* Bobby Cox won his 2,000th game as Braves manager
last night, becoming just the fourth manager in baseball history to
reach 2,000 wins with one team. Connie Mack of the A’s, John McGraw of
the Giants, and Walter Alston of the Dodgers are the other three.
Cox has 2,355 wins overall, as he managed the Blue Jays from
1982-1985 and won Manager of the Year honors in his final season with
Toronto. He’s had a winning record in 20 of his 27 seasons as manager
and perhaps most impressively is the all-time leader in manager
ejections with 143.
* Your daily A-Rod and K-Hud update: According to the New York Post,
Alex Rodriguez and Kate Hudson attended Jose Molina’s bachelor party
Sunday night along with CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, and Carl Crawford.
* Speaking of Rivera, he’s officially been named judge of the Yankees’ kangaroo court after being presented with a robe and gavel yesterday.
* Released by the Mets during spring training, Freddy Garcia has signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox.
Garcia is friends with manager Ozzie Guillen and pitched for Chicago
from 2004-2006, winning the clinching game of the World Series in 2005.
* Longtime scout Mike Berger has been hired as the Diamondbacks’ new farm director after A.J. Hinch moved from that role to manager last month. Arizona picks back-to-back at 16th and 17th in tonight’s draft.
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.
Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:
“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’
Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.
I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.
The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.
Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.
Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:
It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”
At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.
I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .