Liverpool Football club's co-owner, John

John Henry: Theo won’t be the Red Sox GM forever

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As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this morning, Red Sox owner John Henry and team CEO Lary Lucchino sat down for an interview on WEEI this morning and offered up all manner of postmortem on the Red Sox’ 2011 season and some glimpses into the future as well.  Here is audio of the entire interview.  Among the highlights:

  • When asked about Theo Epstein’s future, Henry said “I think there’s a certain shelf life in these jobs,” and would not say whether or not he’s granted the Cubs’ request to speak to Epstein.  Lucchino said “this is one subject we don’t believe needs full disclosure.” Overall they provided no clarity on whether Epstein returns.  Still, the idea that Epstein could go to the Cubs seemed crazy a few weeks ago. Seems way less crazy now.
  • Henry said the decision for Terry Francona to leave wasn’t a mutual one, but that’s because they didn’t get the chance to make it mutual.  Francona wanted out and told team brass that before there was a chance to consider it.  Henry added, however, that it was very likely that they would have reached the same conclusion and that Francona would have been gone anyway.
  • Lucchino said the team is “knee deep” in the process of hiring a replacement for Francona.
  • Lucchino was asked about the drinking in the clubhouse stuff and said that the front office disapproved of that.  That said “we’re still trying to dig in to find out how pervasive it was, how extensive it was, and not try to superficially conclude it was a major factor in anything.”

Nothing really shocking here.  Francona was going to go anyway, it seemed. Theo could easily go.  No one is overreacting to the late-season collapse or the media hype about fat, drunk ballplayers and clubhouse chaos.  Just sounds like any team picking up the pieces of what for them was a failed season and trying to move forward.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.

Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.

Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.

The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.