The fourth greatest general manager of all time built The Big Red Machine

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Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.

Bob Howsam built the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati As I said back in December before the Veterans Committee ridiculously failed to vote him into the Hall of Fame, if you built that team today they’re erecting statues of you all over the place. I was shocked to learn back then that he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame already.

Interesting fact about Howsam beyond the Reds stuff: in the late 50s he was one of the men behind the effort to build a third major league — the Continental League — which was aimed at exploiting untapped demand for baseball west of the Mississippi and which, eventually, led to the first round of expansion of the early 1960s.

Go check out Mark and Dan’s assessment of Howsam here. And, if you’re able, tune into MLB Network’s “High Heat” show this afternoon at 1PM Eastern time to see Mark talk to Chris Russo about this project and his and Dan’s upcoming book.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.