9:21 A.M. UPDATE: Rosenthal now reports that Podsednik is saying he has a deal with a club and that the Royals are saying they have a deal with an outfielder and that we should “put 2 and 2 together!” UPDATE: Now Jerry Crasnick has a source confirming this and that a formal announcement will come tomorrow once the physical is done.
9:00 A.M. Why everyone is talking about some college football game this morning when there’s big news like the Royals thinking about signing Scott Podsednik floating around I’ll have no idea. Priorities people.
Podsednik hit .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals and 75 runs in 132 games
after joining the White Sox on May 1. But he hit just .243/.299/.369 in
2007 and .253/.322/.333 in 2008.
His defense is generally below average (Carl Crawford can thank Podsednik for the inside the park home run he hit last July on a truly atrocious jump by Podsednik). He’s fast, but he gets caught stealing a lot. He’s a guy who can be useful if he hits .300, but he’s only done that twice in nine years and he’s going to be 34 this year.
I know I’m guilty of slamming the Royals at the drop of a hat, but I’m not doing that here. Podsednik can be marginally useful if he’s not making much money. But if the Royals give him a lot of money and expect him to be the everyday centerfielder, this would fit the profile of a lot of recent Royals signings: overpaying for a recognized name and a recent statistical bump while ignoring the guy’s overall body of work, his likely production going
forward and the fact that it could probably be replicated by any number of cheaper options.
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.
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.