Giving Thanks

Leave a comment lists some of the many things we baseball fans have to be thankful for this fine morning:

Thanks to Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen, Orioles right fielder
Nick Markakis, Marlins club representatives and anyone else who was
spotted this past week delivering turkeys and meals to families in
need. There is only one word.

Thanks to Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez for allowing your famously
flowing locks to be cut and auctioned for charity. The proceeds
provided about $6,000 to Imerman Angels, a Chicago-based nonprofit
group that connects those battling cancer with those who have survived
it to provide inspiration.

Thanks to 2009 Roberto Clemente Award winner Derek Jeter of the Yankees and your Turn 2 Foundation for pointing so many kids in the right direction. While we’re at it, thanks for taking us along for that joy ride resulting in hit No. 2,722 to pass Lou Gehrig for No. 1 on the Yankees’ all-time list.

Thanks to everyone involved with the youth initiative that was the focus of Game 4 of the World Series. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities presented by KPMG, along with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, continued to overcome inherent challenges in making baseball available for all kids.

There were many club-level Komen events as well, like the one on Sept. 5 at Oakland, where the A’s raised $75,690 on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Proceeds benefited the American Cancer Society, Northern California Cancer Center and Komen. Those events are so common and worth highlighting as an example here.

Thanks for everyone who helped with the Prostate Cancer Foundation efforts on the annual Father’s Day events at the ballparks. And thanks to the late Michael Goldsmith, whose plea as a fan with Lou Gehrig’s disease inspired the initiative that led to 4♦ALS Awareness.

There are many other things listed, both charitable and merely baseball-related.  It’s worth a gander to see just how much those in and around baseball do for the community and to simply make our little lives a bit more enjoyable between April and November.

The CTB family would like to give thanks too.  When we launched this blog back in April we would have been happy if our mothers and girlfriends* read it.  It’s been nice to see the community grow these past few months and stay with us as the baseball season has turned into the hot stove season.

And it is a community: more than just we knuckleheads opining on stuff, CTB has become a place for baseball conversation, and you can’t have a conversation unless someone is talking back to you.  Sure, sometimes you yell back at us, but that’s OK. Keeps us on our toes.  The point is, we thank you for coming by each day, and we look forward to continuing to bring you all the baseball news (and rumors and gossip and vendettas and occasionally innuendo) that’s fit to print.


The CTB Team

*These girls are hypothetical; we’re bloggers after all.

Tigers GM Al Avila confirms that his son likely won’t be back next year

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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After seven seasons in Detroit, impending free agent catcher Alex Avila will likely be playing elsewhere next season. Avila’s father, Tigers general manager Al Avila, confirmed as much in his comments to the media Thursday.

Here’s a quote from Chris Iott of

“I don’t really see it as a priority,” Al Avila said Thursday during a season-ending meeting with media members. “Right now, (James) McCann is our starting catcher and (Bryan) Holaday is coming back but is out of options. Basically, Holaday has to be our backup catcher or he’s out of options.”

Avila has had a heck of a run in Detroit, including an All-Star appearance in 2011, but this is a business and it’s logical why the Tigers are moving on. The 28-year-old dealt with knee problems this season while batting just .191 with four home runs and a .626 OPS in 219 plate appearances. He actually had more walks (40) than he did hits (34) while falling into a backup role.

With McCann now at the top of the depth chart and Holaday as his projected backup, Avila believes that his son will likely find an opportunity on the open market “that might be more beneficial to him.”

Adrian Beltre unsure if he’ll be ready for Game 3 of the ALDS

Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre takes batting practice during baseball practice in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. The Blue Jays start the American League Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers in Toronto on Thursday. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP
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Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre sat out Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday due to a lower back strain and he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he’s unsure whether he’ll be ready to return when the series resumes Sunday in Arlington.

“I can’t really say,” Beltre said after sitting out the Rangers’ 6-4 14-inning win over Toronto on Friday because of a lower back strain. It got a little better as the game went on. But I can’t say if I will be ready to play or not.”

Beltre tweaked his back on a slide into second base in the first inning of Game 1 on Thursday. He received a cortisone injection in an effort to stay in the game, but his back locked up on him again while running to first base on an RBI single in the third inning. While he was in a lot of pain at the time, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that there’s been “some improvement” since. Beltre was able to take a few swings off the tee during Game 2 yesterday.

There’s obviously no replacing someone like Beltre, but the Rangers have managed to grab a 2-0 series lead over the Blue Jays without him. His replacement, Hanser Alberto, committed an error yesterday which opened the door for two runs to score, but he later redeemed himself with a go-ahead RBI single in the 14th inning.

Video: Jacob deGrom pranks Daniel Murphy in postgame press conference


After dominating the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS last night with 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings, Jacob deGrom‘s best performance might have been pranking Daniel Murphy in the postgame press conference.

As you’ll see in the video below, deGrom sat down between David Wright and Murphy. Wright appears to lower the seat of the shaggy-haired right-hander. This gave deGrom the idea to do the same for an unsuspecting Murphy. The reaction was priceless…

Yes, Murphy let out a “yowzers.” Appropriately enough, “yowzers” is likely how the Dodgers would summarize facing deGrom last night.