McGwire, A-Rod and the double standards

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You don’t have to search hard in my archives to find effusive praise of Joe Posnanski. I tend to agree with him on most things, he’s the best sports writer going in my view, and someone would have to write an awful lot of gold to even begin to get into the conversation as his rival.

But, as Jay at Fack Youk points out, nobody’s perfect. Jay went back and checked, and it seems that, while Posnanski now writes that judging apologies seems unfair, he was perfectly willing to judge A-Rod’s apology last year, and did so in pretty sharp terms.

Posnanski responds via Twitter that the apologies were two different beasts — McGwire’s was voluntary while A-Rod’s was a forced p.r. exercise — but Jay anticipates this, noting that, McGwire’s wouldn’t have come had he not taken the job as the Cardinals hitting coach and that his was no less an exercise in p.r. in practice, even if it seemed more genuine in substance.

Posnanski obviously has a metric crap-ton more goodwill in the bank than do the Jon Heymans and other double-standard bearers of the world, and when you write as much as Poz does you’re bound to cross your streams once in a while.  But fair is fair, and like a lot of other writers (and Bud Selig)  Posnanski seems to be treating McGwire quite differently than he treated A-Rod.

UPDATEPosnanski responds.  In this I think we see the biggest difference between Pos and others who contradict themselves on occasion.  Pos owns up, explains his thought process and is generally transparent about it all — though I think he’s still being a bit willfully naive on the Selena Roberts stuff; her story may have been legit, but A-Rod’s outrage at her in general was more than justified given their shared history and the book she wrote.

Anyway, would any of you hold your breath for Jon Heyman to explain himself? Or Dan Shaughnessy? I wouldn’t. So, the Roberts thing notwithstanding, good for Joe.

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.