The champagne goggles are very lame, but very necessary

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Anyone else feel that the post-clinch champagne celebrations feel scripted and rote by now?  Like it’s something that players feel obligated to do as opposed to something done spontaneously? Are you telling me that a guy like Nick Swisher couldn’t, if baseball’s social conventions allowed it, find a more interesting way to celebrate than by pouring bubbly on his friends’ heads?  I’m guessing he could break 50 laws of God and Man within an hour of the the game ending if given the chance.  I haven’t seen something truly spontaneous happen after a World Series since Wade Boggs got up on that horse.

But alas, we get champagne. It’s too much of a tradition now, much like the rather awkward and scripted jumping up and down in the middle of the field after the final out (note: did anyone else notice that some guys — like Posada — started doing little awkward hops before the dogpile because, well, they sort of felt they had to? Gave me a chuckle). There’s nothing that can be done about it at this point.

The best we can hope for, I suppose, is that players at least act like its spontaneous and not cover the room with plastic and put on goggles or something.  Wait, what? We can’t expect that either?

Talk to an eye doctor, though, and you’ll be converted to the pro-goggle side with the speed of one of Sabathia’s fastballs.

has a high alcohol content, high enough to damage the surface lining of
the cornea, says Dr. Matthew Gardiner, director of emergency
ophthalmology services at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. (For
those medically inclined, the lining is called the epithelium.)

corneal abrasion like that usually heals within two to three days, but
it can be extremely painful while it’s healing,” says Gardiner.

Fine. We’ll let you have your little champagne celebration.  And we’ll certainly let you have your goggles too.

Now about all of that hopping . . . 

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.