The Astros, taking a surprisingly public approach to their managerial search, release a list of names of people they’re planning on talking to about their job opening:
The Astros revealed their list of 10 managerial
candidates and the list consists of a handful of former
skippers–including one of their own, Phil Garner. Yes, you read that
right. Phil Garner.
The full list: interim manager Dave Clark, Minor League Field
Coordinator Al Pedrique, former Brewers manager Ned Yost, Padres
hitting coach Randy Ready, former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin,
former Nationals manager Manny Acta, Garner, Red Sox bench coach Brad
Mills, Red Sox first base coach Tim Bogar and Phillies bench coach Pete
Mackanin….Clark and Pedrique will be the first of 10 candidates to be
interviewed. All candidates will be available to the media following
their respective interviews.
Phil Garner? The same Phil Garner who the Astros just fired two years ago? There aren’t a lot of players in the Astros system that are likely to excite the fans anytime soon, so don’t you think it would be somewhat important to bring in a manager that can instill a bit of hope? Retreads are one thing, but bringing in very recent retreads like Garner is the kind of thing that saps the will of a fan base.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.