Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that longtime Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away this morning at his home in New York. He was 99.
No matter your team affiliation, it’s easy to recognize greatness. And Sheppard was great, in every sense of the word. A great person, a great personality, and, boy, what a voice. As Peter Gammons notes, Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski once said:
“You’re not in the big leagues until Bob Sheppard announces your name.”
Sheppard officially retired from his post as the Yanks’ PA announcer in 2007, but his voice still resonates through the new Yankee Stadium and on the YES Network’s broadcasts. In fact, shortstop Derek Jeter is still introduced by a voice recording of Sheppard to this day. Sheppard took part in over 4,500 major league games in his 56-year career and Yankees legend Reggie Jackson famously dubbed him “The Voice of God.”
Sheppard will forever remain a part of the Yankees’ history and steps have been taken to maintain his legend far into the future. This tribute video, run on “Bob Sheppard Day” in May of 2000, basically sums up the way he was embraced by athletes, managers and fans alike:
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.