The Jerod Morris Hex? Ibanez lands on disabled list

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I’d like to submit a new entry to the pantheon of sports voodoo alongside the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Madden curse: The Jerod Morris blogger hex.

Two weeks after setting off the latest mainstream-versus-blogger firestorm by freaking out over “some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement” Raul Ibanez has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Coincidence? Of course. But still.

Ibanez, who had avoided the DL since 2004, was just 5-for-27 (.185)
with 11 strikeouts since calling one of Morris’ blog entries about him
“pathetic and disgusting” and struggled to run out ground balls
recently, so the Phillies decided to shut him down for at least a
couple weeks.

John Mayberry Jr. has been called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez
after getting into three games during his first taste of the majors
last month. The 6-foot-6 son of the former two-time All-Star with the
same name, Mayberry has big-time power but has hit just .261 with a
.323 on-base percentage and 141/51 K/BB ratio in 166 games at Triple-A.

As for Ibanez, his career-best season will be put on hold as he
heads to the DL ranked second in the league in homers (22), runs (51),
RBIs (59), slugging percentage (.656), and OPS (1.027). The good news
is that he’ll have plenty of time to peruse the pathetic, disgusting
blogosphere, and I’d suggest grabbing a laptop and finding a basement
somewhere so he can maybe start a blogging hex of his own.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty

I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.

Brewers fire pitching coach Rick Kranitz

Wily Peralta, Rick Kranitz, Hernan Perez, Martin Maldonado
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Despite a change at general manager from Doug Melvin to David Stearns the Brewers quickly made it clear that they’re keeping Craig Counsell as manager, but today they fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

In fact, all of Milwaukee’s coaches except for hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar were let go, as Counsell shakes up his staff after managing the Brewers to a 61-76 record as Ron Roenicke’s replacement.

Kranitz took over as the Brewers’ pitching coach in 2011, during which time they’ve ranked 11th among NL teams in ERA.