Madison Bumgarner hit a homer off of Clayton Kershaw

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Clayton Kershaw has the Cy Young Awards and the MVP. Madison Bumgarner has the rings and the World Series MVP. It’s kind of like a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady thing, I guess. Which makes me wonder why I haven’t seen the Very Important Thinkpiece comparing those two that way. I guess Plaschke and Jenkins are involved in some sort of arbitration over who gets to write that first.

Anyway, today the Dodgers and Giants are facing off and their aces are on the hill. At present: advantage Bumgarner. Because he took Kershaw deep a few minutes ago. Video of the dinger at that link. Embedded here later when MLB makes it embedable.

Right now it’s 2-0 Giants, as Hunter Pence also singled in a run. The Giants are, apparently, never losing again.

Oh, and Bumgarner has as many homers on the season as Robinson Cano and Joe Mauer.

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.