Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had his No. 10 retired in a ceremony prior to last night’s game against the Braves.
La Russa was joined by a select group of friends, former players and colleagues for the occasion, including Tom Seaver, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart, Walt Jocketty and Joe Torre. He was awarded with a key to the city by Mayor Francis Slay during the ceremony and the team unveiled a decal with his likeness on the left center field wall.
La Russa is the 13th person to have his number retired by the Cardinals, joining Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Ken Boyer, Whitey Herzog, Auggie Busch, Bruce Sutter, Jack Buck, and Jackie Robinson.
In 16 seasons at the helm in St. Louis, La Russa compiled a 1,408-1,182 record and led the Cardinals to two World Series championships, three pennants, seven division titles and eight playoff appearances. He walked away last fall ranked third all-time in managerial wins (2,728) behind behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.