During World War I, unable to get in touch with their manager Christy Mathewson, who is in France serving in the army, the Reds hire Pat Moran. The former Phillies skipper will lead Cincinnati to a World Championship.
The possible elimination of the intentional walk is discussed by the Commission on Rules of the Major Leagues. The purposeful base on balls remains part of the game as no action is taken by the group.
Peter J. McGovern becomes the Little League's first full time president and the league's office is moved to Williamsport, PA. Carl Stotz, who started the youth baseball program in 1938, will have strong differences in opinion on how to run the organization, causing the Board to remove him from his position as commissioner a few years later.
Commissioner Ford Frick announces the fans will no longer have a vote for the selection of participants for the All-Star game, with teams now be to be chosen by major league players and coaches. The change was made to avoid the stuffing of the ballot box by hometown fans as was the case when eight Reds were elected to start last season's Mid-Summer Classic by enthusiastic Cincinnati fans.
The Reds trade catcher Smoky Burgess, pitcher Harvey Haddix and third baseman Don Hoak to the Pirates. In return, Cincinnati receives third baseman Frank Thomas, right-hander Whammy Douglas, outfielder Johnny Powers and utility man Jim Pendleton along with cash.
The Cubs trade veteran third baseman Ron Cey for the A's infielder Luis Quinones. The
'Penguin' will be released after playing 45 games for Oakland, and the 39 year-old retires with a .261 lifetime batting average after spending 17 years in the major leagues.
The expansion Devil Rays name the first two skippers of their minor league system. Former major leaguer Tom Foley will manage at Butte in the Pioneer League and veteran minor coach and manager Bill Evers will be at the helm for the St. Petersburg team in the Gulf Coast Rookie League.
In his first year of eligibility by a unanimous vote of the media covering the team, Cal Ripken Jr. joins his dad by becoming the 40th member of the Orioles Hall of Fame. The formal ceremony will take place on September 6, 2003, which marks the eighth anniversary of the night the Baltimore infielder broke Lou Gehrig's record consecutive games streak of 2,130 games at Camden Yards.
The Cubs and Jerry Hairston Jr. (.261, 4, 30) avoid salary arbitration when the second baseman/outfielder agrees to a one-year, $2.3 million deal. The 29 year-old Illinois native was acquired from the Orioles last February for slugger Sammy Sosa.
The Yankees, who will send coaches, scouts and player-development staff to the Far East, agree to help establish baseball academies in China. Randy Levine, team president, committed the Bronx Bombers to help the Chinese Baseball Association develop young talent while also trying to promote the game in a culture in which the sport remains virtually unknown to the Chinese.
The Mets avoid salary arbitration with John Maine (10-8, 4.18) when both sides agree to a $2.6 million, one-year deal. The 25 year-old right-handed starter, who missed the last five weeks of the season due to an injury to his pitching shoulder, is expected to play a major role this year in the team's pitching rotation.
Locking up their most effective starter through his remaining eligible years, the Pirates avoid arbitration by signing Paul Maholm to a $14.5 million, three-year contract, which includes a team option for 2012. In his 31 starts for the Bucs last season, the 26 year-old southpaw compiles a 9-9 record with a 3.71 ERA for a Pittsburgh team which finished 28 games under .500.
Jason Varitek reaches a preliminary agreement with the Red Sox for a reported guaranteed $5 million, one year contract which includes options for the 2010 season. The team's catcher and captain, a 12-year veteran, accepts much less than he would have made had he taken the team’s arbitration offer made in December.
Jon Garland agrees to a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks worth at least $7.25 million. The 29 year-old right hander, who will fill Randy Johnson’s spot as a starter, joins a strong Arizona rotation, which includes Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Max Scherzer and Doug Davis.
Appearing on CNN’s “Larry King Live”, Joe Torre answers questions concerning the inflammatory excerpts of his book, The Yankee Years, which caused a firestorm of reaction from former players and fans after they were released last week. The Dodgers skipper, who managed the Bronx Bombers for a dozen seasons, tells the host he believes the controversy will die down and people will cool down after they get a chance to read the actual book.
The Rangers sign Ron Washington to a two-year contract extension which will keep the 59 year-old skipper in the Texas dugout through the 2014 season. Washington piloted the team to consecutive appearances in the World Series, losing to San Francisco and St. Louis in 2010 and 2011, respectively.