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By Murray Chass

July 7, 2019

It may be premature to call it one of the worst trades in major league history, but it was one of the worst trades in major league history.

On June 4, 2016, the Chicago White Sox were apparently so desperate to get an established starting pitcher that they traded two minor league prospects for James Shields.

In the next two and two-thirds seasons Shields started 76 games for the White Sox, emerging with a 16-35 won-lost record and a 5.31 earned run average. That performance was not what the White Sox had in mind. Nor did they expect what one of the two minor leaguers they gave up for Shields to do what he has done for the Padres.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been a sensation as San Diego’s rookie shortstop playing next to its $300 million man, Manny Machado. A strained hamstring delayed Tatis’ major league debut until June 6, although the injury might have worked to the Padres’ advantage because it delayed the start of the rookie’s major league service time.

Entering the Padres’ Saturday game with the Dodgers, Tatis was hitting .328 with a .394 on-base percentage and .602 slugging percentage and led all rookies with 5 triples and 13 stolen bases.

I have a special interest in Tatis because of my unique connection to his father …

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By Murray Chass

June 30, 2019

This is a two-part quiz.

Part I:

What do these men have in common? Bucky Harris, Eddie Dyer, Ralph Houk, Bob Brenly, Alex Cora?

Part II:

Who from this group might join the first group? David Bell, Mike Shildt, Brandon Hyde, Rocco Baldelli, Chris Woodward, Charlie Montoyo?

If you know the answer to Part I, you have reason to be impressed with your knowledge of baseball history. Those five gentlemen are the only rookie managers to win the World Series: Harris with the Senators in 1924; Dyer with the Cardinals in 1946; Houk with the Yankees in 1961; Brenly with the Diamondbacks in 2001; and Cora with the Red Sox in 2018.

If, on the other hand, you have the answer to Part II, you are …

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By Murray Chass

June 23, 2019

Jeffrey Loria, a self-promoting international art dealer, was intensely disliked in Montreal when he owned the Expos. He used to complain to me about the cartoonish portrayals of him in the city’s newspapers that he said were anti-Semitic. They probably were.

There was, however, nothing anti-Semitic about the intense dislike for him when he sold the Marlins and left Miami in 2017 with the entire sale proceeds of $1.2 billion, claiming he had made no profits and therefore owed the city and the county nothing under terms of their contracts for the construction of the team’s new park.

I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know whether Loria owed any money for the stadium, but I don’t need a law degree to know a bad dude when I see one, and Loria was a bad dude. Baseball only gained when …

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