firing no shock to former astros gm
HOUSTON — Former Astros general manager Ed Wade was hardly surprised that he was fired along with team president Tal Smith in the first major changes by new owner Jim Crane.
Wade was, however, disappointed that he won't be with the club to see what will come of the many prospects he brought into the organization.
"I do think the work we have done with regard to the depth in the system will be saluted in due time," he said Monday. "It takes time. We had a lot of work to do when we first got here."
MINOR-LEAGUE UMPS: Five years after striking for the first two months of the season, minor-league umpires reached an agreement on a new labor contract two days before their current deal was to expire. The agreement calls for salaries to remain the same until 2016 when umps will receive a minimum $100 per month raise, depending on service time. Per diem will go up immediately.
BREWERS: Johnny Narron was hired as hitting coach to replace Dale Sveum, who became Cubs manager two weeks ago. Narron had been the Rangers' assistant hitting coach.
ORIOLES: Ron Johnson, fired last month as Red Sox first-base coach, was hired to manage Triple-A Norfolk.
Stewart makes chief change
Tony Stewart made a decision to fire crew chief Darian Grubb, and winning the NASCAR championship didn't change his mind.
Grubb was officially replaced eight days after guiding Stewart to the Sprint Cup title. Steve Addington, who quit as Kurt Busch's crew chief last week, takes over immediately — and begins work as Stewart and Grubb head to Las Vegas to begin the championship celebration.
"I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a race car," said Stewart, who worked with Addington from 2005 through 2008 during his time at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Grubb won't stay off the market long; Rick Hendrick said Monday he has offered Grubb an engineering position with Hendrick Motorsports, where Grubb was before he became Stewart's crew chief in 2009.
Another move at Childress: Richard Childress Racing hired Drew Blickensderfer as crew chief for Jeff Burton, its second change since the season ended. Blickensderfer replaces Luke Lambert, who will be moved to a new position at RCR. Blickensderfer spent nearly a decade with Roush Fenway Racing and led David Ragan to his first career victory this season in July at Daytona. RFR is likely closing Ragan's team because of a lack of sponsorship.