The Spectacle Blog

Padres Name Andy Green New Manager

By on 10.29.15 | 2:49PM

While the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins have hired themselves experienced, but recently fired managers in Bud Black and Don Mattingly, respectively, the San Diego Padres have gone in a different direction and have hired Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green to be their new manager. Green reportedly beat out former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for the job.

Originally drafted by the D'Backs in 2000, Green spent parts of four seasons in the majors with Arizona and the New York Mets as a utility infielder. He also played baseball in Japan.

Green joined the D'Backs in 2012 as a minor league manager for their Single-A affiliate in Missoula, Montana and later their Double-AA affiliate in Mobile, Alabama before joing the D'Backs coaching staff in 2015. At 38, Green is the second youngest manager in MLB. Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays is five months younger than Green.

Paul Ryan Elected Speaker of the House

By on 10.29.15 | 11:04AM

With 236 votes from members of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan has been elected Speaker of the House.

Watching Ryan walk through the House, smiling, talking, hugging Democrats and Republicans alike, I have more hope than I've had in a long time that at least in this one branch of government we will see some return to true debate, civility, and a much better discussion with the public about the meaning and importance of proposed laws.

I do not expect that it will be easy or perfect; the House, and the Republican Party itself, have too many months and years of division, anger and hyper-partisanship.

Nor do I want (or expect) Ryan to "go along to get along"; part of the reason I've supported him for so many years, despite occasional votes I have disagreed with, is that I believe Ryan to be a man of true principle and deep understanding, but who also realizes that politics is the art of the possible.

Blue Jays GM Anthopoulos Resigns

By on 10.29.15 | 10:33AM

Now this is a shocker. Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, whose bold acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, led the the team to the AL East title and their first post-season appearance since 1993, is leaving the team.

Anthopoulos has evidently resigned because of differences with new team President Mark Shapiro who is replacing the retiring Paul Beeston. Shapiro, who had been the President of the Cleveland Indians since 2010 and with the Tribe since 1991, wanted total control over personnel decisions notwithstanding Anthopoulos' success.

Mattingly to Manage Marlins UPDATE

By on 10.29.15 | 10:17AM

The Miami Marlins have reportedly hired Don Mattingly to be their new manager.

Mattingly, who parted ways with the Los Angeles Dodgers a week ago, has agreed to a four year deal to manage the club.

All I can say is good luck. It's not that the Marlins lack talent. They've got an abundance of it with the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Justin Bour, Dee Gordon, Adeiny Hechevarria and Christian Yelich. The problem is that Jeffrey Loria is the boss. Mattingly is the Marlins' eighth manager since 2010. In 2015, the Marlins had two managers — Mike Redmond and Dan Jennings. Redmond was fired in mid-May. While I agreed with the firing, the Marlins inexplicably replaced him with Jennings, the team's GM who only coached high school baseball 30 years ago. The Marlins finished 19 games back of the New York Mets in the NL East this season.

Saloon Series — Gin and Regulation: A Lesson in a Bottle

By on 10.29.15 | 8:34AM

There is a bottle that sits on my desk which serves as irrefutable proof that less regulation is better than more. 

Pull the stopper top and a remarkable aroma plumes forth. “I’d wear this as cologne,” a colleague remarked. He’s a clean-cut fellow, mind you, not a gutter dipsomaniac. “That’s really nice,” exclaimed another.

This 90-proof liquor’s scents come from juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage, lavender, black pepper, red bell peppers and pimento. It is Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin, made by 35 Maple Street Spirits in Sonoma, Calif.

Gin, you ask? Is that not the water-clear hooch from the United Kingdom that smells like pine needles? Yes, often gins are made in the London Dry style (think Beefeater). But gin need not ooze juniper.

Nationals to Name Bud Black New Manager

By on 10.28.15 | 11:39PM

It appears that Bud Black will be named the new manager of the Washington Nationals

Black, a former big league pitcher who was a member of the 1985 World Series champion Kansas City Royals, managed the San Diego Padres from 2007 until June 2015 when he was dismissed. The Padres only had two winning seasons under Black and never reached the post-season. They would miss the NL Wild Card in 2007 and would collapse at the end of the 2010 season.

But the Nationals have the kind of talent he could have only dreamed of in San Diego (saving for the free agent and trade acquistions the team made last off-season). The Nats wanted an experienced manager who had a good rapport with players. With this in mind, the final two candidates were Black and ex-Giants, Cubs and Reds manager Dusty Baker. 

Cueto Tosses Complete Game Two-Hitter to Give Royals 2-0 Lead in World Series

By on 10.28.15 | 11:11PM

I spent a majority of the evening watching, tweeting and writing about tonight's GOP debate.

But I peeked in on Game 2 of the World Series during the commercials and watched the final couple of innings at the conclusion of the debate.

Johnny Cueto has been very inconsistent with the Royals, but tonight he was in top form tossing a complete game, two-hitter en route to a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Cueto becomes the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in the World Series since Jack Morris threw 10 innings in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Morris' complete game gave the Twins a World Series triumph against the Atlanta Braves. As for the Royals, they now have a 2-0 lead in the Series. 

So much for my prediction that the Mets would win in five. The series will resume in New York on Friday. 

CNBC Colorado GOP Debate Post-Mortem

By on 10.28.15 | 11:01PM

I have just finished live tweeting the CNBC GOP Debate in Boulder, Colorado. Here is my post-mortem.

Before I begin with the candidates let me say that the triumvirate of John Harwood, Carlos Quintanilla and Becky Quick was absolutely awful. They could barely conceal their contempt for the Republican candidates on stage. They might as well have wearing Hillary buttons.

Say what you will about FOX and CNN's debate coverage. They are both leagues ahead of CNBC.

John Kasich - He doesn't do angry well. His criticisms of Trump and Carson fell flat. Again, he doesn't make such an impact when he's debating outside of Ohio.

Mike Huckabee - He spoke well when called upon and displayed his usual humor. His talk about preventative medicine was interesting as well. But I don't think he'll stop social conservatives from seeking out Carson just yet.

Jeb Bush - Aside from his fantasy football record, he had little to brag about. He came off like a scolding school teacher when he criticized Marco Rubio's Senate attendance record. 

The Genesis of Phil Collins’ Comeback

By on 10.28.15 | 4:40PM

Phil Collins has announced he will record new music for the first time since 2002 and will soon embark on a world tour. After releasing an album of Motown covers in 2010, Collins announced his retirement.

So why is he back? What was The Genesis of decision?

Collins, who turns 65 in January, told The Guardian, “My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does. They were in nappies when I was last on the road. They love my music and I’d like to take them out so they can enjoy it.”

In other words, Collins needs to show his kids that people think he's cool.

Who knows? Maybe it's gonna get better.

The Happy, The Sad & The Weird of Game 1 of the Mets-Royals World Series

By on 10.28.15 | 4:21PM

I know Larry has already said his peace on Game 1 of the Mets-Royals World Series, but there was so much kitchen sink that it warrants further comment.

Alcides Escobar's Inside-The-Park HR Was The First Since 1929

Prior to Escobar ripping the first pitch in the general direction of Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, there had been 9 other inside-the-park home runs in World Series history, but none since 1929 when Philadephia A's centerfielder Mule Haas hit a three-run inside-the-park home run off Chicago Cubs reliever Art Nehf in the 7th inning of Game 4 of that Fall Classic.