Going to the highest bidder:
This is a 1983-85 Robin Yount Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Corked Bat. This bat dates to the 1983-85 period based on the Louisville Slugger centerbrand period, and the Louisville Slugger factory records, which indicate that Yount ordered the P72C 35″ no finish model bat during the entire 1983-85 centerbrand period . . . The very interesting part of this bat, and what makes it special is the apparent corking, a trait banned by MLB rules, visible inside of the cupped barrel end, which slightly distorts the jersey number 19.
I’m not sure what’s harder to believe: that a Hall of Famer like Yount might have corked his bat or that he actually believed hitting with a corked bat helps in the first place. Because it almost certainly does not.
UPDATE: A friend of mine who is much smarter than I am read the linked corked bat-debunking and finds considerable fault with it. He’s right: it’s a highly qualified article that, if anything, could be read to actually establish that corked bats do, indeed, confer a benefit on the hitter. I’ll admit that I didn’t read the article too closely before I linked it this morning. I had simply read multiple debunkings of corked bats in the past, and at first glance assumed that was one ’em. We can do better than that, so here’s Mythbusters. They’re on TV, so they HAVE to be more credible, right?
(link via Monozygotic)
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.