Jim Leyland will be going for the 1,500th win of his managerial career tonight when his Tigers take on the A’s in Oakland.
He’ll be the 19th manager in MLB history to reach 1,500 victories, joining Tony La Russa of the Cardinals as the only active managers in the club.
Leyland has 851 wins with the Pirates, 430 with the Tigers, 146 with the Marlins, and 72 with the Rockies.
His overall record is 1,499-1525, which works out to a .496 winning percentage that would make him just the fourth manager with 1,500 wins and a losing record alongside Connie Mack, Bucky Harris, and Gene Mauch.
Of course, the Tigers are good enough to bring his career mark above .500 by the end of the season. And if they do get a victory in Oakland tonight I hope someone buys him a whole carton of smokes to celebrate.
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.