Wait, GMs still have depth chart posters on their walls?

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There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today about what the Astros face in rebuilding and, more specifically, how their new owner and new GM are approaching it.  The best news in the article: the color orange is going to make a comeback in the new uniforms for next year.

The most interesting part, however, is this. At least to me:

Symbolically, the most significant change might be in Luhnow’s office. Most general managers have depth charts of all 30 teams and their own farm clubs covering their walls for quick visual reference. Luhnow hates them.

“That board was in the office that I inherited back in December, and one of the first things I did was ask them to take it out,” he said. “Depth charts are something that I can get online at the stroke of a button.”

I’d be curious to know how many GMs actually have those things up on the walls still.  That’s kind of mind-blowing to me. I mean, I don’t play fantasy baseball and I’m kind of a lame old man when it comes to technology, but how hard is this?

American League

National League

Even Brian Sabean could store those on his Commodore64, hooked to the Internet via GEOS.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.