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Around the horn: Sparky mourned, Wilson on Leno

---As I was cleaning out the notebook, we start with some sad news as Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson died Thursday at age 76, one day after his family announced he was going into hospice care for dementia. Here's a sensational obituary by John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that recounts Anderson's career, including the ill-advised promotion of future Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Torey Lovullo and his wonderful press conference during the 2006 World Series in Detroit's Comerica Park. I was fortunate enough to be in the room for that one and it was classic Sparky, as Lowe recounts near the end of the story.

---Want some entertainment? Tune in Jay Leno's show tonight at 11:30. One of his guests will be wacko Giants closer Brian Wilson. If you haven't listened to the Wilson audio I posted from Monday night's clubhouse celebration, you owe it to yourself to go back and listen.

---The Pittsburgh Pirates waited until after the World Series to wrap up their manager's search because they wanted to talk to Texas hitting coach and former Colorado skipper Clint Hurdle  I would bet Eric Wedge was their top choice but he went to Seattle instead. Looks like it's down to Hurdle and organizational man Jeff Banister, the former Bisons catcher and cancer survivor who was a wonderful story in 1991 when he got a base hit at Three Rivers Stadium in his one and only big-league at-bat. Bansister has been a Pirates for more than 20 years but he's not a name with big-league experience. Still, I hope he gets the chance.

---The Red Sox have exercised their $12.5 million option for next year on David Ortiz. The Rangers declined Vladimir Guerrero's $9 million option but it still seems like they would like to get him back. That 1-for-14 World Series showing didn't help his cause. 

---Mike Harrington


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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |