2002 February

1st The White Sox sign free agent OF Kenny Lofton to a one-year contract. He’ll end the year with the Giants.

5th Commissioner Bud Selig announces that major league baseball has postponed plans for contraction until 2003.

8th Mexico defeats Puerto Rico to win the Caribbean Series title.

10th The Astros sign free agent P Hipolito Pichardo to a one-year contract.

11th Major league baseball owners approve the sales of the Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos. Florida owner John Henry is selling the Marlins to Jeffrey Loria for $158.5 million, while Loria is selling the Expos to Baseball Expos LP, a limited partnership owned by the other 29 teams, for $120 million. The sales won’t officially close until later this week.

12th Mets assistant general manager Omar Minaya becomes the first Hispanic GM by accepting the position with the Montreal Expos. Frank Robinson is also announced as the manager of the team, which will be run by Major League Baseball for the 2002 season.

15th San Diego Padres OF Mike Darr is killed in an early morning accident when his car rolls over in Phoenix near the team’s spring training camp. Surviving is pitcher Ben Howard, who was sitting in the back seat wearing a seatbelt.

16th The sale of the Florida Marlins to a group headed by Jeffrey Loria becomes official.

21st Bob Watson is named to replace Frank Robinson as Major League Baseball’s vice president in charge of discipline.

27th The sale of the Boston Red Sox to a group headed by John Henry becomes official.

The Astros buy back the stadium naming rights from bankrupt Enron for $2.1 million. The stadium will be known as Astros Field, until the rights are resold.

28th Major league baseball announces it has rehired 5 umpires—Gary Darling, Bill Hohn, Larry Poncino, Larry Vanover, and Joe West—who had resigned during the 1999 season. Four other umpires—Drew Coble, Greg Kosc, Terry Tata, and Frank Pulli—are allowed to retire.