1st The Diamondbacks name Wally Backman as their new manager.
3rdThe Mets name Yankee coach Willie Randolph as their new manager.
The Phillies name Charlie Manuel as their new manager.
5thFour days after hiring him, the Diamondbacks fire manager Wally Backman for failing to inform them that he had been arrested twice over the past couple of years. Bob Melvin is hired to take his place.
6thAt an auction in Louisville, a Louisville Slugger bat signed by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson sells for $137,500. Cracked on the handle and worn on the barrel, the bat, made in 1910 or 1911, has Jackson’s signature along the hitting area in bold ink. The bat is the featured piece among 412 items sold. The Louisville Slugger Museum planned to use the funds raised by the auction to pursue other pieces of baseball memorabilia. Also, a bat used by Ty Cobb goes for $132,000, a record for a Cobb bat. The bat’s value was enhanced by grease-penciled writing on the barrel. The markings were made by a Hillerich & Bradsby receiving agent working at the factory during Cobb’s era. They indicate that Cobb probably used the bat, then had it sent back to Louisville to have more made exactly like it. A Cleveland Indians jersey worn by Satchel Paige sells for $110,000. A letter handwritten by Babe Ruth, with six of his signatures at the bottom, and its original envelope went for $41,800. A baseball signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig went for $31,900.
8thPittsburgh’s Jason Bay and Oakland’s Bobby Crosby are named Rookie of the Year in the NL and AL respectively.
9thRoger Clemens is named the NL Cy Young Award winner. At 42, Clemens becomes the oldest to win the award. It is his record 7th Cy Young, won with 4 different teams.
10thBobby Cox of Atlanta and Buck Showalter of Texas are named Manager of the Year in the NL and AL respectively.
11thThe Twins Johan Santana is named the unanimous winner of the AL Cy Young Award.
14thThe Giants sign free agent SS Omar Vizquel to a three-year contract.
15thBarry Bonds wins his record 7th NL MVP award, and his 4th in a row.
16thVladimir Guerrero is named the AL MVP for the 2004 season.
The Expos sign free agent 3B Vinnie Castilla to a two-year pact, and free agent SS Cristian Guzman to a four-year deal.
18thThe Tigers sign free agent P Troy Percival to a two-year contract, leaving the A’s in need of a closer.
19thThe Washington-bound Expos trade OF Juan Rivera and IF Maicer Izturis to the Angels in exchange for OF Jose Guillen.
22nd ML baseball announces the new nickname of the Washington NL franchise—formerly the Montreal Expos—will be the Nationals.
24thThe Twins sign free agent C Mike Redmond and free agent SS Juan Castro to two-year contracts.
27thThe Pirates trade All-Star C Jason Kendall to the Athletics for pitchers Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes.
30thIn an interview on the Howard Stern show, Anna Benson, pin-up star wife of Mets pitcher Kris Benson, says that if she ever caught her husband cheating on her she would f**ck the whole Mets team, including coaches, bat boys and groundskeepers. When Stern mentions the rumor that Kris was traded by the Pirates because Anna was a pain in the ass, she does not deny the stories. The former stripper also takes credit for negotiating Kris’s Mets contract.