Your pre-arbitration filing deadline signing scoreboard, Part IV

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We’re reaching the point where only the true completists among you — the sort of people who are such big Pixies fans, for example, that they bought The Amps’ CD when it came out — will care about these signings. But dadgummit, when I start something I’m going to finish it. Unless I, you know, don’t feel like it.

Anyway, Part I was here, Part II was here, and Part III was here.  Now, once more into the breech!

  • Francisco Liriano ($1.6 million), Jessee Crain ( $2 million), Brendan Harris ($3.2 million), Matt Guerrier ($3.15 million) and Pat
    Neshek ($625,000).  Not all of these guys were due for new contracts, actually, it’s just that when the team built the new ballpark one of those fancy automatic signature machines were included and they’re understandably going a bit nuts with it.
  • Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits, Angels, $3.6 million and $625,000, respectively. Willits — who is a fifth outfielder — is lucky he was even tendered.
  • We mentioned Zach Duke yesterday, but now we have the details: $4.3 million. He still hails from parts unknown, however.
  • Mike Adams, Padres, $1 million. Pfun Pfact: Mike Adams is 6’5″ tall and he’s only like the fifth or sixth tallest pitcher on the team.
  • Sean Green, Mets, $975,000. True story: Green scared Omar into this settlement by telling him that he’d easily win his arbitration case, what with those 42 homers he hit for the Dodgers in 2002.  And he negotiated a day off for the El Malaguana holiday to boot.
  • Gerald Laird, Zach Miner, Bobby Seay, Tigers, $3.95 million for Laird, $950,000 for Miner and $2.475 million for Seay. After the Valverde deal I suppose all of these look reasonable to the Tigers.
  • Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, Red Sox. $905,000 on Ramirez. Not sure about the money on Delcarmen, but I’m not his wife or accountant so it’s sort of not my problem.
  • Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves and Josh Willingham, Nationals. Willingham will make $4.6 million, Bergmann $750,000. Flores and Nieves will apparently be paid via in-kind services or stock swaps or something.

More may trickle in later today, but I think we’ve done about all we can do with the scoreboard.

Tigers activate James McCann

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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The Tigers have activated catcher James McCann from the 15-day disabled list. He’s been out since April 11 with a sprained ankle.

Whether he has a position is an open question. In his absence Jarrod Saltalamacchia has put up a .947 OPS. That’s weighted somewhat heavily by slugging and some fluky power, but he’s done a good job. At the very least it will cause Brad Ausmus to ease McCann back into the lineup more slowly, possibly in a split role as opposed to a backup/starter relationship.

Catching up with Professor Ben Cherington

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12:  Ben Cherington, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, leaves the field before a game with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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There is a general consensus that the bad free agent signings of the later Ben Cherington years in Boston were ownership diktats, not things that were Ben Cherington’s idea. Whether that consensus is accurate is hard to say, but that’s how it sort of felt to most outside observers. The reality was probably messier. Where ideas start and where they end up in organizations involve a lot of weird passive-aggressive dancing, with power being exercised in some cases and merely anticipated in others, causing people to do things in such a way that blame is a nebulous matter. I’m sure baseball teams are no different.

Whatever actually happened in Boston will likely always be somewhat murky, but Cherington is the one who took the fall. Where he ended up after all of it went down, however, is an interesting story. The place: on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The story about it is told by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. It’s an interesting one.

Cherington is still a young man with a lot of undisputed accomplishments under his belt. It would not surprise me at all to see him have a second act as the head of a baseball operations department some day. For now, though, he’s doing his own interesting thing.

It’s OK to not like someone on the team you root for

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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There were a series of interesting comments to the Yadier Molina story this morning. The first commenter, a Cardinals fan, said he’s never really cared for Molina. Other Cardinals fans took issue with that, wondering how on Earth a Cardinals fan could not like Yadi.

While I’ll grant that Molina is a particularly popular member of the Cardinals, while I personally like his game and his overall persona, and while I can’t recall ever meeting a Cards fan who didn’t like him, why is it inconceivable that someone may not?

Whether you “like” a player is an inherently subjective thing. You can like players who aren’t good at baseball. You can dislike ones who are. You can like a player’s game who, as a person, seems like a not great guy. You can dislike a player’s game or his personality for any reason as well. It’s no different than liking a type of music or food or a type of clothing. Baseball players, to the fans anyway, are something of an aesthetic package. They can please us or not. We can choose to separate the art from the artist, as it were, and ignore off-the-field stuff or give extra credit for the off-the-field stuff. Dowhatchalike.

No matter what the basis is, “liking” a player on your favorite team is up to one person: you. And, as I’ve written elsewhere recently, someone not liking something you like does not give you license to be a jackass about it.

A-Rod’s mansion is featured in Architectural Digest

Alex Rodriguez
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For a couple of years people worried if A-Rod would sully the Yankees Superior Brand. Given how they’re playing these days I wonder if A-Rod should be more worried about the Yankees sullying his brand.

He resurrected his baseball career last year. He’s cultivated a successful corporate identity. He’s in a relationship with a leading Silicon Valley figure. It’s all aces. And now it’s total class, as his home is featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest:

Erected over the course of a year, the 11,000-square-foot retreat is a showstopper, with sleek forms and striking overhangs that riff on midcentury modernism, in particular the iconic villas found at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Unlike Rodriguez’s previous Florida home, the Coral Gables house is laid out on just one story so the interiors would connect directly to the grounds. Says Choeff, “Alex wanted to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feel.”

There are a lot of photos there.

I don’t think I have much in common with Alex Rodriguez on any conceivable level, but I do like his taste in architecture and design. I’m all about the midcentury modernism. Just wish I had the paycheck to be more about it like my man A-Rod here.