Miller again denied Hall entrance
Transcendent labor leader falls two votes shy of induction
Founding MLBPA Executive Director Marvin Miller was again denied entrance to the Hall of Fame by a voting panel stacked with executives from baseball management.
Miller received just seven of the nine necessary votes from a 12-member committee that included former executive John Harrington (Red Sox) as well as current executives Jerry Bell (Twins), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and John Schuerholz (Braves), according to voting announced today on the museum's Web site .
Former players Robin Roberts and Tom Seaver as well as veteran media members Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) and Phil Pepe (New York Daily News) also had votes on the committee.
"We are disappointed that the committee selected by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to consider such matters once again did not elect Marvin Miller to the Hall," said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner in a statement. "Very few individuals have had as significant or as positive an impact upon the history of baseball as Marvin. That impact has been and will be recognized by those who lived through and will study the game's history. The Hall remains incomplete without Marvin's plaque."
Scutaro eyes championship with Red Sox: Marco Scutaro, who's agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Red Sox, believes he's putting himself in position to win a championship.
"Since Day 1, this was my first choice," Scutaro told the Boston Herald. "I just wanted to come here and be a part of this team. We have a chance to win a championship. We have an unbelievable team. We have great pitching, defense, a good offense. I don't see any reason why we don't win a championship."
The Red Sox targeted the 34-year-old Venezuelan to fill their void at shortstop. Scutaro batted .282 with a .379 on-base percentage for Toronto in 2009. He also had 12 homers, 60 RBIs, 100 runs scored and placed seventh in the American League with 90 walks.
"He's somebody who didn't get an opportunity to play every day until later in his career and absolutely made the most of the opportunity and demonstrated that he should have been an everyday player for a much longer period of time," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said.
Zaun agrees to one-year deal with Brewers: The Brewers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran catcher Gregg Zaun.
The 38-year-old Zaun is a career .251 hitter with 86 home runs and 432 RBIs in 1,204 games. Last season, Zaun started 74 games while splitting time with Baltimore and Tampa Bay. He hit .260 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was the farm director in Baltimore when Zaun was drafted by Baltimore in 1990 and served as general manager in Texas when Zaun played there in 1999.
"Knowing him, he's a guy who's going to stay ready," Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He stays in shape. He has a lot of similarities to Jason Kendall in toughness, energy, blocking balls, game preparation. He's not a big guy, but he's not afraid to block the plate. He's bounced around, but he's a tough guy."
Saltalamacchia told to rest sore shoulder: The doctor who performed September surgery on Jarrod Saltalamacchia says the shoulder discomfort he felt playing in the Dominican Winter league was not unusual for someone who undergoes the procedure to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome.
Saltalamacchia said he was examined by the doctor, Greg Pearl, on Friday after he returned from the Dominican Republic. Saltalamacchia won't do anything baseball-related for the next month, but he expects to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
"The doctor said it is just a minor setback and was to be expected trying to play this quick," Saltalamacchia told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'll take a couple weeks off and get back to it."
Gray lands a shot in bullpen for Cubs: The Cubs believe hard-throwing Jeff Gray can compete for a job in their bullpen.
"He's a power arm type of guy who gets it up to 95, 97 [mph] on a regular basis," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry told MLB.com. "We felt he could come in and compete for a job in the bullpen. He does have an option. We'll put him in the mix with a lot of young people."
Choo honored by Cleveland writers: Shin-Soo Choo has been named by the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America as its Man of the Year for 2009.
"Choo is one of those few complete players who can impact a game with any one of his tools," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "He has the desire and work ethic that has allowed him to continually improve from season to season. The exciting thing is I don't think he's achieved his full potential yet."
In the No. 3 spot, Choo hit .287 (56-for-195) with 10 doubles, four homers, 17 RBIs and an .812 OPS. In the No. 4 spot, he hit .313 (100-for-319) with 24 doubles, 12 homers, 58 RBIs and a .917 OPS.
Moeller glad to be the backup in Baltimore: Chad Moeller has reached a deal with the Baltimore Orioles for the 2010 season and says coming back to the team to back up Matt Wieters was an easy choice.
"No. 1, it's a good situation," Moeller told the Baltimore Sun. "The familiarity is huge. There is no secret I've bounced around teams, and you kind of get tired of reproving yourself each year. ... I just didn't think there was going to be a whole lot that was going to be much greener out there as far as what I have here. It's a desirable situation as far as being a backup catcher. I think this is a good job, and I don't want somebody else to come in and take it."
Stairs ready to play another season: Free-agent slugger Matt Stairs is working as an assistant hockey coach at John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine, something he's done for the last four offseasons.
"If I get a job, I'll be happy. If not, I'll be as happy as well," Stairs, 41, told the Bangor Daily News. "I want to keep playing. I still have the desire to play. I still love it, but I have a lot of plans in Bangor if I don't."
Polanco not worried about switching to third base: Placido Polanco, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner at second base, isn't concerned about transitioning back to third base now that he's joined the Phillies.
"They asked me if I wanted to play another position, and I said sure," Polanco told MLB.com. "I've played third base in college. I played third in St. Louis. I also played some third base here. I feel pretty confident about it."
Olivo could get deal with Giants: With top catching prospect Buster Posey on the way, the Giants are reportedly considering a contract offer to Miguel Olivo, who hit .249 with 23 homers with the Royals last season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, managed Olivo in San Diego in 2005.
"There's mutual interest," Martin Arburua, Olivo's agent, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Miguel definitely likes Bruce Bochy and would love to play in the Bay Area. He resides in Modesto. Miguel would take the best opportunity to play. I'm not sure if the Giants are it or not. We've talked to several teams."
Angels mulling over pitching options: Torii Hunter thinks the Angels needn't decide whether to pursue John Lackey or Roy Halladay.
"I want to do both," Hunter told the Los Angeles Times. "Why not be greedy and do both?
"If we get Lackey back, or we get Halladay, I think we're there," Hunter said about the club reaching the World Series. "I definitely feel one is needed."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.