Here are a few lingering notes from the past 24 hours or so, starting with some changes to next year’s schedule.
Because the Yankees and Red Sox are playing the season opener at Fenway, ESPN2 wants to televise the game. Because ESPN2 wants to televise the game, the game is being played on a Sunday night at 8 p.m. Because it’s being played on a Sunday night at 8 p.m., the Red Sox have shifted the schedule for the rest of the three-game series.
Game 1 will be Sunday, April 4, at 8 p.m.
Game 2, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will be played on Tuesday, April 6, at 7:10 p.m.
Game 3, originally scheduled for Thursday, will be played Wednesday, April 7, at 7:10 p.m.
Monday, April 5, and Thursday, April 8, will now be off days for both teams.
MLB.com has announced it’s This Year in Baseball Awards, chosen through online voting.
· Hitter of the Year: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins (.365, 28 HR, 96 RBIs)
· Starting Pitcher of the Year: Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals (16-8, 2.16 ERA, 242 Ks)
· Closer of the Year: Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees (44 SV, 1.76 ERA)
· Setup Man of the Year: Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants (74 G, 1.73 ERA)
· Rookie of the Year: J.A. Happ, Philadelphia Phillies (12-4, 2.93 ERA)
· Manager of the Year: Jim Tracy, Colorado Rockies (92-70, NL Wild Card)
· Executive of the Year: Ruben Amaro Jr., Philadelphia Phillies (93-69, NL East champs)
· Defensive Player of the Year: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox (.994 FPCT)
· Unsung Star of the Year: Jayson Werth, Philadelphia Phillies (36 HR, 99 RBIs, 20 SB)
· Performance of the Year: Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (Perfect game, 7/23)
· Play of the Year: Dewayne Wise, Chicago White Sox (Catch preserved perfect game, 7/23)
· Moment of the Year: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (Passed Gehrig for NYY hits, 9/11)
· Postseason Moment of the Year: Johnny Damon, New York Yankees (WS Game 4)
· Oddity of the Year: Phillies fanatic (Dad’s catch thrown back by daughter, 9/15)
A special, first-ever X-Factor of the Year was awarded to former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre through a media-only vote by MLB.com editors, reporters and multimedia personnel. In 2010, this category will be added to the overall voting process.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced that Tim Maxey has been named the sport’s Joint Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, a new position whose duties will focus on providing guidance to and identifying best practices for Clubs and Players on issues involving conditioning, fitness, nutrition and other related subjects.
Maxey, who completed his seventh season as Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Cleveland Indians in 2009, will be a resource to Major League Club staff and Players in all areas pertaining to strength and conditioning, including the development of educational programs and assisting with the establishment of industry-wide initiatives. He will visit each Club during 2010 Spring Training.
The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) will celebrate former winners of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award as it hosts its 21st annual “Going to Bat for B.A.T. Dinner” on January 26 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. Founded in 1986, B.A.T. is dedicated to assisting members of the “Baseball Family” through financial grants, healthcare programs and rehabilitative counseling. More than $19 million in grants have been awarded to date, benefiting more than 2,400 members of the “Baseball Family.”
Hall of Famer, two-time MVP Winner and ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan and Baltimore Orioles broadcaster and B.A.T. Board Member Gary Thorne will emcee the event. St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson will again serve as the Dinner Chairman. Members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and MVP winners that are scheduled to attend include Whitey Ford, Robin Yount, Fred Lynn, Denny McLain and Al Rosen.
The World Champion New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will be recognized as the recipients of the inaugural Bobby Murcer Award. Earlier this year, B.A.T. established this Award in honor of the late B.A.T. Chairman, MLB All-Star and Yankees legend. The Award is presented to the team in both the American League and National League whose players contribute the most amount of money to B.A.T. through the B.A.T. Payroll Deduction Program that year.
In addition to former MVP winners, more than 120 players are expected to attend, including Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal and Robin Roberts. Popular former New York players Keith Hernandez, Graig Nettles and Yankees Manager Joe Girardi will also be in attendance.
B.A.T. was founded by former Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a group of former players and Major League Baseball. In addition to assisting ex-Major League players, B.A.T. also offers support to former Major League managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, front office personnel, Minor League players, Negro League players, players from the Women’s Professional Baseball League, spouses and children. All aid provided by B.A.T. is strictly confidential, allowing those in the need to receive help discreetly.
For more information about B.A.T., to purchase tickets for the Dinner or to make a donation please visit: http://www.baseballassistanceteam.com.