Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Ryan Freel during a spring training game, 2008
Shocking and tragic news last night. Ryan Freel was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He leaves a wife and three young daughters.
I can't imagine the pain that would drive someone to do this to his children three days before Christmas. Poor kids.
I also can't help wondering if Freel's injury history contributed to his death. He always went all-out, and had had a dozen or so concussions. Concussions are linked with clinical depression and suicide, as we're seeing with former NFL players. We're only just starting to understand how dangerous they can be.
This is one of my favorite photos: Ryan Freel and Bubba Crosby, fishing near the Reds' former spring training complex in Sarasota, FL.
Rest in peace, Freelie.
Just when you think you've heard it all...some University of Iowa baseball players claim their house is haunted.
That's not all that unusual, but the antics of the supposed ghost are. It steals women's underwear. Through their clothes.
On two separate occasions, girlfriends of players have had underwear removed from them while sleeping, even though they were wearing pants. Each time, the undergarments were discovered in another place.Kinda creepy if true, since the resident ghosts are supposedly a grandfatherly old man and a ten year old girl.
Though these being college kids, pranksters and victims so drunk they don't notice (or remember) their clothing being removed might be a likelier explanation.
Longtime Yankee farmhand Ramiro Pena signed a big league deal with the Atlanta Braves today. It's not likely that both he and Paul Janish will be carried on the roster.
Pena, a former New York Yankee who has played shortstop, third base, and second base, provides the Braves another backup shortstop given the uncertainty of when Paul Janish might return. Janish, whom the Braves also signed to a one-year deal, underwent surgery for a torn labrum on his non-throwing shoulder and might need an additional two to four weeks at the start of the season.I'm kind of surprised that Pena got a big league deal. I don't think he's all that great on defense. (Admittedly based on a small sample size.) He's not very good with the stick, either. No power at all. Janish looks like Barry Bonds in comparison.
Janish has minor league options remaining and could be sent to Triple-A Gwinnett without going through waivers. Pena is out of options.
Like Janish, Pena is outstanding defensively. And the Braves don’t have another near major-league ready player in their organization who fits that profile.
I'm also surprised to find out Janish still has an option left. I'd assumed he’d burned an option in 2011 when he was sent down. But if Wikipedia is correct, he was called up 18 days later when Cozart put his elbow in front of a speeding baserunner.
You have to be in the minors 20 days for it to count (I think), so 2011 didn't count. He was two days short.
The news about A-Rod isn't good. He needs surgery on his hip - his other hip, not the one that was repaired a few years ago. He really hasn't been the same since, and you have to be concerned that surgery on his other hip will make things even worse. He still has five years left on his monster contract.
He'll be out 3-6 months, and in pain for about a year. But he's not getting a lot of sympathy. Reporters, trainers, anonymous team doctors, are all blaming A-Rod's steroid use. Supposedly, his injuries are typical of the type suffered by 'roiders as they age.
The Yankees are in a bind. They still have not figured out how to develop young players. Maybe it's incompetence. Maybe it's the short-sightedness created by the "win now" mentality in the Bronx.
I really thought the Yankees were turning the corner a few years back. They seemed to realize that a good farm system was valuable. They were keeping their prospects, and giving them a chance. Bubba Crosby never got a fair shot, but Robinson Cano did, and became an All-Star. Melky Cabera got a shot, and Brett Gardner did, too. Not to mention a cadre of young, promising pitchers.
But now it's all looking like a mirage. Cano made good, but he got a shot mainly because the Yanks had no alternative. He wasn't traded as a minor leaguer because no one would take him, and when the Yankees were desperate for a second baseman, Robby got his chance. He had a horrific slump that first season, but because there was no alternative, the Yanks stuck with him.
Melky Cabrera never amounted to anything with the Yankees. He didn't succeed until he left. Ditto the formerly untouchable Tyler Clippard. Eric Duncan, once the Yankees' top prospect, the one they refused to trade, never learned to hit AAA pitching. Ten years in the minors, still no callup. He's spent the past three years in AA.
The pitchers that once seemed so promising have been underwhelming. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain have struggled, and Ian Kennedy was traded. The Killer B's, Banuelos and Betances, won't be ready for the big leagues any time soon.
The most promising position players have been traded, just like in the bad old days. Adios, Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero.
The Yankees had an advantage for awhile because of their international recruiting. Robby Cano and Chien-Ming Wang were among the results. But other teams have caught up with them in that area. Heck, other teams have caught up in general. The AL East is no longer just the Sox and the Yanks. The Rays have been a power lately, and this year, it was the Orioles. Gotta figure the Jays will be next.
The Yankees' previous tactics of big spending on free agents might no longer be viable. The new CBA has onerous penalties for exceeding the luxury tax threshold, and the Yankees seem serious about reducing payroll. The Steinbrenners in charge now seem much more business-oriented - more like other owners - than their father was.
I have no idea what the Yanks are going to do, but they better do something.
So, apparently Paul Janish was in zero danger of being non-tendered at the deadline. The Braves actually signed him to a one-year contract earlier this year, and didn't bother to announce it until now.
After his shoulder injury, they wanted him to delay surgery so he could play in the post-season. Since that would affect his value as a free agent the next year (if he wasn't fully healed yet), they agreed to sign him for next year right away.
Nice to know they valued him so much, but jeez, they could have announced it earlier. I was afraid MLBTR was right and he'd be non-tendered.
Labels: Paul Janish