For the second time in three seasons, Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners is the winner of the American League’s outstanding designated hitter award.
Martinez batted .326 with 23 home runs and 100 runs batted in while filling the DH role for the Mariners last season. He finished second in batting average and led all DH’s in hits (167), doubles (33), RBIs and bases on balls (115).
Martinez received 71 first-place votes. Chili Davis, formerly of the Kansas City Royals, received the other 13 in balloting by beat writers, broadcasters and public relations directors.
Playoff format may be altered
If baseball owners approve an altered playoff format suggested by their executive council, teams with the best records will be assured of home-field advantage in the first two rounds this year.
Until now, teams have been designated before the season to have the home-field advantage in the early rounds.
In addition, the home-field format for the first round will be altered. Previously, Games 1 and 2 were played at one site and Games 3, 4 and 5 in another. Now, teams with the best records will play at home in the first, second and fifth games.
Angels’ president speaks out
The head of the Anaheim Angels blasted baseball’s leadership structure, saying it was time to hire a new commissioner and give him power.
Angels president Tony Tavares said baseball’s requirement for a three-fourths majority on many matters makes it impossible for anyone to lead.
In February 1994, owners eliminated much of the commissioner’s power to act “in the best interests of baseball,” deciding he couldn’t use it on any matter subject to a vote by teams.
“Anyone that is worth his salt is going to insist on systemic change in league rules,” Tavares told a meeting of sports marketing executives. “If he doesn’t, he will be a powerless commissioner.”
The Chicago Cubs agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with three-time All-Star closer Rod Beck.
Outfielder Ryan Klesko agreed to a $20.5 million, four-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Second baseman Eric Young agreed to a four-year, $18 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As expected, right-hander Pedro Astacio signed a four-year contract with the Colorado Rockies worth $23.3 million.