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Posts Tagged ‘AL West.’

Astros improved by 19 games in 2014 under Bo Porter but ownership turns to Hinch to win championships

A.J. Hinch

The Houston Astros stunned the baseball world when they fired manager Bo Porter on September 1 in only his second season on the job and turned to Tom Lawless as the interim manager.

The team was very competitive in 2014. They made a 19-game improvement in wins over 2013 and they had the American League batting champion in Jose Altuve.

By finishing at 70-92, the Astros ended up fourth in the tough AL West and ended their streak of three straight 100-plus seasons.

On Monday, one day after the MLB regular season ended, the Astros became the first team to name a new manager.

They have hired A.J. Hinch,  a member of the bronze medal-winning 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, a former catcher, former manager and front office executive. As the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 & 2010 encompassing 212 games, his record was 89-123.

The 40-year-old Hinch, brings more than 20 years of playing, managing and front office experience in Major League Baseball to the Astros organization. This is his second managerial post, as he served as Arizona’s manager for parts of two seasons from 2009-10. Hinch also played parts of seven Major League seasons with Oakland (1998-2000), Kansas City (2001-02), Detroit (2003) and Philadelphia (2004). A former catcher, Hinch played in 338 career Major League games after being selected in the third round of the 1996 draft. His career totals include a .219 average with 32 homers and 112 RBI’s.

Hinch joins the Astros after coming from the San Diego Padres, where he most recently served as the club’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager for three years (2011-14). In that role, Hinch oversaw all aspects of the club’s professional scouting and medical departments, while assisting with the club’s roster composition, player acquisitions, talent evaluations and contract negotiations.

Hinch, who retired as a player in 2005, joined Arizona’s front office in 2006 and was eventually named the team’s Director of Player Development later that season. He held that role until being named the Diamondbacks manager in 2009.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow believes that Hinch is the man to lead Houston back to the success it had in the 90′s and early to mid 2000′s. “I feel A.J. Hinch will be the manager that is going to be here when we win the World Series.”

Says Hinch, “The goal is always to win championships. It is easier said than done. We have alot of work to do to get back to the success that the organization has had in the past.”

 

PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE TAKEN FROM HOUSTON ASTROS PRESS RELEASE; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Houston Astros appear headed to AL West in 2013

 

(courtesy of MLBpressbox.com)

It seems as if Major League Baseball has told businessman Jim Crane it would not approve his purchase of the Houston Astros unless he agrees to move the team to the American League.

Crane reportedly agreed to the move in exchange for a drop in the sales price, which was valued at $680 million.

The Astros currently are a member of the six-team National League Central Division. The AL West is the only division in the major leagues with four teams, Angels, Athletics, Mariners and Rangers.

The Astros would be in a division with their in-state rivals, the Texas Rangers.

With the 2012 MLB schedule all set, the earliest the Astros could move to the American League would be in 2013.

 

Info compiled from staff, Radio, TV & Baseball news

 

 

AL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS: Rangers beat Tampa Bay; advances to ALCS

 

(courtesy of MLBpressbox.com)

In 2010, the Texas Rangers won the AL West for the first time since 1999 and then beat Tampa Bay in five games and New York in six to earn the franchise’s first-ever AL pennant.

This year, Texas defeated Tampa Bay with three straight wins after dropping the first game in Arlington, Texas.

The Rangers were led in the deciding game of this series by Adrian Beltre, who hit three homers and starting pitcher Matt Harrison, who earned the win in a 4-3 win in St. Petersburg, Florida.

They clinched the best-of-five American League divisional series 3-1 and moved the Rangers to the American League championship series against Detroit or New York on Saturday.

Texas is trying to become the first AL team other than the Yankees to repeat as league champions since Toronto in 1992-93.

Info compiled from MLB & the Texas Rangers

Angels long-time setup man Shields retires

Scot Shields (file photo)

Scot Shields retired recently from Major League Baseball.

Shields had a 10-year career with the Los Angeles Angels where he was primarily the setup man during the team’s dominant years in the American League West.

Shields who is 35, was a free agent after two injury-plagued seasons. He is only the third player who has retired from the Angels after playing his entire career with the team.

A popular teammate, Shields was limited to 63 games the past two years; 20 games in 2009 and 43 in 2010.

A 38th round draft pick in 1997, Shields came into his own in the Angels bullpen in 2002, when they won the only world championship in franchise history.

He was a starting pitcher in 2003 but went back to the bullpen full time in 2004.

Shields started off being the setup man for closer Troy Percival and then later for Francisco Rodriguez as the LA Angels won five of six AL West titles.

He was selected “setup man of the decade” by Sports Illustrated for 2000-2009.

In 2004, Shields and Rodriguez became the first pair of relievers since 1997 to achieve the feat of striking out more than 100 batters.

compiled from Los Angeles Angels news

Eric Wedge takes over rebuilding job in Seattle

Since Lou Piniella left the Seattle Mariners bench as the manager in 2002, the manager’s office in the Pacific Northwest has been revolving door of who’s coming next!

The other managers were Bob Melvin, Mike Hargrove, John McLaren, Jim Riggleman, Don Wakamatsu and Daren Brown. At least Piniella stayed 10 years and that added stability to the franchise but now another manager is ready to jump in to take control of a losing team.

After a year away from baseball, former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge is ready to go again.

Eric Wedge is now in Seattle (MLB)

Megasportsnews.com reported Saturday night that Wedge would be the next Seattle manager, but it was officially confirmed on Monday that 42-year-old Wedge was hired as the Mariners seventh manager since 2003 and he received a three-year contract.

This rebuilding job will not be easy to retify. Seattle has not been to the playoffs in 10 years; it’s coming off it’s second 101-loss season in the past three and they are clearly the worst team in the AL West behind contending teams Texas, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland. Ichiro Suzuki is clearly the only star player on the team.

Wedge is used to rebuilding. He was given the task twice in Cleveland. In seven seasons on Lake Erie, the media-friendly Wedge had some nice ballclubs that featured power, pitching, defense and speed. In 2007, he took the Indians to one win of the World Series.

But in his second try at rebuilding the Tribe, he lost his job.

compiled from staff, MLB & Seattle Mariners news

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