According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com the Blue Jays have narrowed their long list of candidates to replace manager Cito Gaston down to three names: Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, and Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale.
Alomar and Farrell have never managed, while Hale managed in the minors prior to joining Terry Francona’s staff in Boston. Alomar has met with Blue Jays officials three times already, so not surprisingly Bradford reports that “Toronto is expected to finalize its search by next week.”
Also, the fact that Red Sox coaches Farrell and Hale are both among the three finalists has to be sort of discouraging for Boston first base coach Tim Bogar, who also interviewed for the Blue Jays’ job early on in the process. They brought in three members of the Red Sox’s coaching staff and liked two of them enough to make them finalists, but apparently their 90-minute interview with Bogar didn’t go as well.
With the nationwide ban on sports gambling gone — and with sports gambling regulations slowly being implemented on a state-by-state basis — any number of businesses are considering getting in on the action. Among those businesses are the Chicago Cubs.
ESPN reports that the club is considering opening gambling facilities in and around Wrigley Field which might include betting windows, automated kiosks or, possibly, a full, casino-style sportsbook. They’re characterized as preliminary discussions as the team awaits the Illinois governor’s signature on recently-passed legislation allowing gambling. The Cubs aren’t commenting, but a source tells ESPN that nothing has been done yet. It’s just talk at the moment.
If the Cubs move forward from the talking stage it will cost them a pretty penny: a four-year license will, under Illinois’ new law, cost them $10 million.
Now: let’s see the White Sox take some action this year. I can think of nothing more fun than sports gambling at what was once Comiskey Park on the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal.