Earl Weaver is not dead. We know this because he says so.
This is contrary to a political column in the New York Times on Saturday, which referred to Weaver in the past tense. “Texas Democrats have become the Baltimore Orioles of politics,” wrote Ross Ramsey. “Somewhere in heaven, Earl Weaver and Ann Richards are comparing notes on what went wrong with the teams they left behind.”
Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun called Weaver, 80, at his home in Florida to notify him of the bad news:
“I’ll be damned,” said the Hall of Famer, who managed the Orioles to four American League pennants and a World Series title. “All I can do is say, that’s false.
“I’m still here, although my knees have given out, so I don’t play golf anymore. I’ve always said that there were two places that I wouldn’t mind dying. One was Memorial Stadium; the other, the golf course.
“Now I’ve got to wait forever [to go], because both of those places are gone.”
That’s it? I have to admit I’m disappointed that Weaver’s response wasn’t a little more colorful.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.