Olney: Buck Showalter is the "heavy, heavy" favorite for the O's job

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Buster Olney says that Buck Showalter is the “heavy, heavy” favorite to be the Orioles’ next manager and handicapped the race thusly: “Showalter 1:2, Eric Wedge 6:1, Rick Dempsey 50:1, others 100:1.”

For his part, Heyman thinks Wedge is the favorite, though wouldn’t be surprised if Showalter got the gig.

Olney used to cover the Orioles at the Baltimore Sun and it wouldn’t shock me if he had better inside information on this.  Not that we’re dealing in state secrets here: Showalter and Wedge have been the two highest-profile interviews thus far. Not counting Bobby Valentine anyway, who has pulled himself out of the race.

I’ve said before that I’m not overly impressed with Buck Showalter — he gets too much credit for bringing up the mid-90s Yankees — but he seems like the best choice out of those being considered.

Red Sox to activate Dustin Pedroia from disabled list on Friday

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Manager Alex Cora said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.

Pedroia, 34, had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee in late October. He played in only 105 games last season, batting .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 62 RBI in 463 plate appearances. His offensive stats were his worst since an abnormally-bad 2014 campaign.

The 34-15 Red Sox have baseball’s best record. Eduardo Nunez has mostly been handling second base in Pedroia’s place, hitting a disappointing .243/.261/.361 in 177 trips to the plate. He has also, by most metrics, played subpar defense at the position, so getting Pedroia back will be a boon.