Red Sox getting tired of Dice-K's act

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To say that the Red Sox are disappointed that Daisuke Matsuzaka came
out and blamed his health issues on Boston’s trainers is like saying
Brett Favre is indecisive.

Or that Randy Johnson is tall. You get the idea.

The BoSox, in fact are not simply “disappointed”, as the ultra polite Terry Francona said on Tuesday. Like a mushroom-cloud-laying Jules Winnfield from “Pulp Fiction, they seem ready to strike down upon their pitcher with great vengeance and furious anger.

This from the Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti:

“I think we all share, in a word, that it’s disappointing,” Red Sox
pitching coach John Farrell said a short time ago in the Boston
clubhouse — veins all but bulging from his neck — in response to
critical comments made by Daisuke Matsuzaka. Added Farrell when asked
if he was frustrated, “The disappointment comes in airing his dirty
laundry.”

Massarotti goes on to write that the Red Sox have been frustrated with
Dice-K’s “high-maintenance” act long ago, but put up with it because he
won. Now that the right-hander is tossing barbs at the organization,
the team might be finished playing nice.

In retrospect, what Farrell did not say was that Matsuzaka looked
like he spent the winter eating dumplings and shumai, which the Red Sox
believe contributed to the pitcher’s problems.

“It’s not just the shoulder,” Farrell said tonight when asked about
the importance of proper conditioning. “When the overall body is not in
the condition necessary to support that, there has to be some
responsibility taken [on the part of the pitcher.]”

So the Red Sox turn the tables, blaming Dice-K for his poor conditioning. It’s not quite “Fat Toad” territory, but pretty darn close.

Dice-K’s comments have not endeared himself to fans. It will be interesting to see where this leads.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.