Scott Boras Billing Manny Ramirez as Potential Mentor for Young Players

Scott Boras is an agent and his job is to make his clients seem as appealing as possible to potential employers. I understand that. But some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just unbelievable. Going back a few years ago, what he said about Jason Varitek’s contract was laughable. Now, the way he’s billing free agent Manny Ramirez belongs in the same category. During an interview on MLB Network on Sirius XM Radio, Boras described some of the selling points of a veteran like Manny via Ben Maller:

I think the things that benefit Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez and players of that type is that they’ve been championship players, they played in big markets. They can go to young players whose careers are just beginning, who have a lot of expectancy associated with them, they’ve had success and now for the first time they’re being asked to repeat that success. That often doesn’t happen because there haven’t been mentors around those young players to give them a pathway where they are not out there trying to do too much to try to replicate the quality year that they’ve had. I’ve always felt those types of players are very helpful.

He’s exactly right — those types of players are extremely helpful and make a difference in the clubhouse. Johnny Damon does have that presence. Manny Ramirez does not. Are you kidding me? How can he actually place Manny Ramirez in the “mentor role” category? What’s next Scott, pitching Bengie Molina as a speed coach? You going to turn Tim Lincecum into a D.A.R.E. officer? Suggest Tommy Lasorda shills for a weight-loss company? Oh weight, forgot about that. Gimme a break Boras, go sell that stuff on another block because we’re not buying the spiel here.

Dave Niehaus Dies at 75 and so Does Best Grand Slam Call of All Time

The Seattle Mariners confirmed that longtime broadcaster Dave Niehaus died on Wednesday, as I first found out via Jimmy Traina. Niehaus, the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award winner, was the voice of the Mariners since the franchise’s inception in 1977. Niehaus spent time as a broadcaster in Los Angeles prior to moving to Seattle, calling California Angels games and UCLA football and basketball.

In case you’re from a different part of the country and unfamiliar with Niehaus, he had the best grand slam call of all time. I remember working as an audio editor cutting highlights when my man Eddie Garcia first introduced me to Niehaus’ work. After hearing his call, I was hooked. From that point on I got excited whenever the Mariners loaded the bases, just hoping to hear Niehaus’ brilliant call “Get out the rye bread and mustard grandma, it’s grand salami time!

The best example of a Niehaus call I could find online comes from this bottle cap opener:

And of course Mariners fans will never forget this special moment for the franchise:

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Jamie Buehrle’s Facebook Tells Us Mark Won the Gold Glove

And the social media world strikes again. Gold Glove award winners will be announced on Tuesday. Well, most of them will be announced on Tuesday. One surprise announcement came on Monday.  Chicago Breaking Sports did some deep digging to keep all of us ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge.  By deep digging I mean they were creeping on Jamie Buehrle’s Facebook page.

Jamie let the Facebook world — and now all of us — know that Mark Buehrle won his second Gold Glove award with a congratulatory post dedicated to her better half.  The post read, “So proud of my husband.  He is now a TWO time gold glove winner!!!”  I think it’s safe to say she qualifies as a source close to the situation.

Either Jamie wasn’t aware the award winners would be announced tomorrow, or she’s a woman after our own hearts and wants to be the first to get the info out there.  Regardless, Buehrle winning a Gold Glove isn’t really a surprise.  He was the best in the majors with 11 pickoffs and came close on a couple others but was called for balks, prompting Joe West to toss Ozzie Guillen for no reason.  He also made this ridiculous play on Opening Day.  I’ll check out the Facebook pages of all the other candidates’ wives and let you know what I find.  What?  It’s my job…

Jamie Moyer Likely to Retire

Whether you like Jamie Moyer or not, you’d have to be insane to not respect him.  Anyone who trots their 47-year-old body out to a pitching mound to face major league hitters is a warrior in my book.  Of course Moyer’s 23-year MLB career has led to a pile of cash, but after a certain point it becomes pretty obvious it’s no longer about the money.

