The baseball notebook …
DETROIT ó The Detroit Tigers will retire Sparky Andersonís No. 11 this year, one of several gestures the team is planning to honor the late manager.
The Tigers also will wear a commemorative patch to honor the Hall of Fame manager who led them to the World Series title in 1984, and raise a flag with his name on it at their home opener.
ěWhen you think of great managers and people in the game that really epitomize what it is to be a baseball manager … you think of Sparky Anderson,î general manager Dave Dombrowski said Saturday.
Anderson, who also won the World Series twice as Cincinnatiís manager, died Nov. 4. Dombrowski expressed regret that Anderson passed away before his number was retired.
ěI know in a way, itís a shame,î Dombrowski said. ěItís the same thing, I see somebody go into the Hall of Fame, and you say, ëGee, I wish theyíd gone in when they were alive.íî
The date for the number retirement has yet to be determined.
TAMPA, Fla. ó Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are about to become teammates again, this time in Tampa Bay.
Both free-agent outfielders agreed to one-year contracts with the Rays, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements had not been announced.
Damon gets $5.25 million and the chance to earn $750,000 in bonuses based on attendance, the person said. Ramirez gets $2 million.
The moves mark the first major additions for the AL East champions after a devastating offseason in which one prominent player after another left cost-conscious Tampa Bay.
Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano signed elsewhere as free agents. Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett were traded. A strong bullpen was depleted by the losses of Joaquin Benoit, Dan Wheeler and Chad Qualls.
NEW YORK ó Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Lou Piniella stood together behind the podium, a trio of retiring managers honored for a combined 81 years leading major league clubs.
ěPlayed the game for 16 years and then had an opportunity to manager five different ballclubs, very special teams,î Torre said. ěBut you know when you managed five teams that means youíve been fired a few times.î
The hotel ballroom audience laughed. The three were presented the Willie, Mickey and the Duke Award from the Baseball Writersí Association of Americaís New York chapte.
Torre and Piniella thanked late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Torre for letting him manage New York for 12 seasons, Piniella for being given his start as a manager.
Cox singled out former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz ëfor allowing me to keep working.î
Cox finished fourth in career regular-season wins with 2,504, Torre fifth with 2,326 and Piniella 14th with 1,835.
ěI would run out of times if I had to talk about all the times that Bobby ó and really you two ó had been ejected from games,î Girardi joked.
Cox was ejected a record 158 times and also was tossed three times in the postseason.