Buster Posey is going to get some work at shortstop this spring

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Last week the San Francisco Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins tried to imagine Buster Posey pulling a Craig Biggio in order to save his knees or to keep busy or to allow Bengie Molina to remain the Giants’ catcher until his sons can succeed him or something.  Today we hear from Andrew Baggarly that the notion may not merely be the stuff of Bruce Jenkins’ fantasies:

Buster Posey isn’t “etched in stone” to begin the season at Triple-A
Fresno, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. In fact, Bochy dropped a minor
bombshell: He and GM Brian Sabean have talked about giving Posey a look
at other infield positions, including shortstop, to increase the
options available for the rookie and the club . . . Long term, Bochy said the organization still sees Posey as a catcher.
But he’d be available for double-switches, etc., if he can play a few
other positions.

Shortstop? Hey, why not? Like I said last week, neat idea.  As someone who has no vested interest in how the Giants do or how Buster Posey develops, I’d love to see it because it’s different and different is good, and the more Posey the better.

Still, the guy is a plus defensive catcher who can hit and those guys don’t just fall out of the sky like rain and airplane engine parts, so it may not be the best move in terms of optimal asset utilization. 

The White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle’s number this June

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle #56 of the Chicago White Sox waves to the crowd after being tasken out of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Mark Buehrle last pitched in 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was still pretty effective and toyed with the idea of pitching last season, but he never signed anywhere and is, for all intents and purposes, retired.

Now at least his number will be retired officially. It will be done by the club for which he had the most success and with which he is, obviously, most associated:

Buehrle pitched for the White Sox for 12 years. He was the model of consistency and durability in Chicago, logging over 200 innings a season in every single season but his rookie year, when he was primarily a reliever. He was a solid defender, a multi-time All-Star, tossed a perfect game in 2009 and helped the Chisox to their first World Series title in 88 years in 2005.

He was also one of baseball’s fastest workers, so I’m going to assume that, in his honor, the number retirement ceremony will last, like, a minute 20, after which everyone can get on with their dang day.

Terry Francona isn’t sure how long his health will allow him to manage

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians reacts during batting practice before a game with the Boston Red Sox on August 19, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Terry Francona just won the American League pennant, the Manager of the Year Award and his Cleveland Indians will likely be among the favorites to win it all in 2017. Between that and his 17-year track record as one of the best managers in the business, he will have a job, somewhere, for as long as he wants one.

He said yesterday, however, that his body will likely limit how long he manages:

“It gets harder and harder physically. It really does. It takes me longer to recharge every year . . . I’ve had a lot of surgeries, a lot of health problems. It just takes a toll on you. I love [the game of baseball]. I really do, but I can’t see myself doing something else. But there is going to come a day when I feel like I’m shortchanging the team or the organization. That’s not fair.

“Even now, during batting practice, I’ll come in and get off my feet a little bit. I think everybody understands. But when there comes a day when it gets in the way, I’m going to have to pull back, and it’s not because I don’t love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right.”

Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him.

With multiple World Series rings there isn’t much more in baseball that Francona can accomplish, but here’s hoping he sticks around and accomplishes a lot more before he trades in his baseball spikes for golf spikes and calls it a career.