "He's a good pitcher, don't get me wrong," McKeon told reporters, including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. "But do we reward for what you're doing now or do we reward for what you've done in the past."

DERBY LOBBYING: Not only are two captains picking the sides for this year's Home Run Derby, they can pick players who aren't in the All-Star Game to participate. Here's two non-All-Stars I'd love to see. Bob Young of the Arizona Republic suggests Ichiro Suzuki, which may sound odd, but Suzuki's batting practice displays are the stuff of legend, and what is the Derby but glorified batting practice? I'd give Suzuki a better shot than most at winning the deal. While Suzuki doesn't look like a guy who would be a Home Run Derby favorite, the Marlins' Mike Stanton does. Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez wants to see his teammate in the derby, and so do I. [Palm Beach Post]

NO REHAB FOR PUJOLS: Albert Pujols "doesn't need" a rehab assignment before he returns to the Cardinals, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday.

RECORD DEAL: The Rangers signed Dominican outfielder Nomar Mazara with what is believed to be a record $5 million signing bonus. The 6-foot-3, 16-year-old left-handed outfielder is said to have the most raw power in Latin America. [Baseball America]

SELLOUT RECORD: Saturday the Dayton Dragons, the Reds' Class A team in the Midwest League, recorded their 814th sellout in a row, tying the all-time professional sports record set by the Portland Trail Blazers. The team expects to break the record July 9.

While the Dayton Daily News has the news, the New York Times takes a look at just why the Dragons have been so successful.

HISTORICALLY BAD: As bad as the Padres' offense has been this season, it's not as bad as the Mariners' last season -- so there's that. Otherwise, the outlook is bleak for San DIego bats. [North County Times]

STEREOTYPES DISPUTED: Former Cubs and current White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone says the stereotypes of Cubs fans and White Sox aren't exactly true. Cubs fans are usually believed to be more interested in being at Wrigley Field than what's going on at Wrigley Field. The stereotype of White Sox fans is best displayed by the buffoons who get liquored up and run on the field to attack either the umpire or the opposing team's first base coach. [Chicago Tribune]

VLAD'S BATS HEATING UP: Vladimir Guerrero isn't producing at the plate, but his bats are. Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is crushing with Guerrero's bats, hitting .436 in his last 21 games since switching to Guerrero's heavier bats. [Baltimore Sun]

PADRES DRAFT COULD BE GREAT: Well, the Padres' draft could be a great one if the team spends the money to sign the players it drafted. The Royals stopped worrying about "signability," and David Glass started paying the going rate for drafted players. That's how the Royals built the best farm system in the majors. If the Padres follow suit, it could certainly pay off in the end. [InsideThePadres]

HOSMER USED TO OVERCOMING: Check out this fantastic feature by my friend Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star on Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and his family. Hosmer's dad was a firefighter and his mother a nurse who immigrated from Cuba.

RACIAL BIAS BY UMPS: A study recently published in the American Economic Review shows a small difference in called strikes when the umpire and the pitcher are the same race. But the bias disappeared in games with computer monitoring, which is now standard across MLB. (H/T to BaseballMusings.com

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 10:31 am

Pepper: Is the trade deadline too soon?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Are the Nationals headed in the right direction with Davey Johnson? MLB.com's Tom Bororstein joins Lauren Shihadi to discuss the Nationals, as well as the upcoming Reds-Rays series, the Indians-Diamondbacks and more.

PUSH IT BACK: In a month, we here at Eye On Baseball will be churning out rumors and speculation left and right -- who has interest in whom, which team is a buyer and which is a seller and what backup second baseman has some trade value. It's part of the baseball calendar, the last weekend of July. But is that too early?

Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune says it is, and I'm not sure he's wrong.

The nonwaiver trade deadline is at the two-thirds mark of the season, and that may be too soon for teams to decide just exactly what their chances are to make the best decision about folding or going all in on a postseason run.

The best reason to change it is that it forces too many teams -- especially those without a high payroll flexibility -- to give up too soon. Who wants to pay to see 25 games or so to see a team that has given up hope? Push the trade deadline back and lie to us a little longer, we like that.

