Clearly this is a move borne of his personal disgrace over helping to assemble such a horrible te — oh, wait. It’s the Phillies. I still automatically think “Devil Rays” when I hear his name. But boy, this one is strange. “Shocking” according to Bob Brookover of the Inquirer:
LaMar did not return phone calls or text messages from the Inquirer Tuesday night, but during an extensive review of the 2011 minor-league season last week he gave zero indication that he was about to step down. Instead, the now former assistant general manager in charge of player development raved about the farm system’s vast talent and resources.
I got it: he gave that interview before learning that, contrary to his initial impression, the Phillies future was murky at best. That had to be it. It’s something that certainly rocked the foundations of many of you guys.
Or, rather, he realizes that leaving on top is not a bad thing at all, especially when there are other GM openings in places like Chicago. I mean, I haven’t heard his name mentioned as a potential Cubs GM — and at 55 he isn’t quite the model of a young, analytical type the Cubs are reported to be interested in hiring — but there are opportunities out there for LaMar out there.
Opportunities that he’s not going to get working behind a ninja. A ninja who is considerably younger than he is.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.