Major League Baseball
Around the horn: Japanese reporter gets vote
Seattle Times baseball reporter
Last year, when the Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America inducted three reporters from Japan — the first from that country to join the organization — Keizo Konishi of Kyodo News said his BBWAA card was headed for the Japanese baseball Hall of Fame.
Now Konishi is about to break new ground again. After the season, he will be one of 28 writers voting on the American League's Cy Young Award, one of four postseason honors selected annually by the BBWAA.
Two writers from each city in the league, chosen by the chapter chairpersons, vote for Cy Young, Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year. Konishi is the first Asian writer to be an awards voter.
"I am very honored," said Konishi, who follows the Mariners home and away for Kyodo News, a Japanese wire service. "I was very surprised when I found out."
Bob Sherwin of the Seattle Times, chairman of the BBWAA's Seattle chapter, said Konishi was a logical choice.
"Keizo has seen as many games as any reporter, perhaps more than anyone, over the past couple seasons," Sherwin said. "He's a fair and objective reporter, and I knew he'd be diligent in assessing the candidates. Plus, I like the idea of expanding the scope of the game to bring in more voices and perspective from outside North America."
Rejuvenated Stottlemyre may not retire
When the New York Yankees made their final Seattle appearance in mid-August, I asked their pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre, if he still planned to retire after the season.
Stottlemyre smiled and said, "So far."
Well, it appears that his resolve might be wavering — which, in the big picture, is a good thing. Following his successful battle in 2000 with multiple myeloma, a bone-marrow cancer, Stottlemyre figured it was time to slow down a bit, retire to his home in Issaquah, and concentrate on family — wife Jean, sons Todd and Mel Jr., and grandchildren.
But now Stottlemyre is apparently feeling so good, he's reconsidering his retirement plans. The Yankees had already been feeling out possible replacement candidates, including former Yankees pitcher Jimmy Key. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti is another possibility if Stottlemyre hangs it up.
"Physically, I feel great," Stottlemyre told Bob Klapisch of the Bergen (N.J.) Record. "It's getting harder and harder to think of a reason to leave. I still love the job. I love it now as much as the day I started."
Stottlemyre might wind up outlasting son Todd, who seems headed for retirement after suffering through another injury-plagued season with Arizona. Mel Jr. just finished his first season as a minor-league pitching coach for the Yakima Bears of the Northwest League, a Diamondbacks affiliate.
Rest easy, fans: Selig says shared revenue will be properly spent
One controversial element of baseball's new labor deal involves the use of all that shared revenue. Teams doling out more bucks — including the Mariners, who, according to some reports, will see their revenue-sharing outlay rise by $9 million, to $26 million — want to make sure the money is being spent on what it's intended for.
So do fans, of course, but many feared that, without a minimum-payroll provision in the deal, owners would just pocket their newfound wealth.
According to Commissioner Bud Selig, however, those worries are unfounded. Selig and chief negotiator Rob Manfred say that a "memorandum of understanding" drafted as part of the settlement will regulate the use of revenue-sharing funds.
The memorandum states that "each club shall use its revenue sharing payments to improve its performance on the field."
Teams must report to Selig how they are using the money, and he can use his power to sanction clubs that don't comply.