Saturday, November 5, 2011

Notes, quotes and comments

Philadelphia? Right down there.
Item: Jim Thome lands a job with the Phillies. One year, $1.25 million, pending a physical.

Since nobody knows when Ryan Howard, who tore his Achilles tendon in making the last out of the division series oh so long ago, will play, this signing has triggered immediate speculation that Thome will actually play first base at least part time. Ain't gonna happen; wouldn't be prudent.

The Phillies have carried pinch-hit specialists the past few years (Matt Stairs, Russ Gload), and that will be Thome in 2012.

Item: The Twins refused to allow the Baltimore Orioles to interview Mike Radcliff for their vacant general manager's job, citing a pending front office reorganization, and are apparently about to bring back former assistant GM Wayne Krivsky.

(The Krivsky item comes via the Star Tribune, and I'm going to be sparing with my links to them now that they've erected a paywall.)

There are only 30 general managers' jobs in baseball, and normally they're pretty coveted. The Orioles job is not. There are basically five reasons: 1) The New York Yankees; 2) the Boston Red Sox; 3) the Tampa Bay Rays; 4) the Toronto Blue Jays — the O's division rivals all have excessive resources and/or very sharp GMs, so the competition is fierce — and 5) (which  may be the biggest reason) the Baltimore ownership.

Radcliff was the Twins scouting director for more than a decade under Terry Ryan and got the title vice president of player personnel when Ryan retired and Bill Smith ascended to the GM post. He has seldom been linked to other jobs, and it's entirely possible that the denial of permission came not only because the Twins want to keep him but because he's not interested in working for Peter Angelos.

Krivsky probably would have been Ryan's successor had he not decamped for the Reds GM post in 2006. He didn't get a clean shot in Cincinnati; the owner there dumped him for Walt Jocketty quickly when Jocketty left St. Louis.

I assume Krivsky will fill the "assistant to the general manager" post vacated by Joe McIlvane (himself a former GM, with San Diego and the Mets) in September. He took a similar job with Seattle. I suspect the Twins knew then that they were going to bring Krivsky back.

Bob Forsch was a staple of Whitey
Herzog's rotations in St. Louis,
pitching for all three of the White Rat's
pennant winners (1982, 1985, 1987).
Item: Bob Forsch, who pitched against the Twins in the 1987 World Series, who is third on the St. Louis Cardinals' all-time wins list, who threw out the first ball before Game Seven of the just-completed World Series, died.

Another piece of evidence that those of us who were adults during the 1987 World Series are getting old.

Forsch, an 11-game winner during the regular season that year for the Cardinals, worked out of the bullpen during the Series and picked up the win in Game Four with 2.2 innings of one-run relief. He was also the guy who threw the grand slam pitch to Dan Gladden in Game One and who loaded the bases for Kent Hrbek's slam in Game Six.

Forsch had two no-hitters in his career, the only Cardinals hurler to throw more than one.

Perhaps even more rare than a pair of no-hitters is 168 wins for a guy with such a low strikeout rate. It helped, to be sure, that he had such glovemen as Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Tommy Herr behind him, and a very forgiving park as his home environment.


  1. Surprised to hear about Bob Forsch. I don't need that to remind me I'm getting old.

    I see by Twinkietown that the Phils are working hard on getting Cuddy too.

    I don't understand why today's FP didn't contain a word about the Thome deal.

  2. Re: Lack of story on Thome: Because our wire services didn't carry anything on it. AP will take note when it's official.