Link-O-Rama: Victor Martinez will be busy tonight

Leave a comment

* Victor Martinez, who figures to be behind the plate tonight if Tim Wakefield pitches in the All-Star game, admitted yesterday that he’s never caught a knuckleball “in my life.” Good luck with that, Vic. He can always follow Bob Uecker’s advice: “Wait until it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it up.”

* While withholding names to protect the guilty, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle passes along the story
of a married major leaguer who “asked a female intern from another
media outlet if she’d like to join him at a club in Houston later that
night.” I haven’t been this shocked since …

* Stephen Strasburg was voted
this year’s Golden Spikes Award winner, which goes to the top college
player in the country. The other finalists were Dustin Ackley of North
Carolina, Mike Leake of Arizona State, Kent Matthes of Alabama, and
A.J. Morris of Kansas State.

* The Baseball Writers Association of America voted yesterday
and “have turned down a proposal to form a committee for developing
guidelines on evaluating players from the steroids era in Hall of Fame
voting.”

* Meanwhile, commissioner Bud Selig said this morning
that he’d like to eliminate the ability for suspended players such as
Manny Ramirez or J.C. Romero to go on minor-league rehab assignments
before their full penalty has been served.

Angel Hernandez ejects Asdrubal Cabrera from a spring training game

Getty Images
3 Comments

You don’t see many ejections in spring training games. The stakes are virtually non-existent, so it’s not like a player is likely to blow up at a bad call or something. That’s especially true now, as we enter spring training’s final week. Everyone wants to get through it uninjured and without fuss. And it’s getting hot in Florida in Arizona too. No one’s got time for that.

Yesterday Asdrubal Cabrera and Angel Hernandez did, though. Cabrera was batting in a road game against the Nats. He asked for time to step out of the box. Hernandez didn’t give it to him. This annoyed Cabrera who, after hitting a single, jawed at Hernandez as he ran out of the box and then pointed at him once he reached first base. Hernandez ran him.

Cabrera didn’t quickly leave the field. He took a slow, slow walk to the outfield and left via the gate in right, which is where visiting players tend to enter and leave spring parks. Watch:

 

Here’s what Cabrera told reporters after the game:

“‘C’mon, man, you’re better than that,’ ” Cabrera said, recalling what he yelled at Hernandez. “And he threw me out.”

Eh. I have no love for Angel Hernandez, but “you’re better than that” is a weak sauce insult. For one thing, maybe the person isn’t better than that? For another, it’s functionally equivalent to “you know better,” which is a thing a parent says to a kid. It’s fine when your dad says it, but Cabrera isn’t Hernandez’s dad and thus saying so carries with it an implicit belittling intent. It’s an ad hominem, which violates the usual ump-player understanding in which you can say a call was b.s. but don’t say the ump is a jerk personally.

More generally, it’s just cowardly. It’s designed not to deal with the substance of the beef. “You are a fine person all of the time, kind sir, but in this instance you are not up to par.” Well, why? Say so or shut up and quit being passive-aggressive.

Again: Hernandez is generally horrible. He’s not better than that, actually. But Cabrera deserved to get run, if for no other reason, than his insult was lame.

Report: Jung-Ho Kang not granted a visa to enter the United States

Getty Images
5 Comments

This could be a problem for the Pirates.

Ballwriter Sung Min Kim tweets that, according to a Korean report, which you can read here if you know Korean, Pirates infielder Jung-Ho Kang has been denied a visa to enter the United States. The report just broke this morning and has yet to hit the English language press.

He adds that the report suggests that Kang, who was just convicted of a third DUI in Korea, may have a DUI conviction in a third country, though that part is unconfirmed. It’s also unclear whether that, or the mere fact of his conviction in Korea, has held up his visa.

Either way, Kang has yet to see a day of camp and will almost certainly not be ready to start the season for the Pirates, even if he gets his visa today. It sounds, however, like this could be a more drawn out process. We’ll stay tuned.