Friday, November 19, 2010

Congrats, Stan!

Stan "The Man" Musial will be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Musial, who turns 90 next week, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. It is the country's highest civilian honor, along with the Congressional Gold Medal. The Medal of Freedom is given for "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States or to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

"It's so well-deserved," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He's such an amazing, remarkable man, professional and everything that it's very exciting and it's well-deserved."

A date for presentation of the award has not been announced. Musial was one of 15 recipients named on Wednesday, the second group that President Obama has recognized since he took office in January 2009.

"On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I am truly thrilled that The White House has honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining other legends of our game like the great Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Buck O'Neil, Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson," said Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. "Stan Musial is an extraordinary human being, a great American and one of the best players in the history of the game. He has long been a treasure of St. Louis, but he represents all the best of our national pastime. Today, our game salutes Stan Musial on this highest honor from our country."

"We are very grateful that President Obama will award Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr. said. "Not only is Stan one of the greatest players to play the game of baseball, he is also an extraordinary American deserving of the nation's highest civilian honor."[...]

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said in a statement:

"Stan Musial is the greatest Cardinal ever. And even better, he has been the kind of role model that America longs for. He has always cared about his community, his country, his fans and his teammates much more than he cared about his own glory. On behalf of millions of Missourians, I couldn't be prouder that the President has chosen to recognize our hero with the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

The announcement is the culmination of the Cardinals' "Stand For Stan" campaign, which was designed to raise public awareness of Musial's life and career and to convince the president to present Musial with the honor. Among those who participated in the campaign were Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, the state's two U.S. Senators, McCaskill and Kit Bond, and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

"We stoked the fire a little bit, but there was some traction to his candidacy anyway," DeWitt said. "It was a fun campaign. It got people involved. But we had good support from political leaders, Senators Bond and McCaskill, Durbin, all very supporting. It was well worth the effort on everybody's part to make the President aware of what Stan has done."

Westbrook re-ups with Cards

Jake Westbrook will be back with the Cards for two, possibly three, more seasons.
St. Louis locked up right-hander Jake Westbrook on Tuesday, signing the veteran starter to a two-year deal that's worth a guaranteed $16.5 million and includes a mutual option for 2013 and a full no-trade clause. Established quality starting pitchers often fetch three-year deals on the open market, but Westbrook had a strong desire to remain in St. Louis, so the deal got done for two plus the option.

"I didn't want it to get to the point where I had the [possibility] of the Cardinals maybe finding somebody else and thinking that I didn't really want to be there," Westbrook said. "I knew I wanted to be a part of this team, and I was glad to get something done now. Now I can just not worry about it. I'm looking forward to a full season with the Cardinals."

Monday, November 08, 2010

ESPN fires Joe Morgan by not renewing contract

ESPN fired Joe Morgan in a way. His contract was up for renewal and they didn't renew it.
Jon Miller and Joe Morgan's 21-year run on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" is over.

Morgan's contract is expiring and he will not be renewed. Miller's contract is also expiring though he may remain at ESPN working the "Sunday Night Baseball" series and postseason baseball for ESPN Radio.

"Jon and Joe have contributed greatly to the success of 'Sunday Night Baseball' for the past 21 seasons," ESPN executive vice president Norby Williams said in a statement Monday. "Over the last two decades, Joe went from Hall of Fame player to one of his sport's top analysts and Jon's Hall of Fame voice and tremendous knowledge of the game have connected with baseball fans everywhere. We owe them our deepest thanks for an outstanding body of work."

Miller, the play-by-play voice, received the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2010 Ford C. Frick Award. Morgan, the color commentator, was a two-time National League MVP with the Cincinnati Reds. The second baseman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Hall of Fame committee to meet next month

You can tell that when the Cards do bad that I slack off. There were multiple factors too. September was a month of Jewish holidays and October was spent getting back to normal.

Anyway, the Expansion Era Committee will be considering 12 candidates when they meet next month.
Eight former major league players, three executives and one former manager comprise the 12-name Expansion Era ballot for the Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players for Hall of Fame election, to be reviewed and voted upon at the 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings by a 16-member electorate. The results of the Expansion Era vote will be announced on December 6 at 10 a.m. ET from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, New York.

The 12 individuals who will be considered by the Expansion Era Committee in December for Hall of Fame Induction in 2011: Former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; former manager Billy Martin; and executives Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner. Martin and Steinbrenner are deceased; all other candidates are living.

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot features: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).

The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).