After suffering yet another elbow injury while pitching in the Dominican Winter League, it appears the fountain of youth may have finally run dry for the lefty.  The same injury caused Moyer to miss half of the 2010 season, so it’s doubtful any team would take a chance on signing him to a contract even if he chooses to keep on trucking.

Therefore, after only 628 career starts, Moyer will probably hang it up rather than rehabbing in hopes of being back for spring training.  Then again, we could have said that about eight years ago.

Rays Add Matt Bush to 40-Man Roster

We’re never above posting a Matt Bush update here at LBS, even if it doesn’t involve crying on camera. Bush is a former number one overall draft pick by the San Diego Padres who has done nothing but embarrass himself over and over. Initially picked by San Diego to play shortstop, Bush couldn’t swing it so they converted him to a pitcher. He had multiple injuries and off-field problems, so they traded him to Toronto. After many off-field issues, the Blue Jays released Bush and the Rays signed him earlier in the year.

Bush pitched in rookie ball for the Rays for four games and then moved up to high-A Charlotte where he pitched six times. Bush combined to throw 13.2 innings this year, allowing nine hits and five runs. He struck out 20 batters while walking just three in his 10 appearances. Whatever he did apparently impressed the Rays because word came down Saturday that they added him to their 40-man roster as I found out from Rotoworld.

The news means the Rays think pretty highly of Bush for the time being. They could have used the roster spot to protect someone from the Rule 5 Draft, and having him on the extended roster means he’ll be eligible for a call-up in September. I highly doubt he’ll be pitching in the majors anytime soon, but being added to the roster is obviously a strong sign he’s doing something right.

Japanese Baseball Star Yu Darvish to MLB in 2012 (Scouting Report)

The 2011 MLB hot stove is beginning to heat up and and we will cover it in depth, but looking ahead to 2012, Japanse baseball star Yu Darvish plans to pitch in MLB in 2012 (tweets David Lennon via MLBTR). Darvish, the 6’5” half-Japanese, half-Iranian pitcher has already won the Eiji Sawamura Award, the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB) equivalent of the Cy Young Award.  He’s also won two MVP awards and will only be 25 when he is posted.  I wrote a scouting report of Darvish a year ago, which I will reprint here:

Darvish first gained star-status when he led his high school to the Koshien national high school baseball tournament — an event comparable in popularity to NCAA March Madness — as a sophomore and pitched a no-hitter as a senior in 2004.  However, because of his mixed racial makeup, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters were the only team to try to acquire him in the NPB amateur draft. Former MLB skipper Bobby Valentine, who managed in the NPB, said of the discrimination, “My scouting director here didn’t think he was what our fans really would like to root for…that scouting director is no longer with us.” Darvish’s race has long since been forgotten as he has risen to rock star-like fame in Japan.

Darvish debuted in the NPB in 2005 and has compiled a 75-32 record with a 2.12 ERA in six professional seasons, striking out 974 and walking 297 in 1036.1 innings of work.  He is a proven workhorse with 45 complete games during that span.

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Sparky Anderson Once Went on Legendary Rant Filled with F-Bombs

Legendary manager Sparky Anderson sadly died Thursday due to complications because of dementia. Sparky became the first manager to win a World Series in both leagues, winning two titles with the Reds and then a third with the Tigers. He was said to be self-deprecating and didn’t want to set foot into the Hall of Fame feeling he was unworthy of the honor.

The Dorsey High product, who I knew best as the longtime manager of the Tigers, once went on a legendary rant littered with cuss words. Ben Maller pointed out the rant and by goodness, is it epic. This one sets a record for highest percentage of cussing. This baby is NSFW and unsuitable for Ray Allen’s ears. It’s a must-listen if you’ve never heard it:

For those of you keeping track at home, here’s the cuss word scoreboard:

    > F-Bombs: 18
    > S-Bombs: 7
    > A$$: 3
    > ***k sucker: 1
    > SOB: 1

Now that was freaking impressive.