NEW YORK TRADE TIME?: Could this be the year the Mets and Yankees make a big trade with each other? The two teams have only made nine trades with each other in their history. It's unlikely Jose Reyes will go across town, but Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak could help the Yankees. [Wall Street Journal]

STRETCHING PINEDA: While nobody gave it any consideration when Michael Pineda broke the Mariners' camp in the rotation, it's now going to become an issue -- will the Mariners allow the rookie starter to add innings to his arm if the Mariners stick in the American League West race?

Seattle manager Eric Wedge says the team has a plan, not just for Pineda but the team's other pitchers as well, to try to limit innings, but still have his starters ready for September. The biggest thing is not limiting innings, but his game-to-game pitch count, Wedge said. [Seattle Times]

BARNEY SAYS IT GETS BETTER: Cubs rookie Darwin Barney not only participated in the "It Gets Better" project aimed at gay teens, but also said he was "honored" to ask. A cool deal for both Barney and an ever better deal for the campaign started by Cubs fan Dan Savage. The Giants have also shot a spot for the project. [Chicago Tribune]

HARANG STILL OUT: Padres starter Aaron Harang is unlikely to return from a stress fracture in his right foot until after the All-Star break. Harang leads the Padres' staff with a 7-2 record and 3.71 ERA. He's been on the DL since June 13. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

SORIA BACK: Since being reinstated as the Royals' closer, Joakim Soria hasn't allowed a run in 10 games (12 innings). He's only allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 12 and notching six saves. [Kansas City Star]

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!: Who is the streakiest team in baseball? Beyondtheboxscore.com has done the math and it's the Boston Red Sox. The least streaky? Well, that would be the consistently bad Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, amazingly enough, haven't won three games in a row all season.

JENKS BACK SOON: Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks is expected to join the team Monday in Philadelphia and could be activated on Tuesday. [Boston Herald]

Marlins STILL WOOING BIG NAMES: Nobody expects Jack McKeon to manager the Marlins next season. Florida hired its interim manager after last season and look at how that turned out. Apparently owner Jeffrey Loria wants a big-name manager, and that's likely Bobby Valentine or Ozzie Guillen. [Palm Beach Post]

BYRD'S FACEMASK: Bringing flashbacks of Terry Steinbach, Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd will wear a helmet with extra protection in his rehab start at Triple-A Iowa. Byrd was hit in the face last month and suffered facial fractures. [Chicago Tribune]

FINDING NIMMO: The Mets made Brandon Nimmo the first-ever first-round draft pick from the state of Wyoming. Wyoming hasn't had a first-rounder before because of its combination of low population and harsh climate. Nimmo's dad, Ron, has helped on both causes, raising his sons there and building a barn where they could hone their baseball skills year-round. [New York Post]

CHANGEUP PITCHES: The Brewers want right-hander Yovani Gallardo to throw more changeups. Gallardo is 9-4 with a 3.92 ERA this season, but is throwing the changeup just 1.6 percent of the time and none in his last two starts. The Brewers believe the pitch could help him lower his pitch counts and go deeper into games. [MLB.com]

HANLEY TO STAY AT CLEANUP: The Marlins new regime is going to continue using shortstop Hanley Ramirez as the team's cleanup hitter. Ramirez was hitting .200/.298/.295 overall when he was put in the fourth spot by new manager Jack McKeon and in five games in that spot, he's hitting .400/.429/.450 with four RBI, raising his overall line to .218/.309/.309. [Palm Beach Post]

SMALL GESTURE, BIG DEAL: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes a really neat tale of Curt Schilling and a World War II veteran who recently passed away.

