Blue Jays upset that Dodgers denied their request to interview Tim Wallach

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Last week the Dodgers denied the Blue Jays permission to interview Tim Wallach for their managerial opening and Robert Macleod of the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that “the Blue Jays organization is miffed at the Dodgers for their refusal to make Wallach available.”

Macleod quotes an unnamed Blue Jays “senior official” as saying that “it makes no sense” and questions why Wallach’s contract has a clause that allows him to interview for certain teams but bans him from talking to others.

Wallach agreeing to that stipulation certainly seems odd, especially since he was just passed over for the Dodgers’ job in favor of Don Mattingly. Right now he’s slated to be a member of Mattingly’s coaching staff, but even if Mattingly struggles in his first managing job it would be several seasons before Wallach was in line to potentially replace him.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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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.