Quick Links

Lee MacPhail, oldest Hall of Famer, dies at 95

201211091226447660386-p2.jpeg

Lee MacPhail, oldest Hall of Famer, dies at 95

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) Lee MacPhail, the longtime baseball executive who ruled in the celebrated Pine Tar case and later became part of the only father-son Hall of Fame pairing, has died. He was 95.

He was the oldest Hall of Famer, and he died Thursday night at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., the shrine said Friday.

``There's not much I haven't done off the field other than commissioner,'' he said during a 1985 interview with The Associated Press when he retired after 4 1-2 decades in the sport.

In the second generation of one of baseball's most prominent families - his son, Andy, also was in the front office for several teams - MacPhail's most well-known moment in baseball came in 1983. He upheld Kansas City's protest in the Pine Tar Game against the New York Yankees, restoring a ninth-inning home run to Royals slugger George Brett - also a future Hall of Famer.

``Lee MacPhail was one of the great executives in baseball history and a Hall of Famer in every sense, both personally and professionally,'' Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. ``His hallmarks were dignity, common sense and humility. He was not only a remarkable league executive, but was a true baseball man.''

With MacPhail's death, Bobby Doerr at 94 becomes the oldest living Hall of Famer.

``Baseball history has lost a great figure in Lee MacPhail, whose significant impact on the game spanned five decades,'' Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. ``He will always be remembered in Cooperstown as a man of exemplary kindness and a man who always looked after the best interests of the game.''

Lee MacPhail was the son of Larry MacPhail, a top executive with the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees.

``Over his lifetime in baseball, Lee made many significant contributions that helped to make the game what it is today,'' former players' union head Don Fehr said.

Said union founding executive director Marvin Miller: ``Lee was a good man, trustworthy and honest, and I had a decent relationship with him over the years.''

Born Leland Stanford MacPhail Jr. in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 25, 1917, he was general manager at minor league Reading, went on to work for the Yankees in 1949 and spent a decade as farm director and player personnel director, with players he developed winning seven World Series titles.

He moved to the Baltimore Orioles as general manager in 1959 and six years later returned to New York as chief administrative assistant for new baseball Commissioner Spike Eckert. He returned to the Yankees as general manager from 1967-73, and left after George Steinbrenner bought the team to become AL president in 1974.

A member of management's labor negotiating team along with NL President Chub Feeney during the 1981 midseason strike, he also headed the AL when it added the designated hitter for the 1973 season and expanded to Seattle and Toronto for 1977.

After he stepped down as league president following the 1983 season, he served two years as president of the owners' Player Relations Committee, overseeing bargaining during a two-day strike in 1985. He was elected to the Hall as an executive in 1998, 20 years after his father.

In the famed Pine Tar case, MacPhail overruled plate umpire Tim McClelland and crew chief Joe Brinkman and restored a home run to Brett. After Yankees manager Billy Martin argued that Brett's bat had excessive pine tar when he hit a two-run, ninth-inning homer at Yankees Stadium on July 24, McClelland called Brett out, the final out in a 4-3 New York victory.

Brett stormed out of the dugout, eyes bulging, in one of baseball's most replayed arguments. Four days later, MacPhail upheld a protest for the first time as league president, said the home run counted and ordered the game to continue from that point. When the game was completed Aug. 18, the Royals held on to win 5-4.

While the pine tar extended more than 18 inches past the handle, the limit set by baseball's rules, MacPhail said taking away the home run was improper.

``The umpires' interpretation, while technically defensible, is not in accord with the intent or spirit of the rules and that the rules do not provide that a hitter be called out for excessive use of pine tar. The rules provide instead that the bat be removed from the game,'' he wrote. ``Although manager Martin and his staff should be commended for their alertness, it is the strong conviction of the league that games should be won and lost on the playing field - not through technicalities of the rules.''

He retired at the end of that season.

Son Andy became GM of the Minnesota Twins, president of the Chicago Cubs and president of baseball operations of the Orioles. From the next generation, Andy MacPhail IV worked for the Cleveland Indians and is a scout for the Orioles.

The Hall said no services are planned and a memorial will be held later.

Quick Links

Reeling Orioles must win to stay in first place

Reeling Orioles must win to stay in first place

Today's Game:

Baltimore Orioles (58-44) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (58-45), Rogers Centre, Toronto, 1:07 p.m.

