Brewers tried to trade for Justin Morneau, but Rockies pulled him back off waivers

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Milwaukee tried to pick up a big bat for the stretch run by claiming Colorado first baseman Justin Morneau off revocable waivers, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides couldn’t work out a deal and the Rockies pulled him back.

That means Morneau will finish out the season with the Rockies, for whom he’s had a comeback season hitting a league-high .317 with 14 homers and an .860 OPS in 112 games after three years wrecked by a concussion in Minnesota.

By comparison Brewers first basemen (mostly Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds) have combined to hit .216 with with a .670 OPS.

Morneau is under contract for next season at a reasonable $6.75 million salary, so the Rockies weren’t inclined to give him away cheaply.

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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?