How not to steal a baseball monument

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ripken_monument_090909.jpgFour men have been arrested on charges of felony theft and destruction of property, accused of removing a four-foot aluminum monument to Cal Ripken from outside Camden Yards on Wednesday.

It took police all of two hours to track them down, thanks to a number of mistakes they made along the way

— They bit off more than they could chew. They took Cal Ripken’s No. 8. There were a number of others to be had nearby, including Brooks Robinson’s No. 5, Jim Palmer’s No. 22 and Eddie Murray’s No. 33. Yet they chose Ripken. You think the police put out an “all-points bulletin” for Eddie Murray? I don’t think so.

— No disguise. The men were caught on surveillance cameras. If you’re going to break the law, wear a mask. Even Phoenix flight attendants know that.

— No discipline. The officers spotted the giant No. 8 in the back of a pickup truck when they responded to a disorderly conduct report. Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink, Mr. White and Nice Guy Eddie, is that you?

— No money for legal counsel.

There was no indication they had attorneys.

Come on people. Do I have to do everything?

******

If you Twitter, and find a life of crime to be incredibly exhausting, follow me at @Bharks.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.