Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon are late-night poker pals

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Here’s an amusing little tidbit from Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross:

Before the Phillies left for Houston, Cliff Lee brought fellow pitcher Jonathan Papelbon to Harrah’s in Chester to play poker. Lee’s a regular at Harrah’s poker room, usually playing late at night.

That’s legal, of course, as opposed to Alex Rodriguez’s appearances at underground poker games last year, although I’m sure MLB isn’t exactly thrilled about players gambling legally either.

I’m guessing Cliff Lee is pretty good at poker. Probably has a lot of patience, probably very precise, probably knows the math and strategy well.

I’m guessing Jonathan Papelbon re-raises everything pre-flop, goes all-in constantly for like 10 times more than he needs to bet, and then flips over the table whenever he doesn’t win a big pot.

Angels giving managerial candidates two-hour written test

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Los Angeles Angels are administering a two-hour written test to managerial candidates. The test presents “questions spanning analytical, interpersonal and game-management aspects of the job,” according to Morosi.

I can’t find any reference to it, but I remember another team doing some form of written testing for managerial candidates within the past couple of years. Questions which presented tactical dilemmas, for example. I don’t recall it being so intense, however. And then, as now, I have a hard time seeing experienced candidates wanting to sit for a two-hour written exam when their track record as a manager, along with an interview to assess compatibility should cover most of it. Just seems like an extension of the current trend in which front offices are taking away authority and, with this, some measure of professional respect, from managers.