Players endorse Weiner as new director
Vote ensures smooth succession from retiring Fehr
Players have overwhelming approved the appointment of Michael Weiner to become the Major League Baseball Players Association's new executive director.
Players on each club held votes in clubhouse meetings across both leagues in recent weeks and voted 1,055-4 to endorse the Executive Board's recommendation of Weiner, which was announced on July 7, in conjunction with Don Fehr's decision to retire from the post he has held for 25 years.
"I congratulate Michael on securing this extraordinary vote of confidence," Fehr said in a prepared statement that was distributed to players on Friday.
The Executive Board plans a formal vote to finalize the succession in union leadership during its annual board meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Prior to the voting, Weiner met with players from each club -- as well as managers, coaches and trainers who are covered by some aspects of the Basic Agreement -- to explain his vision, outline the MLBPA's current opportunities and challenges and respond to questions.
Weiner, 47, joined the MLBPA is 1988 as counsel and was named general counsel in 2004. He has participated in virtually every negotiating session with the clubs in the last several rounds of bargaining. For more than 10 years, he has held primary responsibility for the administration of the Basic Agreement.
Nolasco just misses tying Seaver's mark: Ricky Nolasco established a regular-season franchise record for the Marlins when he struck out 16 batters on Wednesday in a 5-4 win over the Braves. Nolasco fanned nine consecutive batters at one point, falling one short of Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver's Major League record of 10 straight.
"I don't know how to explain that," Nolasco told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I haven't had that feeling since high school, where you pretty much have a good idea what's going to happen. I would never think I'd strike out this many hitters against this lineup."
Carpenter's bat second only to his arm: In his final tune-up for the postseason, Chris Carpenter allowed no runs on just three hits in five innings against the Reds, lowering his National League-best ERA to 2.24 and improving his record to 17-4 on the year.
But it was his performance at the plate, though, that got him most of the attention. Carpenter not only hit his first career home run -- a grand slam, no less -- but he also had a two-run double, setting a franchise record for RBIs by a pitcher in a game with six.
"I said to a few of the guys, this isn't what I was thinking about or what I scripted when I woke up this morning to take a shower," Carpenter told MLB.com. "It was definitely a fun day. I hadn't done that before or been a part of something like that. So it was definitely one of the funnest days that I've had."
Weaver honored with inaugural Adenhart award: The Angels have made Jered Weaver the first recipient of an award that will be given annually to the club's top pitcher in the name of former pitcher Nick Adenhart, who died tragically in an automobile accident this spring.
"As close as we were, and that we were going to be roommates this year, I think that he kind of helped me out, looking down on me," Weaver told the Los Angeles Times.
Martinez provides late flourish: Pedro Martinez has a 5-1 record and a 3.63 ERA over nine solid starts since signing with the Phillies.
"It's exactly what I wanted to see when I came back to the big leagues," Martinez told MLB.com. "This is my reward for all that I've been through over the last three years."
Maxwell chalks up memorable home finale: Justin Maxwell made sure the Nationals ended their 2009 home season on a high note. The rookie outfielder connected for a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Washington to a 7-4 win over the Mets on Wednesday night.
"I think a walk-off is like the best thing in sports, personally," Maxwell told the Washington Post. "One at-bat, one memory, one win -- so many emotions going through you. It was surreal, it was awesome."
Votto's doubles land him in record book: Joey Votto set a Reds record with 16 doubles in a calendar month -- September, specifically -- breaking the record that was previously held by Harry Heilmann, set in July 1930.
"To be honest with you, that's something I'm pretty proud of," Votto told MLB.com. "I try to be more of a line-drive hitter, and you can't get much better than hitting doubles."
Prado plays key role in surge: Since June 30, Martin Prado has hit .314 with 40 RBIs and 48 runs scored in 73 games for the Braves to help fuel their late-season charge.
"He's always been highly thought of; he's just never had the opportunity to get in there every single day," manager Bobby Cox told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He's been a catalyst for us."
"I'm not surprised at all," hitting coach Terry Pendleton said. "Seriously, not at all. I always knew he could hit. I think he can get better and will get better. He's a pretty darn good offensive player."
Ramirez giving the fans what they want: A sense of professionalism trumped a sore shoulder for Aramis Ramirez, who decided to stay in the lineup even though the Cubs have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
"Everybody else is playing, so why not?" Ramirez told MLB.com. "I'm not going to make it worse, so I'll go out there and play tonight."
Ojeda has high hopes of returning to Arizona: Augie Ojeda understands he has little control over whether he returns to Arizona in 2010.
"It's in the Diamondbacks' hands," he told the Arizona Republic. "I would like to come back here. The fans have been tremendous. My teammates have been great. We have a good bunch of core players. I'd like to be part of it.
"I don't know what's going to happen. If I come back, I'll be excited. If I don't, I had a blast."
Carmona wants to build off strong finish: Fausto Carmona, a 19-game winner just two seasons ago, feels better about how things went late in the year.
"I feel I can be the same guy who pitched in 2007," Carmona told MLB.com. "Believe it or not, I'm trying to be that guy every time out. Things haven't worked out, but I feel I can be that guy. ... I can't say I had a good season, but I'll learn from the experiences, good and bad. I finished strong, and I'm looking forward to next year."
Crawford ready to call Tampa Bay home: Carl Crawford, who has a club option for next season, is open to discussions on a long-term deal with the Rays.
"I'd be open to whatever they're open to," Crawford told the Tampa Tribune. "They know that; it's not a secret. I just really hope something happens."
Dempster prepared to battle until the end: Ryan Dempster would rather be playing for a spot in the postseason but isn't going to let the Cubs' disappointing season keep him from playing his best down the stretch.
"Just because you're out of it, it doesn't mean you give up," Dempster told MLB.com. "Like we've kind of all said since things kind of turned for the worse, we're still playing with a lot of pride, and we go out there and compete, no matter what the situation is all the way until the last day of the year. I think that's real important. I think it's important for our fans to see how much we want to compete and do well and go forward into next year."
Morrow now has offseason viewing material: Brandon Morrow tossed eight shutout innings on Wednesday night to lead Seattle to a 7-0 win over the Oakland A's. The victory guaranteed the Mariners a winning record this year, and the team became just the 13th squad in Major League history to follow up a 100-loss season with a winning season.
"I'm going to get that game on DVD and watch it about 20 times," Morrow told the Seattle Times. "It's a great way to finish after what I thought was a rough year, especially the first half."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.