What they’re saying about the passing of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver

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Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver passed away yesterday at the age of 82 following an apparent heart attack. Here’s some reaction from a baseball world in mourning:

Orioles owner Peter Angelos: “Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball. This is a sad day for everyone who knew him and for all Orioles fans. Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field. On behalf of the Orioles, I extend my condolences to his wife, Marianna, and to his family.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter: “Every time I look at an Oriole, it’s going to be missing a feather now without Earl.”

Cal Ripken, Jr: “Earl was such a big part of Orioles baseball and personally he was a very important part of my life and career and a great friend to our family. His passion for the game and the fire with which he managed will always be remembered by baseball fans everywhere and certainly by all of us who had the great opportunity to play for him. Earl will be missed but he can’t and won’t be forgotten.”

Jim Palmer: “It was the perfect relationship. We won, he was tough, we got our World Series checks. It worked. You don’t ever forget an Earl Weaver. And not just if you were an umpire. Fans, players, everyone. Earl didn’t have the smartest guy in the room syndrome back then, but he was definitely one of them.”

Adam Jones: “Os and MLB family lost a great leader yesterday. Earl Weaver wasn’t blessed wit height but if u measured his HEART he was a 7 footer.”

Hall of Famer catcher Johnny Bench: “So sad to hear about Earl Weaver leaving our HOF family. Really enjoyed my years with him. RIP”

Commissioner Bud Selig: “Earl was well known for being one of the game’s most colorful characters with a memorable wit, but he was also amongst its most loyal.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Marianne, their family and all Orioles fans.”

Credit to Roch Kubatko of MASN and Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun for some of the quotes provided above.

The Orioles held a moment of silence to honor Weaver before they began their annual FanFest event this morning. Courtesy of the Orioles’ Twitter account, the club has his jersey and a No. 4 banner of the main stage:

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Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.