Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams: 1929-2011

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Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who led the Oakland A’s to two of their three 1970s World Series championships and led the 1967 Red Sox and 1984 Padres to pennants, died of a brain aneurysm at his home in Las Vegas today. He was 82.

In 21 years of managing, Williams won 1571 games to 1451 losses.  In addition to his pennant-winning teams he managed the California Angels, the Montreal Expos and the Seattle Mariners. He was fired from his last big league job 56 games into the 1988 season.

His signature as a manager? Turning losers into winners.  He was at the helm for quick turnarounds in Boston, Oakland, Montreal and San Diego. He was a versatile manager, winning with different kinds of teams and different kinds of rosters.

He was a colorful manager, who had a good bit of confidence in himself and would, on a number of occasions, clash with upper management, most notably Charlie Finely in Oakland.  Despite that, he wears an A’s cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

An extremely thorough biography of Williams can be read here.

Farewell, skip.

Autopsy report reveals morphine, Ambien in Roy Halladay’s system

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Traces of morphine, amphetamine, Prozac and Ambien were found in Roy Halladay’s system at the time of his death, according to the autopsy findings Zachary T. Sampson of the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. The former Phillies and Blue Jays ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner was killed in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico last November. While the exact cause of the incident has not yet been determined, it was a combination of blunt force trauma and drowning that resulted in the 40-year-old’s death.

Further details from the NY Daily News revealed that Halladay sustained a fractured leg and a “subdural hemorrhage, multiple rib fractures, and lung, liver and spleen injuries” during the crash. As for the drugs present in his system, the autopsy report suggests that the presence of morphine could be linked to heroin use, though there’s no clear evidence that he did so.

The toxicology results also determined that Halladay had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.01. A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit for operating a car, but current FAA regulations prohibit any alcohol consumption for eight hours before operating aircraft. Halladay was both the pilot and sole passenger aboard the plane when it crashed.

Previous statements from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that the investigation is still ongoing and could take up to two years to resolve.