The "curse of MT"

Leave a comment

Someone please kill Twitter. Kill it with fire:

Following the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Yankees, Thursday night at
Fenway Park — their eighth victory in as many meetings with New York
this season — Sox majority owner John Henry posted on his Twitter
account: “the MT Curse?” The ‘MT’ was assumed to be in reference to
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who signed with the Yankees
instead of the Red Sox. But a few hours later, in an email to WEEI.com,
Henry wrote: “Purely Entertainment. Nothing more. I don’t believe in
curses.”

OK, that’s not fair. Twitter isn’t the problem here. It’s just the
medium. This is really two problems, a minor one and a major one. The
minor one is that John Henry doesn’t know how curses are supposed to
work. The Red Sox allegedly failed to win the World Series for over
eight decades because they gave up the guy they should have kept, not
because they got him. For there to be some curse analogous to that of
the Bambino here, it would have to be the curse of, hell, I dunno, John
Smoltz or Brad Penny or something. Wait, the Yankees didn’t want those
guys. Look, just make up your own curse, I don’t have time to think
that through.

The major problem here is the pathological overreaction to this kind
of stuff by the East Coast media. So John Henry said something somewhat
off-the-wall late in the evening. Henry is my mom’s age. She’s so batty
we can’t take her in public, so this isn’t exactly news. Nevertheless,
we can be assured that Henry’s tweets will be all over the Boston and New York media today. If that seagull thing had happened in the Sox-Yankees game the bird’s family would be on all of the talk shows today.

Yordano Ventura killed in an auto accident

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 2:  Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals jokes with teammates as he walks off the field after the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
13 Comments

UPDATE, 12:07 p.m. EDT: The Royals have confirmed reports of Yordano Ventura’s death with an official statement. No further details pertaining to the accident have been divulged.

Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.

Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.

Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.

Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Getty Images
8 Comments

Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.