This summer, I’ll be moving from the suburbs into the city, and today begins that process.
In a few hours, I’ll be checking out a some apartments mostly in the Lincoln Park/Lakeview area, and a few are pretty darn close to Wrigley Field … somehow I can tell I like those ones already.
Today’s Ask Away will still go up later, though, and remember, you can send in questions to AskAway at BleacherNation dot com to get them answered and featured in an upcoming article.
But, that’s for later. For now, let’s get to some news from around the league …
- Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage has made some, eh hem, interesting comments about some of the best players and executives around the game. I’m not entirely sure how to properly share the best ones, so I’ll just strongly encourage you to take a look here at ESPN. As a little teaser, he called both Jose Bautista and Yoenis Cespedes “a f—ing disgrace,” and said that there are a “a bunch of f—ing nerds running the game.” Each of the players, including Bautista, get to respond and do so calmly and gracefully, so as to make Gossage’s message look like much more like the “joke” he considers each of them to be. Yikes.
- Ruben Amaro Jr. (the former General Manager of the Phillies and current first base coach for the Red Sox) has taken a lot of flak over the past few years, particularly for his reported distaste of advanced analytics. Identified as an “old-fashioned” general manager, Amaro was notoriously “pro-scout” and “anti-sabermetrics,” but is that entirely accurate? At FanGraphs, David Laurila sat down with Amaro to ask him a series of question on analytics, scouting, Statcast, medical data, age levels and much more. Before you pass judgement on Amaro, I’d encourage you to read his responses first. He is clearly less fond of analytics than, say, Andrew Friedman or Theo Epstein, but he certainly understands and embraces their importance.
- Angels right-hander Jared Weaver was reportedly having neck soreness, yesterday during his Spring Training start against the Dodgers. In that start, he gave up three home runs and had trouble hitting 80 MPH on his fastball. Although his velocity averaged out at just 84.9 MPH last season, the Angeles are concerned about where he’s at and how he feels right now, so they’ve sent him to receive an MRI. The team is labeling the MRI “precautionary,” but at 33 years old, Weaver would have a tough time coming back from a serious injury.
- Then again … do you remember Rich Hill? He pitched for the Cubs back from 2005 to 2008, before being traded to Orioles. Since then, his career has been somewhat of a roller coaster, undergoing shoulder surgery in 2009 and Tommy John Surgery in 2011. After regaining his strength and playing in independent ball, Hill signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox last season and wound up making six starts after Steven Wright suffered a concussion and was out for the rest of the season. Hill, 36, made four starts with the Red Sox last September (his first since 2009) and spun that into a one-year/$6 million deal with the Athletics. It’s an excellent comeback story, and I wish him the best of luck in 2016, “especially since your interests don’t conflict with mine.” (Name that movie).
- We’re on the verge of the next competitive advantage in baseball, and it’s coming from the world of injuries. All across baseball, teams are investing in ways to find and prevent player injuries before they happen more so than ever before. For just one example, the St. Louis Cardinals have created an entire Performance Department to work alongside their medical staff in predicting and preventing player injuries. At FanGraphs, Eno Sarris examines some of the various ways to study pitching injuries, now that our technology is finally catching up with scientific theory. It’s a fascinating read and I believe it is just the beginning of this new market inefficiency.
- At Baseball is Fun, Brett writes what is probably my favorite article there since the site’s inception. Having called out Bryce Harper for his comments that baseball is “tired” and for not respecting the “unwritten rules of the game,” Sergio Romo must have forgotten what he does on the mound after a big moment. Shame, shame, I know your name!