In the 1970s, Topps would sometimes airbrush the baseball cards of players who switched teams in the offseason and of whom they could not get a photo in their new uniform. Peaking in 1977 when (a) there were two new expansion teams; and (b) the then-new free agency meant all kinds of player movement, they were often hilariously bad. Stuff like this:
I almost miss those things. But today, in the age of digital photography and photoshop, we really don’t have a chance to see them anymore. At least until now. Behold: new Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy’s Twitter profile:
His wife is clearly impressed with his handiwork too:
If I worked for the Dodgers I’d put this one in the media guide.
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.