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Of the 18 active managers who have managed as many games as Willie Randolph (555), only four had a better lifetime winning percentage than Randolph had the day he got fired (.544). Can you name them? (Answer later.)
|"If I'd told you in March," one American League GM said the other day, "that we'd get to June and the Orioles would have a better record than the Tigers, Indians and Mariners, you'd have thought I'd have been out of my mind, right?" Well, right. But it's not an accident. One scout said recently the Orioles are the only AL team he has seen all year that takes regular infield practice. And that's all part of manager Dave Trembley's master plan to change the culture. "It all starts with the manager," third-base coach Juan Samuel told Rumblings. "When things come up, we don't let guys get away with anything." So the Orioles do a variety of spring-training-type drills at least twice a week. And even the veteran players have bought into it "because they see the results," Samuel said. "The results are there. We're all trying not to have the same situation we had last year. We don't want to go through that again."|
|We asked Sean Casey to list the three things about the Red Sox that have surprised him the most now that he sees them from the inside. Two you might have expected -- (1) the breathtaking speed of Jacoby Ellsbury and (2) the dedication and leadership of Jason Varitek. But the third? It was (better sit down) the "professionalism" of Manny Ramirez. "I was really surprised how professional he is," the Mayor said. "How he goes about his game. How he hits. How he works. Every at-bat, you get a professional at-bat. Every at-bat, he's got a game plan. You look at that and you say, 'That's why this guy is a great player.'" Manny Ramirez -- "professional." The Red Sox had better not let that secret get around. It will ruin Manny's whole reputation.|
Bobby Cox (.560), Joe Torre (.551), Mike Scioscia (.545) and Ron Gardenhire (.546). And now the winning percentages for all your incorrect guesses: Tony La Russa (.535), Dusty Baker (.526), Jim Leyland (.495) and Lou Piniella (.520). The closest miss was actually none of the above. It was Charlie Manuel, at .541.