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Good going, Masters
Well deserved honor for Lee Elder
Good morning, all! It’s Friiiiiidaaaayyyyyyyy!! It’s ‘Friday the 13th’ but you did not hear that from me!
The folks who run the Masters can be uppity sometime. (Ya think?) But once in a while they get it right. Chalk one up for Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley for announcing this week that Lee Elder will join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player next April as an Honorary Starter. Elder was the first African American to play in the Masters in 1975. Elder was honored to join Nicklaus and Player.
“The opportunity to earn an invitation to the Masters and stand at that first tee was my dream, and to have it come true in 1975 remains one of the greatest highlights of my career and life.”
Elder is 86 years old.
Mattingly joins a select group in Florida sweep
I still remember Don Mattingly the player. I still remember Don Mattingly the coach. I still remember when Yankees management was blown away by the charts that Joe Girardi brought to his interview to be the manager to succeed the legendary Joe Torre, while Mattingly supposedly did not come as prepared.
It was a tough call for the Yankees, choosing between two former players. There was no question Mattingly was the fan favorite, but Girardi had managing and coaching experience when he went to that interview.
To Mattingly’s credit, however, he persisted. He joined Torre’s coaching staff, when Torre became the Dodgers manager. Then he went on to manage the Dodgers, before Los Angeles chose not to renew his contract. Miami was his next stop. After managing clubs bereft of talent, he was allowed to continue in the job by team president Derek Jeter, another Yankee. The Marlins, losers of 105 games in 2019, made the playoffs this season; then ousted the Cubs in the wild card round. This week, Mattingly was named National League “Manager of the Year,” joining Florida counterpart Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay, named the American League MOY.
Thus Mattingly joins a select group, which includes Torre, Frank Robinson, Kirk Gibson and Don Baylor, who have won an MVP award and Manager of the Year. That’s pretty select company.
Mattingly’s player statistics may have come up just a bit short for Hall of Fame status, but he still has a chance, if he can continue his success as a manager.
Angels in the hot seat
Word is the Los Angeles Angels will hire Atlanta Braves assistant GM Perry Minasian as their next General Manager. What happened to Dave Dombrowski? Wasn’t he the betting favorite? Turns out Dombrowski wants to stay in Nashville and continue efforts to lure an MLB expansion club to that city, which probably means he was never considered for the Angels’ post.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Tampa GM Erik Neander, A’s GM David Forst and Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti turned down a chance to sit in the LA hot seat. And it is a hot seat, having to compete with the money-is-no-object World Champion Dodgers. The Angels have not made the playoffs since 2014 and the clock is ticking on Angels OF Mike Trout, arguably the best player in the game.
Minasian becomes the fourth straight GM hired by owner Arte Moreno, who does not have previous GM experience. I hope he gets a long term contract. He will need it.
Sports talk a hit
Radio may be going through tough times - accelerated by the pandemic - but sports talk radio has just concluded a bounce-back month. Mike Kinosian, managing editor of Talkers.com, writes that ratings were up, in some cases really up, in the “48 PPM-markets.” (PPM stands for portable people meters.) The period covered Sep. 10 through Oct. 7, the latest ratings. What a difference it makes, when you have something to talk about on talk radio.
That is it for this week. As always, thank you for your support. Feel free to share this newsletter, as suggested at the bottom of this page, and have a tremendous weekend. Be back on Monday!