Red Sox add Bob McClure, Alex Ochoa to coaching staff

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As expected the Red Sox officially announced Bob McClure as their new pitching coach and also added Alex Ochoa as first base coach, which … well, it makes me feel really, really old.

It’s one thing when players from your childhood start getting coaching jobs, but it’s another thing when prospects from your childhood start getting those gigs.

I can remember Ochoa being on Baseball America‘s annual top 100 prospects list every year in the mid-1990s. He never quite developed as hoped, but was a pretty solid role player for a decade or so. And now he’s a 39-year-old first base coach.

McClure takes over for Curt Young as the Red Sox’s pitching coach after filling the same role with the Royals for the past six seasons.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?