Dennis Gilbert wants to run it all in Texas; Nolan Ryan wants no part of it

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It’s being reported that Rangers owner Tom Hicks has had a falling out
with Dennis Gilbert, the guy who, just two days ago, was called the
front runner to take over the team.  This is good news, reports Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, because if Gilbert had come on board, Nolan Ryan was going to resign as team president:

Nolan’s problem was not with Hicks. But if Gilbert takes over — and
even without Hicks as his partner, he will go it alone — Gilbert would
be in charge of the team’s entire operation, business and baseball . .
. Those close to Gilbert say his ultimate goal would be a combined team
president-general manager situation. Total control of all things
baseball has been his dream.

If Gilbert is truly fighting with Hicks now it’s a good bet that Hicks
won’t sell to him, but dear God, Rangers fans have to hope that
Gilbert’s bid doesn’t otherwise get any traction, say, through a forced
sale over Hicks’ objections. Not just because it would mean the end of
the well-loved Nolan Ryan’s career with the team, but because Dennis
Gilbert calling all the shots would be the short road to hell for the
Rangers.

If history shows us anything, it shows us that when owners take an
active role in the actual day-to-day baseball decisions, bad things
happen.  The Yankees spring to mind. Yes, they won despite
Steinbrenner’s meddling in the Bronx Zoo era, but it’s no accident that
they didn’t start to rebuild the dynasty until Steinbrenner was
suspended for a year and actual baseball minds took over.  Ask any
Orioles fan how life was back when Peter Angelos was more active on a
day-to-day basis.

Just because you’ve figured out how to make a lot of money doesn’t mean
you know how to run a baseball team.  Based on Gilbert’s ridiculous
claim that he invented free agency
, you can imagine that he has no
shortage of ego. That, combined with no one to call him on any bad
decisions would be a recipe for disaster for Texas.

Pirates looking for outside outfield help

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.

Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.

Matt Barnes ejected after throwing at Manny Machado’s head

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On Friday, tension between the Orioles and Red Sox rose when Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia sliding into second base. Although the umpires found no fault with Machado’s slide, third base coach Brian Butterfield was later ejected, still feeling like Machado wronged the Red Sox. Pedroia exited the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. He’ll undergo an MRI for his left knee and ankle in Boston on Monday.

For what it’s worth, Pedroia didn’t seem to feel any bitterness towards Machado for his slide. As MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel reported, Pedroia said, “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a … rule. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork.”

Tempers flared between the Red Sox and Orioles again on Sunday. In the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and one out with the Red Sox leading 6-0, reliever Matt Barnes threw a first-pitch fastball up-and-in to Machado. The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so it counted as a foul ball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Barnes and the Red Sox brought in Joe Kelly. Machado doubled on the first pitch Kelly threw to put the Orioles on the board, but the Orioles ultimately lost 6-2.

MASN’s broadcast later showed Pedroia talking to Machado, seemingly clarifying that Barnes acted of his own volition without encouragement from Pedroia. “You know that,” Pedroia appeared to say. “It wasn’t me. It’s them.”

Update: Pedroia even apologized to Machado and the Orioles, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will likely look into Sunday’s incident. He could fine and/or suspend Barnes.

The Orioles and Red Sox meet again in Boston for a four-game series May 1-4. It will be interesting to see if the tension still remains then.