Cards offer to Holliday under $18 mil. per season

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Yesterday we heard that the Cardinals tendered a formal contract offer to free agent outfielder Matt Holliday.
Though no specific terms were mentioned at the time, this morning Joe
Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites ‘a source familiar with
the process’ as saying
the offer did not top $18 million per season.
This is notable because Holliday and agent Scott Boras turned down a
similar salary amount with the Rockies during the 2008 season.




The Cardinals hope to hear a
response from Holliday’s camp early next week, but they will almost
surely decline. This week in Indianapolis, Boras continued to compare
Holliday’s value to that of Mark Teixeira — you know, the guy that
signed an eight-year, $180 million contract with the Yankees last
December. The sooner Holliday says no, perhaps the sooner “Plan B” can begin.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.