Walt Weiss interviewed for the Rockies gig, Matt Williams a candidate too

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I liked Jason Giambi as a player so I was happy to see him as a candidate for the Colorado Rockies managerial job.  But I also like Walt Weiss, so now I am torn. The Denver Post reports:

The idea of becoming a big-league manager never left Walt Weiss. He just put it aside for a time. But now the former shortstop has emerged as a strong candidate to fill the Rockies’ vacant job after interviewing with the club this week.

Weiss spent some time in the Rockies front office after he retired but most recently coached a high school team in the Denver area.

The Post also notes that Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams is a candidate as well. Given the Stars of the 1990s kick they seem to be on at the moment, it’s also rumored that the Rockies are going to adopt Everclear’s “Santa Monica” as official team song.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.