Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams: 1929-2011

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Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who led the Oakland A’s to two of their three 1970s World Series championships and led the 1967 Red Sox and 1984 Padres to pennants, died of a brain aneurysm at his home in Las Vegas today. He was 82.

In 21 years of managing, Williams won 1571 games to 1451 losses.  In addition to his pennant-winning teams he managed the California Angels, the Montreal Expos and the Seattle Mariners. He was fired from his last big league job 56 games into the 1988 season.

His signature as a manager? Turning losers into winners.  He was at the helm for quick turnarounds in Boston, Oakland, Montreal and San Diego. He was a versatile manager, winning with different kinds of teams and different kinds of rosters.

He was a colorful manager, who had a good bit of confidence in himself and would, on a number of occasions, clash with upper management, most notably Charlie Finely in Oakland.  Despite that, he wears an A’s cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

An extremely thorough biography of Williams can be read here.

Farewell, skip.

Yankees activate Giancarlo Stanton

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The New York Yankees have activated Giancarlo Stanton. He’ll be in the lineup in tonight’s game against the Rays.

Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1 due to a left biceps strain and a left shoulder strain sustained in what Aaron Boone called a “funky swing” at the time. He began a rehab assignment in late May, had it halted due to injury, and resumed it recently. He’s been swinging the bat well during his most recent stint, socking four homers in ten games.

That pop will be welcome. The Yankees have weathered Stanton’s injury — and injuries to Aaron Judge and scads of other players — but a team can’t defy gravity forever. At some point you need your established threats back. With Stanton coming back tonight, Judge coming back later this week and with the addition of Edwin Encarnación in that trade with Seattle, the Bombers should continue to hit bombs throughout the summer.