Hey Howard Bryant, does Bill Buckner count as someone “around the game”? Because if he does, you’re going to have to update your toxicity scoreboard:
“I tried a million different things to combat the injury. I had to stay on the field. I was a little bit aware of the extraordinary physical gains some
guys were making, but I don’t really look at it like
some former players do, that it’s cheating. It’s a very tempting
thing to do whatever you can to get healthy because the game puts such
demands on you physically. I didn’t have the opportunity to use those
things, and I’m glad I didn’t because I definitely would have been
tempted. The direction is always better and stronger, better and faster, better and better. Anybody would have been tempted.”
There’s more than just the steroids stuff in the article — Buckner is the “day games hurt the Cubs” camp and he’s not in the “players were better in my day” camp — so it’s definitely worth a read.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.