ROSE BRINGS 'EM IN: There's apparently not a whole lot going on in the greater Bristol area of Virginia and Tennessee, because Pete Rose is bringing in the fans. No, not the Hit King, but Pete Rose Jr., manager of the Bristol White Sox of the short-season Class A Appalachian League. Still, it's cool Rose is chasing his dream. If there's one thing when you look at his career path, he may not have his father's talent, but he does have his drive. [Bristol Herald Courier]

THIS IS WRONG: That's it. Just wrong. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 6:37 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 9:04 am

Ramirez says he did not know about team meeting

By Evan Brunell

RamirezHanley Ramirez was benched Monday in Jack McKeon's return to managing for not running hard enough during the game Sunday. But it didn't help matters that Ramirez missed a team meeting at 3:30 p.m. Monnday. The “stretch is at 4:30 and I was there before 4:30 so I wasn’t late," Ramirez told the Palm Beach Post. “Some guys come in early, they come in at 3. I come in at 3:30 every day,” he said.

But one source inside the organization refuted that, saying that Ramirez was the only player not present when the team met, and that all players knew about the meeting.

Ramirez added that he's already talked to McKeon about his struggles this season, as the 2006 Rookie of the Year is hitting just .200/.298/.295 on the year in 229 plate appearances.

“Obviously, he knows what kind of player I am," the shorstop said. "I haven’t shown it this year. He believes in me and I believe in myself that I should be hitting third or fourth all year long but things haven’t gone the way they’re supposed to go and everybody’s been waiting. But we’re still fighting out there on the field.”

Meanwhile, Florida has lost 11 straight and is 2-21 in its last 23 games.

“We just need one game. That’s what we need," Ramirez said. "We just need that inspiration and that motivation. That’s like hitting. You just need one click and go from there. So we just need one game and I think we’re going to go for there.”

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 6:25 pm

McKeon's first move: bench Hanley

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hanley RamirezJack McKeon is making a mark in his first game as the Marlins' interim manager, benching Hanley Ramirez for tonight's game against the Angels.

Ramirez was late to the clubhouse on the new boss' first day (according to Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post), but it was because of Ramirez's play on Sunday that the new manager benched the team's shortstop. McKeon told reporters he didn't like the way Ramirez was running in Sunday's game.

Ramirez was 0 for 3 on Sunday and is now hitting .201/.300/.296. 

Ramirez spoke out in favor of former manager Edwin Rodriguez in the last couple of days, I'm not expecting anything like that soon from him in favor of McKeon.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:50 pm

On Deck: Jack McKeon's back

On Deck

By Evan Brunell

MarlinsMCKEON'S RETURN: The Marlins will have their new skipper taking over tonight, as 80-year-old Jack McKeon will take the ropes as manager for the first time since 2005. McKeon is the third manager of the team in 2011 and fifth in two years as Edwin Rodriguez, who replaced Fredi Gonzalez last season, resigned before Sunday's game. After the bench coach managed Sunday, McKeon took over on an interim basis. At 7:10 p.m. ET, McKeon will become the second-oldest manager behind Connie Mack in baseball history and will host the Angels as the Marlins look to stop their losing streak, now at 10 straight and with 20 losses in their last 22 games. Jered Weaver takes on Anibal Sanchez in a nice pitching matchup. Angels vs. Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

MortonPUMPKIN TIME? Charlie Morton has been a revelation at 27 for the Pirates as he's adopted Roy Halladay's pitching style. Morton continues to impress with a 3.21 ERA. But his last two starts haven't been that great, and his 46 strikeouts and 34 walks aren't exactly impressive. Morton has yet to face an AL team on the year and, while the Orioles aren't the cream of the crop, will present a nice test for the righty as the Pirates look to get back to .500 after a weekend sweep by the Indians. He'll duel Jake Arrieta, who has eight wins despite a 4.45 ERA. Morton has seven. Orioles vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

RomeroHudsonPITCHING DUEL: A nice matchup is in store for the 1992 World Series contestants, as Toronto heads to Atlanta with Ricky Romero and his 3.01 ERA ready to do battle. Romero tied a career high in his last start with 12 strikeouts over eight innings and seems to be developing into a feared left-handed starter right before our eyes. Going up against him is seasoned veteran Tim Hudson, looking to crack the 4.00-ERA barrier as he is eight points over. The Braves have lost six of their last nine at home, so there's a desperation to turn around their fortunes. Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar will be back in town for the first time since being traded to Toronto last season. Blue Jays vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Looking back at McKeon's first managerial job

Jack McKeon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With Jack McKeon returning to manage the Marlins, plenty of people are trying to put the age of the 80-year-old McKeon in its proper perspective.

