Playing pro baseball is good for your social life

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Doug Glanville was merely a decent outfielder during his nine-year career with the Phillies, Cubs, and Rangers, but since retiring following the 2004 season he’s become an excellent writer for the New York Times.
In the wake of the whole Tiger Woods “situation” Glanville’s latest column describes how signing a professional contract instantly transformed him from “kind of nerdy” in high school to someone who had little trouble attracting women. You should really read the whole piece, because Glanville is willing to share plenty of personal details in addition to being a smart, compelling writer, but here are a couple particularly interesting excerpts:

I was a diligent student, kind of nerdy, the son of a teacher, and as interested in baseball and computers as I was in girls. Still, I was told I had potential in the social department, if I applied myself. But something magical happened before I had to do much work. I signed a professional baseball contract as a junior in college and went away to my first spring training as a member of the Chicago Cubs organization.



[…]



Because I had a few shells to bust out of, I put my toe in that party water, too. I was just 20 when I was drafted and it didn’t take long to understand that a new kind of woman was interested in me: the sort of woman who in the past had stirred my insecurity. It was like a kid finding Batman’s belt in the lost and found. No point in giving it back until you’ve tried all your new powers. But we forget to ask, will I be able to stop once I’ve tasted these powers?

My problem? I don’t even have a belt.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.