* Despite all the Cubs’ problems, yesterday’s ejection
was amazingly Lou Piniella’s first of the season. In fact, it was his
first time being tossed since July of last year. Milton Bradley would
probably disagree, but perhaps Sweet Lou is mellowing in his mid-60s?
* With his DUI manslaughter trial still two months away, Jim Leyritz was arrested this morning and charged with domestic battery against his ex-wife.
* Blake Hurtik of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells the amusing story of Jason Grilli and “The Hammer,” although it still can’t compare to the Adam Carolla version.
* Perhaps realizing that he’s a career .270/.312/.377 hitter making $7.25 million, Jack Wilson backtracked from his criticism of Pirates management following the team’s latest trade.
* Canadian-born Jason Bay was sworn in as an American citizen this morning.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.