Inside Baseball: The notebook

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:23 PM ET

TORONTO - The vultures are circling over Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, but the Florida skipper does have his backers.

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez says the team’s 3-17 record over the past 20 is not a reflection of the beleaguered manager’s abilities.

“I’m on his side,” Ramirez told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. “Whatever he does, I’m good for it because he’s the best guy we’ve ever had here. Everything is going bad right now, but he’s there for you. I’ll never complain about anything he does. He’s a pretty good guy and a pretty good manager. He’s smart.

“When we do good, people look at us. It’s like Ozzie (Guillen) says, ‘yeah, when the team is winning you have to give credit to the players and when they’re losing they want to fire me.’”

Ironically Guillen, the White Sox manager, is having his own problems in Chicago and despite a recent extension is being talked about as a potential successor to Rodriguez.

What a win!

The Atlanta Braves must be living right.

Thursday night the Braves were in an 8-8 slugfest in extra innings with the New York Mets.

They scored the winning run without even swinging the bat. Not only that, they didn’t even have to determine whether to swing or not.

In a baseball rarity, the Braves were handed the win when Mets reliever D.J. Carrasso balked home the winning run with two out in the 10th and Braves runners on the corners.

Carrassco briefly stopped his motion and then continued it with Braves hitter Jason Heyward at the plate.

It was the 11th extra-innings game in their past 32 for the Braves, who’ve won six of their past seven extra-innings games. None came easier than this one.

Don't touch my Astros

Two former Expos, now managers of their own MLB teams, are at odds over a potential game-changing proposal in the majors these days.

The proposal would see the old 16-team National League and 14-team American League format scrapped with a National league team, potentially Brad Mills’ Astros, switching leagues.

The current playoff format would then be altered with the divisional set-up replaced by two 15-team leagues which would each qualify its top three teams for the playoffs with the fourth- and fifth-place teams battling it out for the wild card.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona, the other ex-Expos player in this story, is on record saying he sees merit in the proposed realignment.

Francona though already makes his daily existence in the toughest division in baseball. Any change can only make things that much easier right?

Mills bottom line as he told Examiner.com: “If somebody has to switch, that’s fine, as long as it’s not us,” he said.

Mocking LeBron

Bill Veeck certainly would have approved of this one.

The legendary baseball promoter and team owner, best known for his innovative promotions to boost attendance would have enjoyed Thursday night in Peoria, Ill.

The Chiefs, the Chicago Cubs’ class-A affiliate held a unique giveaway night that, were he still alive today, might have been something Veeck himself came up with.

Dubbed the LeBron James NBA Championship Replica Ring Giveaway, the night mocked the Heat and James who obviously did not get rings, losing the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.

The promotion, totally in jest, even suggested the Chiefs might not play the fourth inning in tribute to James who many would tell you didn’t play a fourth quarter the entire series.

The ring may not exist but fans were offered something tangible in the promotion.

They were given the opportunity to learn how to perform the Heimlich to prevent themselves or their colleagues from choking in a big situation.

Poor Galarraga

Armando Galarraga had a legitimate beef a year ago with Major League Baseball.

It’s worse today.

Galarraga was denied a perfect game by an umpire’s blown call. Jim Joyce clearly botched the call and admitted as much after seeing the replays. MLB did nothing.

Fast forward a little over a year to MLB’s decision this week to change an official scorer’s call from a game Sunday. Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen’s screamer off an R.A. Dickey knuckleball down the third base line ate up Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy. Originally the play was scored a double. Mets manager Terry Collins filed an official complaint with the commissioner’s office.

Four days later a five-member review committee, going totally off video review because none of the five were at the game, agreed with Collins and the play was changed to an error, costing McCutchen a 15-game hitting streak.

Former major league GM Jim Bowden, now an ESPN analyst, made this astute observation: “We won’t use instant replay to give Armando Galararraga a perfect game, but we will use it to lower R.A. Dickey’s ERA?”


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