Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Brian McCann will throw out first pitch before first game of World Series


Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that recently retired catcher Brian McCann will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday in Houston. He will be caught by former teammate and fellow backstop Evan Gattis.

McCann and Gattis were teammates with the Astros in 2017 and ’18. The Astros won a championship in 2017, McCann’s first year with the team.

McCann, a seven-time All-Star, signed a one-year deal with the Braves for this season after the Astros declined his 2019 club option. Meanwhile, Gattis did not receive much interest on the free agent market and ended up sitting out the season.

Rome notes that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

Mary DeCicco/MLB via Getty Images
Leave a comment

At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).