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SnakeBytes, 9/9: Attention deficit edition

With the Cardinals getting their season underway in Glendale last night, and the rest of the Valley mopping up after the worst storm in a very long time, not much to report on the Diamondbacks front. But there are some updates on the new GM search...

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Christian Petersen
Team news

[AZ Central] La Russa has several avenues to pursue in GM search - The two names to which industry onlookers seem to be ascribing the most weight are St. Louis Cardinals farm director Gary LaRocque and former La Russa ace/current agent Dave Stewart. Their thinking is along these lines: La Russa, who turns 70 next month, has his team-building beliefs and might want not only a contemporary but someone he's already worked alongside. Both LaRocque and Stewart have histories with La Russa and have qualities that could arguably dovetail with La Russa's possible deficiencies.

[] La Russa compiles initial list of GM candidates - Though he has earned a reputation for not having embraced advanced metrics, La Russa has said that he does, in fact, believe in using them, but that their role should not seep into a manager's in-game decisions. Having put together a Hall of Fame career as a manager, La Russa understands the value of empowering a manager to trust what his eyes and gut tell him during a game. He also believes that if a front office dictates in-game moves, a manager will lose the respect of the clubhouse. And in this day and age, a manager having the respect of his players is more important than ever, La Russa believes.

[CBSSports] Watson and Baird will be interviewed for coveted D-Backs GM job - Add Red Sox assistant GM Allard Baird and Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson to the mix for the Diamondbacks GM job. Arizona is in the process of setting up interviews with Baird and Watson, say sources close to the team. The inclusion of Baird and Watson officially brings the number of known candidates for the job to nine. Former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest intereviewed with new Diamondbacks president Tony La Russa on Saturday, and ex-Astros Gm Tim Purpura will be interviewed this week, reported Sunday.

[SportsOnEarth] What does it take to be a successful GM? - So the D-backs are going to be getting a new general manager. Someone to right the ship and restore confidence. What do they need? Just someone skilled in psychology, law, math and public relations -- like the consummate GM, Billy Beane.

And, elsewhere...

[Bloomberg] Baseball Caught Looking as Fouls Injure 1,750 Fans a Year - About 1,750 spectators get hurt each year by batted balls, mostly fouls, at major-league games, or at least twice every three games, a first-of-its-kind analysis by Bloomberg News has found. That’s more often than a batter is hit by a pitch, which happened 1,536 times last season, according to Elias Sports Bureau Inc.

[Rollcall] How Major League Baseball Could Determine Control of the Senate - The mid-autumn climax of Major League Baseball could impact the Senate playing field in key states where teams are primed to make the playoffs. Televised sports make for a desirable market for political advertisers because viewers are less likely to record and fast-forward through commercials. What’s more, the target audience watching these sports — mostly white and male — comprise one of the most reliable voting blocs in a midterm.

[Vavel] Outfielder Wily Mo Pena Eyeing MLB Return Next Season - Paging whoever becomes the new general manager.... You want more home-runs? You can have them... Of course, you probably also have to hope the National League introduces the designated hitter at the winter meetings...

[HardballTalk] Baseball is dying? Nonsense: The Case for Baseball’s Vitality - "Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down, or the interest of the public must be increased in some way. If one or the other does not happen, bankruptcy stares every team in the face." A common concern? Well, that was written by Albert Spalding.... In 1881.

[Fangraphs] The Strike Zone’s Still Dropping - During the PITCHf/x era, through last season, umpires were granting more and more low strikes. Now we have most of a new season’s worth of data, and, guess what? Trend’s still alive. Trend’s still thriving. There’s never been a better time to be alive as a low strike, provided low strikes appreciate the company of others.

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