Remember when the Tigers hired Bo Schembechler?

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The news that the Cleveland Browns have hired longtime baseball executive Paul DePodesta away from the Mets was pretty surprising. And has led to some early mocking. Which seems silly. Mocking the Browns is probably pretty fun and definitely deserved in some way after all of these years, but mocking a perpetually bad organization for trying something different for once seems harsh.

Besides, it’s not like there haven’t been successful cross-sports executives in the past. The first one that springs to mind is Jerry Krause, who after spending years as a scout for the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls left pro basketball to scout pro baseball instead. Then he went back to basketball and helped build the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty. Then he went back to baseball, scouting again for the Yankees, Mets, White Sox and then, finally, took a job in the Diamondbacks organization.

Krauss is a success story, as DePodesta may be. An example where cross-sports success was not so great? Bo Schembechler and the Detroit Tigers.

Schembechler needs no introduction. At Michigan he was one of the most successful coaches in college football history, compiling a record of 234–65–8 between 1969 and 1989, winning or sharing 13 Big Ten titles. He was and remains a legend and an icon in the state of Michigan, not unlike Bear Bryant in Alabama or Woody Hayes in Ohio.

Then the Detroit Tigers hired him as their team president for some dang reason.

The real reason, probably, was that Schembechler was good friends with then-Tigers owner Tom Monaghan. Monaghan’s Domino’s Pizza empire was based in Ann Arbor, so you know the two of them hung out a lot. Good friends don’t always make for good business partners, however, and Schembechler’s tenure with the Tigers was short. The “highlight?” Firing beloved broadcaster Ernie Harwell. To be sure, Schembechler had his own side of the story which made Harwell out to be the bad guy, but that probably just tells you even more how unsuited for the job Schembechler was. He was fired via fax machine, because it was 1992 and that’s just how everyone rolled in 1992. To be fair to Schembechler, Jim Campbell, chief executive officer who has been with the Tigers since 1949, was also fired at the same time and no one could say he wasn’t a baseball man.

Schembechler would always be remembered for letting Ernie Harwell go, but he was not a complete disaster running the Tigers. According to reports at the time, he was credited with “restructuring and rebuilding a once-woeful farm system by upgrading facilities, introducing strength and conditioning programs and beefing up the coaching and medical staffs.” That didn’t translate to a lot of talent, of course. With the exception of a veteran and power-laden 1993 team which exceeded expectations to a large degree, the Tigers were positively woeful for more than a decade after Schembechler was canned. Maybe the players in the organization trained wonderfully in Bo’s sparkling new facilities, but the talent assembled by a series of bad GMs, topped by the worst, Randy Smith, was, to be kind, limited.

None of which is to say that hiring a guy from one sport to be an executive in another sport is a poor idea. Sometimes, as with crony-of-the-owner Schembechler, it is. Sometimes, as with renaissance man Jerry Krause, it’s not.

Where Paul DePodesta falls on that spectrum is unknown. But God knows that he can’t harm the Cleveland Browns any more than the football guys already have.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

AP MLB: and