[FOX Sports] La Russa on role with D-backs: 'I'm not a general manager' - La Russa would rather compare notes with others, be it a general manager or field manager at whatever level, and determine a best practice. That doesn't mean, however, that he will be shy about asserting his new authority when needed. "You know, you make a suggestion in the right way and if it comes down to it, you do have the authority to say, 'No, listen,'" La Russa said. "Sometimes, with the players, they say 'No, no, no.' And you say, 'You've got the locker. I've got the office. This is the way we're going to do it.' " Translation: The buck stops here.
[dbacks.com] Tony La Russa hiring points D-backs in right direction - The club's next direction is uphill. Make that relentlessly uphill. The D-backs have to catch organizations with either greater resources or a better base of talent, or both. If you were in this kind of situation and you had the opportunity to hire La Russa, you would take that opportunity, too. In the La Russa introductory news conference, Kendrick reported that baseball people who knew La Russa well had described him variously as "the smartest," "the hardest-working," "the most competitive," and "a guy of impeccable integrity." Those are not overstatements.
[AZ Central] New hire Tony La Russa begins evaluating state of Diamondbacks - His team off to the worst start in franchise history, Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall began weighing his options. One of them, he thought, might be Tony La Russa, the Hall of Fame manager who had been looking for the right front-office opportunity. Hall called La Russa and got his voice mail. He left a message and waited. And waited. And waited. "So a couple of days went by," Hall said, "and I was like, 'All right, he must not have interest.' " Turns out, Hall had left a message on a number La Russa doesn't often check.
[ArizonaSports] La Russa clarifies his stance on Sabermetrics - "My opinion is that it's a valuable tool, but mostly a tool to help you identify talent and then prepare the talent. I think the biggest problem I see is there are teams that have gone way overboard and they are really interfering with the way the managers and coaches conduct strategy during the game by running the analytics and forcing them into it... What you do is you take that basic premise about the way human beings compete and how they need to be coached and managed, especially during a game as conditions change, and you don't mess with it."
[dbacks.com] La Russa ready to evaluate all aspects of D-backs - "Anything that disturbs your comfort factor is good for you. For example, as a manager, you've got people looking over your shoulder -- owner, front office and everybody there. You've got fans, media, the players, their families. If you're kind of clueless and you just walk in there and nobody's watching, maybe you're missing a 'T' to cross or an 'I' to dot." In other words, how people respond to having La Russa evaluate them is, well, part of the evaluation. :"So somebody's looking over your shoulder? Good, look all you want to, because I'm going to to show you what I've got."
Team News (non-La Russa department)
A solid week for NL outfielders whose surnames start with "P:, as A.J. Pollock was named co-Player of the Week with Y*s**l P**g. Pollock led the league with a .500 (11-for-22) batting average and .909 slugging percentage,with each player hitting for 20 total bases. A.J. went 4-for-6 on Saturday, and followed it up with three more hits on Sunday. Hunter Pence was unavailable for comment.
Happier news from Prado, who had to leave Sunday's game with blurred vision.
Everything checked out OK today with Martin Prado's vision. Club expects he'll be fine.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) May 19, 2014
And also an upbeat update on the health front from the minor-leagues.
Played catch today and felt no pain at all! Was really good to start throwing again!— Archie Bradley (@ArchieBradley7) May 19, 2014
That's good to hear. When he went on the DL at the end of April, the timetable was for him to miss about a month; if he's only playing catch now, it'll probably be a little bit longer, but there's no reason to rush.
[MLB.com] Arizona's Hiciano suspended - On the other hand, this disappointing nugget seems to have slipped through as well. "The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League right-handed pitcher Argeny Hiciano has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Boldenone... The suspension of Hiciano, who is currently on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Diamondbacks, is effective at the start of the 2014 DSL season."
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks need more of Randy Johnson, more players like him - "Cities are partly defined by their sports heroes. Randy Johnson is the best we've ever had. So why is our relationship so complicated? It didn't feel that way on Sunday, when Johnson threw out the first pitch for the second time in his retirement. This one commemorated the 10th anniversary of his perfect game, a feat he accomplished at age 40. The reaction from the Chase Field crowd proved how much we need this guy."
[MLB.com] Track to the future: Baseball's new metrics - As MLBAM began to roll out the first player tracking metrics from the 2014 season, it was with the promise that the fun was just beginning. On Tuesday, a little more fun was unveiled. Four new examples of the technology are now available, from four games at Citi Field early this season -- two between the Mets and Reds, and two between the Mets and Cardinals. And with the added information, fans (and clubs) can begin to see some of the true value in all of these data. One clip is interesting, but the intrigue increases exponentially with more info.
[Boston Globe] Do baseball fans care about new breed of stats? - On the other hand... "I’m guessing that most fans are oblivious to all the new statistical stuff. They just want to watch and enjoy a game. They will continue to evaluate players and teams by giving everyone the Eye Test, just as their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did. If this means they are then wallowing in some kind of statistical ignorance, then so be it. I think the average fan really didn’t understand the recent fuss over whether Miguel Cabrera was worthy of an MVP. He won the Triple Crown in 2012, didn’t he?"
[SB Nation] Head bursts from Abraham Lincoln's chest following vicious attack - Try explaining this to you kids. I'd recommend having a copy of 'Alien' to hand.