Boone staging a comeback worth rooting for

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041010_boone_vmed_10p.standard[1].jpgFive months after undergoing open-heart surgery, Aaron Boone – or Aaron “Bleepin'” Boone, as Red Sox fans know him – is about to return to the major leagues.

He’ll join the Houston Astros on Friday, then be activated when rosters expand on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Boone has been playing in the minors since Aug. 10, and to be honest, he hasn’t done a whole lot, going 3-for-15 at Double-A Corpus Christi before moving up to Triple-A Round Rock, where he was 0-for-4 in two games.

But that’s really besides the point isn’t it?

Five months ago, doctors opened him up to perform an eight-hour procedure, cracking his sternum and replacing a leaky aortic valve. Now he’s back in the bigs.

Boone comes from a great baseball family. His brother, Bret, was a three-time All-Star with the Mariners, Reds, Braves and Padres. His father, Bob, was a four-time All-Star who caught more games than any catcher not named Carlton Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez. His grandfather Ray, was twice an All-Star.

Yet despite all that baseball royalty in his blood, Aaron Boone isn’t playing to earn accolades. Nor is he playing for money. He’s playing simply because he enjoys playing, and he enjoys life. (From the Statesman):

He may not play beyond 2009, a fate Boone said he’s comfortable with.
As he put it, “I’m looking forward to life after baseball.”
Not to mention life itself.

There’s a guy I can root for.

******

If you Twitter feel free to follow me at @Bharks.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.