Mar 7, 2012, 7:51 AM EST
After I left the ballpark yesterday afternoon I came back to my hotel and placed my health first among all other things. First, I moved into my new non-smoking room, which was good for my lungs. Then I went to the fitness center and ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes which was good for my heart, body and soul.
Then I went to In-n-Out Burger and ate this followed by a trip to a dive bar called TT Roadhouse where I hoisted the moist with a friend of mine. No, I don’t think it’s safe to say that I’m in the best shape of my life after all of that. Hell, I’m not even in the best shape of the bloggers on this site.
The friend of mine was a former sportswriter and former blogger named Connor Doyle who I met back in the Shysterball days. When I was here last year, as some of you may remember, I had beers with him and DIPS legend Voros McCracken and nearly started a race riot. Last night wasn’t quite as scary, but it definitely turned strange.
We had been there a little over an hour or so when a man with a gigantic head wound came up and sat down at our table and began talking to us. He began in mid-sentence as if he had been with us all night, and took up the political conversation Connor and I were having. Well, OK then. He did pause long enough for Connor to ask him what happened to his head. Seems he was walking with a girl last week when a man ran him over with a car and then drove away. He treated the explanation as though it was bothersome and unimportant and continued on with his political monologue. Well, OK again.
The substance of the monologue: if he had a time machine and could go back and change one historical event, it would be to prevent women getting the right to vote. Really: that’s when he believes all of our country’s problems began.
“The 50s were great,” he said. “Everything was going just fine until women got the vote.”
“You realize that by the 50s women had been voting for over 30 years,” I said.
He just kind of stopped for a second, considered the thought, ignored it and moved on. And to be fair to him, he did expand the point: it wasn’t just women voting that was the problem. It was all racial minorities, homosexuals and “children.” I thought I’d comfort him by telling him that children still don’t have the right to vote, but I couldn’t really get a word in.
From there we moved on to evolution (“So you believe we came from monkeys? That it went ooze-fish-monkeys-man? Really?”) and then on to religion (“I’m not one of those crazy people, but religion has done more to disprove science than science has to prove evolution”). He noted at one point that he got a concussion in that hit-and-run last week. I nodded.
Eventually our friend — who would not let me take his picture sadly, because I believe that by that time he realized (a) I was a writer; and (b) I was taking mental notes — mentioned that three women were coming to meet him there and implied that, if we played our cards right, maybe Connor and I could get lucky.
I figured that was his tallest tale of the evening but I’ll be damned if three women didn’t eventually show up. One had a boyfriend with her. None of them seemed like people who would hang out with our friend, here. Indeed, when he went to use the restroom, one of the women said that she didn’t know the guy’s name and that they just call him “the guy who got hit by the car.” I am still unclear on why they would all meet him out at a bar.
I was likewise unclear why I was still talking to him, but eventually he disappeared into the night. I’m still not 100% certain that he existed. It’s possible someone spiked my Double-Double animal style or slipped a mickey into Moose Drool brown ale. But if he did exist, just know that people like him walk the Earth. Well, sort of stagger the Earth, but still.
Freakin’ Arizona. Drink here at your peril. Or maybe just don’t go out with Connor Doyle, because for as great a guy as he is, he seems to attract the weird ones.
Back to baseball this morning. I’m heading to the Peoria Sports Complex where I will witness the debut of Yu Darvish. A man who, until last night, I figured would be the most interesting person I’d meet in Spring Training.
Reports from the ballpark later, my friends.
Dec 10, 2013, 2:20 PM EST
There were two eye-opening bits of news here in this story about Mark Prior retiring. 1. I honestly thought he retired five years ago. 2. Mark Prior is still only 33 years old. The second of those bits is even more shocking than the first. He is STILL only 33? If Mark Prior had stayed…
Dec 10, 2013, 1:54 PM EST
The Denver Post’s Troy Renck and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal are reporting that the Rockies and A’s have restarted talks regarding left-hander Brett Anderson. The Rockies have also been pursuing Reds reliever Sean Marshall as they attempt to bolster their pitching staff. As things stand right now, the Rockies are likely looking at a rotation of…
Dec 10, 2013, 1:31 PM EST
Curtis Granderson was just formally introduced as the newest New York Met. And, having just left the employ of the New York Yankees, lobbed a bomb that you know the tabloids are going to run with like crazy: “A lot of people have told me real New Yorkers are Mets fans” Granderson is smart and…
Dec 10, 2013, 1:25 PM EST
1:25 p.m. EST update: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez hears that the three-team deal is “getting pretty close” and that Howie Kendrick is not involved. /// ESPN.com’s Keith Law hears the White Sox are now part of the trade talks designed to send Mark Trumbo to Arizona, with the White Sox getting outfielder Adam Eaton and sending…
Dec 10, 2013, 12:50 PM EST
At some point the Mariners will presumably want to add a high-priced closer to their increasingly expensive roster and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Seattle is interested in former Rays closer Fernando Rodney. Morosi notes that Rodney knows new Mariners manager Llloyd McClendon from their time together with the Tigers, although back then Rodney…
Dec 10, 2013, 12:28 PM EST
Posted by his wife, Ashley, to twitter, with the caption “Awkward family photo.”
