Missed this from late last week, but Robin Yount has become the latest in a long line of Hall of Famers to weigh in on the Mark McGwire steroids stuff. When asked what he thought of Carlton Fisk and Rich Gossage and everyone taking shots at McGwire, he had this to say:
“A number of guys have that attitude. I would like to know what they would’ve done if they
were in that same boat. I’ll be very honest, in the fact that there was no
testing and if there were benefits from it, it would have been very
difficult. Without testing in place, you would’ve almost been forced to do it to keep up . . . It wouldn’t have been an easy decision. Or maybe it would’ve been
an easy decision, for that matter. You just would’ve had to do it to
keep up. I’m
glad that I didn’t have to make that call because it would have been a
very difficult decision to decide whether to do it or not.”
When it comes to a person’s acts, there is such a thing as right and wrong. But when it comes to a person’s motivations, there is very rarely such a clear dichotomy. The people who have come out strong against McGwire and his brethren in the steroid brotherhood are completely right to go after the acts, but they’re either completely misguided when it comes to the motivations or else they don’t see the difference.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.