Vicente Padilla was placed on waivers by the Rangers on Wednesday, but based on what his teammates are saying about him, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anyone else to go to go out of their way to claim him:
Vinny is considered too much of a loner to be considered a team
cancer, but as one guy told me, “He just doesn’t care. He could care
less. And he’s going to get somebody hurt. Somebody who does care about
the team. Vinny throws at hitters. Always has. That’s not necessarily
bad, but he’s stupid at times with how he does it, such as drilling
Mark Teixeira of the Yankees twice on Tuesday night. Padilla claims it
wasn’t intentional. Nobody believed him, starting with Tex, but also
including those in his own clubhouse.
“What if Nellie (Nelson Cruz) had been hit in the head and we lose
him?” asked a member of the Rangers, referring to the retaliatory pitch
on Tuesday which was in the vicinity of Cruz’s noggin. “Or when Tex
goes that hard into second, trying to kill the kid (prized young
shortstop Elvis Andrus)? That was retaliatory for getting drilled (by
Padilla). What if Elvis had been hurt over nothing?”
The Rangers’ source also criticizes Padilla’s approach to pitching,
saying that he just wings out there, has no plan, and more or less
ignores pitching coach Mike Maddux.
I think the biggest problem with Padilla could be conditioning. I
hadn’t seen him pitch for a year or two before seeing the highlights of
the Yankees-Rangers game the other night, and the guy just looks fat.
Oh, and he also has a history of problems with alcohol. That second link goes to an article in Spanish which — according to this baseball expert and Spanish speaker
— reports that Padilla was driving drunk in Nicaragua three years ago
with a friend in the passenger’s seat, got in an accident, and caused
his friend’s death.
To sum up: Vicente Padilla is (a) a reckless head hunter who; (b)
can’t be coached; (c) is out of shape; (d) has a history of alcohol
issues; and (e) is still owed $8 million or so this season.
I can just hear the teams lining up to claim him off waivers now.
(link via BTF)
The funny thing about that “stick to sports” stuff I was going on about the other day is that, in reality, a whole lot of the people who say “stick to sports” don’t really want to just stick to sports. They’re totally cool going on about political, social or cultural stuff as long as it fits their world view. It’s not “stick to sports.” It’s “don’t talk about the social implications of sports-related stuff in ways that upset me.” If sports and culture come together in other ways, however, they’re completely fine in grinding their axe.
For example, Beyonce is playing a concert a Citi Field this summer. The show is so popular that they added a second date. The Mets’ Twitter feed just announced that tickets will go on sale for the new show soon:
A while lotta Mets fans responded to that negatively. For political/social/cultural reasons that they are willingly bringing in to a conversation about a pop singer and a baseball stadium that will double as a concert venue:
And they go on and on.
How much do you want to bet that a whole lotta these respondents would tell you to “stick to baseball” if you wanted to bring up how race affects the sport or how, if instead of Beyonce, this was announcing a Kid Rock/Ted Nugent-headlined festival and you mused whether that was a case of the Mets somehow endorsing their messages?
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are “making progress” in talks with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Gallardo has been on the market so long because he has a first round pick tied to him due to his declining the Rangers’ qualifying offer. The Orioles would have to forfeit the 14th overall pick in order to sign him. That has been too steep a price to pay for them all winter, but as we’re mere days away from pitchers and catchers reporting, it’s likely that Gallardo’s price has dropped enough to make it worth their while.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons — and had a career-low 3.42 ERA in 2015 — but his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012, suggesting that trouble could be on the horizon.
If the O’s do burn their pick to get Gallardo, it might make sense for them to go all-in with another free agent like Dexter Fowler, given that they’d not have to give up anything else to do it.
First baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland and the Rangers have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $5.7 million deal.
Moreland requested $6 million and the Rangers countered at $4.675 million, so the two sides settled on the player-friendly side of the midpoint.
Moreland bounced back from an injury wrecked 2014 season to have a career-year in 2015, hitting .278 with 23 homers and an .812 OPS in 132 games. Arbitration eligible for the final time at age 30, he’s set to be a free agent next offseason.
We’ve posted frequently on the topic of the old Tiger Stadium site. If you’ve kept up with it you know that the site, nearly overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash before being rescued by a group of volunteers called the Navin Field Grounds Crew, is now being slated for redevelopment by the Detroit Police Athletic League.
The PAL is committed to keeping a baseball field as part of the development, but they are also, quite unfortunately, committed to putting artificial turf down over the bit of Earth where baseball legends once walked and ran.
Backlash to the plan has begun, however. Not just from people like me or the Navin Field Grounds Crew, who are opposed to fake grass, but to an actual donor to the Detroit Police Athletic League:
With an annual contribution of $50,000 to Detroit PAL’s programs, the Lear Corporation has been a major benefactor of the nonprofit for years. But in light of PAL’s controversial plan to redevelop the Tiger Stadium site with artificial turf, Lear’s CEO is speaking out.
Matthew Simoncini says that Lear is withdrawing its financial support of PAL for its mishandling of this delicate issue.
“I believe the [PAL] plan is severely flawed [and] a terrible use of resources,” says Simoncini. “[It] does not preserve this site and provides [an] unsafe playing surface for the children,”
I’m guessing $50,000 is not the sort of money that will seriously hinder a real estate redevelopment plan, but it’s good to hear someone with a stake in all of this voting with their wallet. Here’s hoping more do and that, eventually, PAL understands that there are some things more important than saving some money at the front end of a project.