Here's my attempt, looking back at the first team McKeon managed, the 1973 Kansas City Royals. That was the first year of what was then called Royals Stadium and is now called Kauffman Stadium. The structure is the sixth-oldest stadium still in use as home to a Major League team (and third-oldest outside the state of California).

On May 29, McKeon managed against Baltimore's Earl Weaver for the first time in his big-league career. Weaver was in his sixth season with the Orioles and already had a World Series title and three pennants. Weaver, who has been retired for 25 years, is just three months older than McKeon.

Baseball's other managers in 1973 were Ralph Houk, Eddie Kasko, Billy Martin, Del Crandall, Ken Aspromonte, Dick Williams, Frank Quilici, Bobby Winkles, Chuck Tanner, Whitey Herzog, Yogi Berra, Red Schoendienst, Bill Virdon, Gene Mauch, Whitey Lockman, Danny Ozark, Sparky Anderson, Walter Alston, Charlie Fox, Eddie Matthews, Don Zimmer and Leo Durocher. Yes, Walter Alston, Ralph Houk and Leo Durocher. Keep in mind, McKeon was 42 then, young to be sure, but still three years older than Anderson and a year older than Herzog.

McKeon's first game as a big-league manager came on April 6, 1973 -- that same day Tony La Russa played in his final big-league game. La Russa has now managed 5,008 games, the second-most in history.

The '73 Royals had 24-year-old John Mayberry playing first, leading the team with 26 home runs (tied with Amos Otis) and 100 RBI. As the Marlins manager, he may face John Mayberry Jr., a 27-year-old currently on the Phillies' Triple-A team who has played in 45 games with the big league team this year.

Hal McRae was in his first year with the Royals and would go on to be one of the team's iconic players. His son, Brian, wrapped up a 10-year big league career 12 years ago.

Paul Splittorff was 26 and won 20 games for McKeon in 1973. Last month Splittorff, who played 15 seasons in the big leagues and had a long career as an announcer, passed away at the age of 64.

Lou Piniella hit .250 with nine homers as the Royals' everyday left fielder in his last season in Kansas City and would go on to play 11 more years with the Yankees. After that, Piniella would manage 23 more years before retiring last season.

Gene Garber, who went on to pitch until he was 40, was just 25 years old and entered the 1973 season without a victory or a save, finishing his first season under McKeon 9-9 with 11 saves with a 4.24 ERA. He finished his career with 218 saves (seventh-most when he retired), appearing in 931 games. His 931 appearances were fifth-most in baseball history when he retired.

A 24-year-old Buck Martinez played 14 games for the Royals in 1973 and would play 13 more seasons. He also went on to manage, but hasn't done that for nine years, and is serving now as the Blue Jays' TV color man.

And then there's two rookies who debuted for the Royals in 1973 -- George Brett and Frank White. Those two now have statues at Kauffman Stadium and are the only Royals players to have their numbers retired. Brett was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 11:01 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 11:17 am

Jack McKeon to be Marlins interim manager

By Matt Snyder

Earlier Sunday, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported 80-year-old Jack McKeon might be named the Marlins interim manager, in the wake of Edwin Rodriguez's resignation Sunday morning. Knobler has now learned that McKeon will indeed take over, beginning Monday.

McKeon becomes the second-oldest manager in major-league history, as the legendary Connie Mack was the A's skipper in 1950 at age 87.

The Marlins have lost 10 consecutive games and are a dreadful 1-18 in June, but McKeon's turned teams around before. In fact, he took over the 2003 Marlins after a 16-22 start and went 75-49 the rest of the way, then going on to win the World Series.

McKeon first managed all the way back in 1973 and last managed in 2005. His career record is 1,011-940. He's a two-time NL Manager of the Year, though he's never won a division.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com