Dec 10, 2013, 12:10 PM EST
The Juan Uribe market is sizzling, it seems. Enrique Rojas reports that the Dodgers and White Sox are “pushing hard” for him. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins are interested as well. And why not? Uribe is coming off a pretty darn good 2013, posting a .769 OPS in 426 plate appearances while playing an excellent…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:51 AM EST
Tony Jackson has covered baseball for two decades, including gigs as the Dodgers beat reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News and ESPN Los Angeles, but now he’s hanging up the keyboard after a brief run as an independent blogger: After all these years, I simply have had my fill of covering baseball. I used…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
The Diamondbacks seem determined to get a bat, and it’s apparently going to be either Mark Trumbo or Shin-Soo Choo. It sounds like, for their own good, it had better be Choo. Jon Heyman reports that they are currently considering trading Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels for Trumbo. Which, really, seems like an…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:19 AM EST
There’s been surprisingly few teams linked to Ubaldo Jimenez and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did some digging to figure out why. He turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer and any team signing him would be giving up a draft pick to do so. According to Hoynes the Indians “have remained…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:06 AM EST
The Baseball Writers Association of America held its annual meeting this morning and admitted three new members to its ranks. They are: Grantland/ESPN’s Jonah Keri, Yahoo!’s Dave Brown and ESPN’s David Schoenfield. All three are deserving, hard-working baseball writers. All three are also top representatives of online baseball media. It’s very good, both for them and,…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:57 AM EST
Greg Johns of MLB.com is reporting that Jason Bay could sign with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. Bay — who appears to be more than done as a major leaguer — was released by the Mariners in August after he hit a mere .204/.298/.393 over 236 plate appearances in 2013. He’s 35. Personally…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:47 AM EST
Add another name to the list, as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is getting into The Best Shape Of His Life: The Cubs are making sure shortstop Starlin Castro reports to Spring Training in better shape. The team assigned strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic to…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Roger Angell of the New Yorker as the 2014 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame during the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next July. The Spink Award is given for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” And Angell certainly…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
It sounds like Baltimore has zeroed in on its preferred Jim Johnson replacement, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “trying to get a deal done” with former A’s closer Grant Balfour. Balfour didn’t get a chance to be a closer until age 33, but he’s saved 62 games with a 2.56…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:52 AM EST
It’s been a long time coming — and was mostly agreed to a couple of days ago — but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that MLB and NPB have an agreement in place on a new posting system that now only requires ratification by baseball’s executive council. That approval is expected. The…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
Reported yesterday that he was being viewed by more teams as a “Plan B” trade target, the A’s are reportedly now thinking of not shopping Brett Anderson. Jeff Passan: Sources: Teams believe A’s have cooled on idea of trading Brett Anderson this week. May still go eventually. Just not close to a guarantee. — Jeff…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:21 AM EST
If someone — anyone — has a clue what the Phillies’ grand plan is, I’d love to hear it. I’m sure anyone would: The Phillies have indicated to other teams they are ready and willing to talk about Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 10, 2013 I suppose that…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
UPDATE: Looks like the deal is done: two years with the Tigers, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith. The details are unknown. 9AM: Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Tigers are the frontrunners for Rajai Davis. Since, according to Smith, Davis is expected to sign quickly, it would appear that he’s crossing the Ambassador Bridge and heading for Motown. Davis…
Dec 10, 2013, 8:29 AM EST
Every year we get a report that Mark Prior is working out, hoping to make a major league comeback after years of injuries. No more. Andrew Simon of MLB.com reports that the former Cubs phenom is calling it quits: After a series of injuries and several comeback attempts, it appears Mark Prior is ready to…
- Curtis Granderson: “A lot of people have told me real New Yorkers are Mets fans” 26
- The Phillies have told teams they’d trade Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels 53
- Mark Prior’s retirement reminds us that young pitchers will break your heart 24
- Roy Halladay is retiring 54
- Tony La Russa Bobby Cox, Joe Torre all unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame 50
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (160)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (112)