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Baseball's unprecedented turnover in GM's


Baseball's unprecedented turnover in GM's

While most people who follow baseball for a living have focused on the handful of changes in managers, there’s been an unprecedented change in the people picking those managers.

In less than three months, 10 teams have changed their general managers. That’s right, one-third of major league baseball teams have made a GM switch since Aug. 4.

On Thursday, two more jobs opened. Alex Anthopoulos left the Toronto Blue Jays after six years in the job, and Miami announced Dan Jennings, who moved from general manager to field manager, wouldn’t be returning to his old job.

Some of the departures have been voluntary. Oakland’s Billy Beane and Atlanta’s John Hart moved up in their organization.

Others like Anthopoulos and Boston’s Ben Cherington leaving their jobs came because a new strong decision-maker came in above them, and they didn’t want to stay.

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In Philadelphia, Andy MacPhail replaced Ruben Amaro with Matt Klentak, his onetime assistant with the Orioles, and Amaro decided that he wanted to change his career path.

He’d like to be a manager, and will train by coaching first base for the Boston Red Sox next season.

Unlike Amaro, who’d been a major league player, Dan Jennings had no experience as a professional player before assuming the field manager’s job for the Marlins.

Very few GMs have been major league players. Currently, only Arizona’s Dave Stewart and Seattle’s Jerry Dipoto were major leaguers. Three more, Boston’s Mike Hazen, Minnesota’s Terry Ryan and Washington’s Mike Rizzo played in the minors. Stewart is the only current GM who didn’t attend college.

Sometimes, changes in general manager mean a change in field managers, too.

A year ago, the Dodgers made a GM change, and after a year of working with the new front office, Don Mattingly moved on to Miami.

Dipoto was hired late last month and quickly dispatched Lloyd McLendon and hired Scott Servais.

Billy Eppler, a longtime assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who’s been on the job since 1998, replaced Dipoto. He and Mike Scioscia had fundamental disagreements.

The turnover is new. There are a number of GMs who have been in their jobs for extended periods. Dan Duquette is nearing his fourth anniversary with the Orioles, and 10 GMs have been on the job longer. He’s under contract for three more years.

Most of those hired are unknowns to even rabid fans, but their influence is so great that those fans, and those of us who get paid to watch, need to be careful attention.

MORE ORIOLES: Should Orioles have a lineup more like Royals'?

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 


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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense


David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."