Great Moments in knowing your right from your left: Mariners’ skipper signals for the wrong reliever

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Missed this from the Red Sox-Mariners game last night.  It seems that during that epic ninth inning meltdown, Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson messed up when he was making a pitching change.  He wanted to bring in right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina to take over for Tom Wilhelmsen, but he accidentally signaled with his left arm.

That meant that lefty Oliver Perez, who was warming alongside Medina, had to come in and face switch-hitter Shane Victorino. After him came righty Dustin Pedroia. You’d normally want Medina in that spot over Perez, but since lefty David Ortiz was up after Pedroia, Thompson decided to let Ollie power through to get the matchup against Ortiz.

He got Ortiz. But not before giving up a two-run single to Victorino and an RBI single to Pedroia, cutting the M’s lead to 7-6. Oops. Medina came in after that and promptly gave up what was left of that lead, so maybe it didn’t matter in the end. This was a pretty total bullpen failure as opposed to the failure of just one man.

Still: I was not aware that the arm the manager raised when calling for a reliever meant anything official. I figured it was just for purposes of letting the bullpen folks know who he wanted, not the umpires and the official scorer and God and everyone.

Guess you learn something new every day.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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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.