Francoeur for the All-Star Game

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I’ve known Sports Illustrated’s Tim Marchman — in that way that people
know each other on the Internet — for a year or two now. And I thought
we were friends and everything. So why he’s trying to raise my blood
pressure and force me into having a heart attack I don’t know, but he’s
doing it anyway. From his All-Star picks column:

Right field: Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta: Apologies to Justin
Upton, but when baseball no longer has a place for the likes of
Francoeur, a player so extravagantly talented that he can hold down a
major league job despite seemingly having little more idea of what to
do with that talent than a tomcat, baseball will no longer be worth
watching.

May as well agitate for a contract extension while you’re at it, Tim. Sheesh.

(thanks to reader Ernest O. for the link)

Rangers sign Josh Hamilton to a minor league deal

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The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.

Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.