Reds and GM Walt Jocketty agree to three-year extension

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Walt Jocketty declined to talk about his contract status last week, but today the 60-year-old general manager agreed to a three-year extension with the Reds that runs through 2014.

Jocketty originally joined the Reds as a special advisor to then-GM Wayne Krivsky in early 2008 and then took over the GM role when Krivsky was fired a short time later.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes that the Reds are slightly below .500 (319-323) since Jocketty took over, including a disappointing 76-80 mark this year, but Cincinnati made the playoffs last season for the first time since 1995 and Jocketty was named Sporting News executive of the year.

He was previously GM of the Cardinals from 1995-2007, during which time St. Louis made seven trips to the playoffs and had just three losing records.

Jocketty won’t have a ton of payroll room to work with this offseason and signing Brandon Phillips to a long-term deal may prove difficult, but the Reds are certainly well positioned for contention in 2012.

New Marlins owners are going to dump David Samson, keep the home run sculpture

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The Miami Herald reports that the future Miami Marlins owners, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain current team president David Samson. Derek Jeter will replace him as the person in charge of baseball and business operations.

Samson has been a polarizing figure in Miami and has been seen as Jeff Loria’s front-facing presence in many ways. He led the effort for the team to get its new stadium, which led to political scandal and outrage in Miami (not that he didn’t get his stadium). In 2014, he appeared on “Survivor.” He did not survive.

What will survive, however, is the famous home run sculpture in the outfield at Marlins Park. You’ll recall some reports earlier this week that Sherman and Jeter were thinking about removing it. If so, they’ll have a lot of hurdles to jump, because yesterday the Miami-Dade County government reminded them that it was paid for by its Art in Public Places program, it is thus owned by the county and that it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

I know a lot of people hate that thing, but it has grown on me over the years. Not for its own aesthetic sake as much for its uniqueness and whimsy, which are two things that are in extraordinarily short supply across the Major League Baseball landscape. Like a lot of new and different bits of art and architecture over the course of history, I suspect its initial loathing will increasingly come to be replaced by respect and even pride. Especially if the Marlins ever make another World Series run, in which case everything associated with the club will be elevated in the eyes of fans.

On this score, Sherman and Jeter will thank Miami-Dade for saving themselves from themselves one day.

Jon Lester to miss one or two starts

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Jon Lester had a terrible outing yesterday, allowing nine runs — seven earned — and leaving the game before he could complete two innings.Lester entered the afternoon with a 3.99 ERA. He exited with a 4.37 ERA. Later the Cubs said that Lester was suffering from left lat tightness.

The Cubs are now saying that Lester will miss 1-2 starts. They are sending him to see Dr. Stephen Gryzlo for a more in-depth exam, and it’s possible Gryzlo will determine the injury is more serious, but at the moment the assessment seems cautiously optimistic.

Mike Montgomery will fill in for Lester for the time being.