The crowds will be smaller, the budget tighter, the odds of winning longer. Still, the chance to manage lured Joe Girardi from the New York Yankees to the Florida Marlins. The Yankees' bench coach accepted a three-year contract Wednesday to take over the Marlins.
It's the first managerial job for Girardi, who also interviewed for the Tampa Bay vacancy. He spent 15 years as a major league catcher, then went into broadcasting in 2004 and came out of the booth to join the Yankees' staff this season.
"I am extremely pleased to have Joe in our organization, and I look forward to his input as we start focusing on next year," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. "Joe was known as an intelligent player with great leadership skills, and he will bring those traits to his new position.
"He is the right man to lead our team, and I'm proud that he will start what will be a long, successful managerial career here in South Florida."
Phillies eye Cashman
The Phillies pressed on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, looking for ways to improve their team while still searching for a general manager.
Baseball sources say New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman remains atop Montgomery's list to replace Ed Wade, who was fired as GM early last week. Former Houston general manager Gerry Hunsicker is just a step behind Cashman, with New York Mets executive Jim Duquette also high on the list. Phillies assistant GMs Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle are in-house candidates.
But with Yankees manager Joe Torre returning next season, the Yanks are turning their attention toward re-signing Cashman, whose contract expires Oct. 31. Cashman made $1.15 million this season and could make as much as $2.5 million next season if he returns.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner told AP on Tuesday that he thought Cashman would be back.
"I do," the Boss said. "We want Brian to return if we can get him."
Orioles land Mazzone
Pitching coach Leo Mazzone and the Baltimore Orioles reached agreement on a three-year contract, hours after the Atlanta Braves coach ended discussions with the New York Yankees.
"The deal is finished business," according to a source close to the negotiations, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Earlier, the Yankees ended talks with Mazzone after their three-day window to negotiate with him expired.
Rangers hire Levine
The Texas Rangers hired Thad Levine from the Colorado Rockies to become their assistant general manager.
Levine spent six seasons with the Rockies, working as senior director of baseball operations last year. He was director of baseball administration during the previous three years.
While baseball fans focus on the upcoming World Series, Sen. Jim Bunning said that lawmakers are preparing a bill to crack down on steroids use that will move as soon as the series ends.
Bunning, R-Ky., a former all-star pitcher, said he's working with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., to get the bill ready for committee consideration within weeks.
Reliever has surgery
St. Louis reliever Al Reyes had reconstructive elbow surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament.
He is expected to begin rehabilitation in three weeks and the team said he could resume pitching in nine to 12 months.
It's the second reconstructive surgery for Reyes, 35, who also underwent the procedure in 1995.