Acta could wind up in Toronto

Leave a comment

He’s a finalist in Cleveland and looks to be one of the better candidates the Astros have interviewed, but Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail thinks that Manny Acta could end up taking the Blue Jays’ job due to his relationship with new Jays assistant GM Dana Brown and a more than passing professional acquaintance with GM Alex Anthopoulos.

Of course Cito Gaston is still technically the manager of the Jays, but based on the stuff we heard as the season was winding down, that may not be the case for long.

After the last few years in Washington, who would have thunk that Acta would be in such demand this winter?

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.