Oh good: Jeff Loria wants to make more baseball decisions

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Yesterday, in the wake of the Marlins shuffling around their front office, I observed that part of the Marlins success over the years has been that, despite the financial constraints and despite the fact that their owner is basically a disaster area, the Marlins have always let good baseball people make good baseball decisions and bully for them if they continue to do that.

Then Buster Olney tweeted the following this morning:

There is a sense in FLA front office that Jeffrey Loria and David Samson will be taking a greater role in making player personnel decisions.

On behalf of all fans of National League East teams that are not the Florida Marlins, I would like to applaud this most welcome development.

I will now leave the rest of the comments on this news to Old Gator. Who, assuming he didn’t die of a coronary on the spot after reading that, probably has an opinion or two on the matter.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.