The Orioles went to the movies


Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles reported to the spring training complex last night but, instead of the expected team meeting, Buck Showalter loaded them on buses, took them to a movie theater and showed them a movie of motivational Orioles highlights including great plays and bench-clearing brawls and stuff. Britt Ghiroli tweets that the movie “went over very well.”  She says that players said that “they were ready to play a game right then and there.”

I don’t know how effective this sort of thing is. But there’s no denying that it will be a better motivator than that time Dave Trembley took everyone to see “The Other Boleyn Girl” before spring training in 2008.  Word on the street at the time was that the implausible juxtaposition of historical drama and exploitive girl-fights between Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson led directly to Radhames Liz sever control problems.  True story.

Miguel Cabrera, Dee Gordon win AL and NL batting titles, respectively

Miguel Cabrera
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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.

Report: Angels to announce Billy Eppler as new GM on Monday

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.

Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.

The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.