Starting pitchers:

Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.37) vs. J.A. Happ (13-3, 3.27)

Keys to the Game:

The Orioles must win this game to maintain their AL East lead. They're ahead of Toronto by a half-game and Boston by 1 1/2 games. They've lost four straight. 

Can Gallardo get another win? He's started eight times since returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two months and won just twice--once against the Blue Jays

MORE ORIOLES: ORIOLES LOOK TO JAPAN FOR BULLPEN

News and Notes:

Jose Bautista is 1-for-14 (.071) against Gallardo. Edwin Encarnacion is 7-for-19 (.368) with three home runs and seven RBIs. Troy Tulowitzki is 11-for-31 (.355) with a home run. 

Gallardo is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA against Toronto. He allowed three hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings in his only game at Rogers Centre on June 27, 2015.

Happ hasn't lost in his last eight starts. 

Happ is 3-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 10 games against the Orioles. 

Current Orioles are batting .225 against Happ. 

The Orioles have three four-game losing streaks and one five-game skid this season. 

Logan Ondrusek, who the Orioles signed before Friday night's game, did not pitch. 

Quick Links

Gausman allows three first-inning home runs in 6-5 loss

Gausman allows three first-inning home runs in 6-5 loss

Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5

Winner-Estrada (6-4)
Loser-Gausman (2-8)
Save-Osuna (21)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: The Orioles scored five runs, equaling their most since the All-Star break. They haven’t scored six or more since July 6.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Kevin Gausman allowed three home runs in the first inning to Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki. 

The Orioles (58-44) lost for the fourth straight time and have just a half-game lead over Toronto (58-45). 

HUSTLE RUN: Manny Machado scored all the way from first base on an infield out by Chris Davis in the third. Machado, who had taken second, decided to sprint for third, which wasn’t covered. He beat the throw, and Toronto catcher Russell Martin, who was near third, made an error, allowing Machado to score.

NOT KING OF THE ROAD: Not only is Gausman nearing the second anniversary of his last road win, but he had travel issues getting to Toronto. 

Gausman was left back in Baltimore on Wednesday night when the Orioles flew to Minnesota for a one-game makeup. His Thursday flight to Toronto was cancelled, so he flew to Detroit and drove from there. 

UNHAPPY WIETERS: Matt Wieters growled at home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez when he objected to a called strike in the eighth inning. Buck Showalter ran out to intercede. 

Wieters has been ejected twice in his major league career. Both have come in games against Toronto. 

VANIMAL HELPS: Vance Worley allowed just one hit in four scoreless innings following Gausman. 

BUNTING FOR KIM: Hyun Soo Kim bunted for a base hit in the first inning. 

UP NEXT: Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.37) faces J.A. Happ (13-3, 3.27) on Saturday at 1:07 p.m. 

The Orioles must win to maintain their AL East lead. 

RELATED: J.J. HARDY HAS BEEN SCORCHING THIS MONTH

Quick Links

Like the July weather, J.J. Hardy's hitting has been very hot this month

Like the July weather, J.J. Hardy's hitting has been very hot this month

While other Orioles have had disappointing Julys, J.J. Hardy’s has been one to remember. 

Entering Friday’s game in Toronto, Hardy has an excellent .355 average that’s raised his 2016 average from .240 to .284. 

It’s his best month since June 2011 when he was new to the Orioles. He batted .362 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs. 

He’s had 11 two-hit games, and while he’s only hit two home runs this month, Hardy isn’t relying on power as he has in prior years. 

The Orioles are quite satisfied with the offense he brings the team as well as his steady defense. 

Hardy missed seven weeks with a fracture in his left foot, and so far has played only 55 of the Orioles’ 101 games. 

Last year, he suffered from several injuries that substantially cut into his playing time, and his average fell to .219. 

After a healthy offseason, Hardy said he felt terrific in spring training, and after he fouled a ball off his foot on May 1, he’s recovered nicely. 

NOTE: Aberdeen pitching coach Justin Lord has been named as one of the pitching coaches for the Arizona Fall League’s Mesa Solar Sox. The Orioles and four other teams contribute players and coaches to the Solar Sox. 

RELATED: ORIOLES SIGN RELIEVER FROM JAPAN