Brent Mayne's pants are on fire

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Brent Mayne.jpgUPDATE: Mayne has corrected the record.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was lovin’ former catcher Brent Mayne’s blog. And I still am, but I just discovered that he’s tellin’ lies.

In his latest entry he decides to come clean and admit that he once told a hitter what pitch was coming. It was J.T. Snow.  Here’s Mayne’s story:

It was my second year in the Bigs and we were playing the Yankees in
Kansas City towards the end of the season. Neither team had much to
play for and JT was one of the expanded roster call-ups for the Yanks . . . I wandered out to talk to the pitcher (I can’t remember who it was.) On
my way back, as I past JT to squat down, I mumbled at him “fastball
outside.” He promptly drilled a double to left field and that was that.
Like I said, that’s probably not why he got his first hit, he may have
been too nervous to even hear me. Then again, maybe that IS how he got his first hit and maybe I’M responsible for his whole career.

I love stories like that!  Sadly, however, it appears to be a complete and total fabrication.  Well, maybe that’s overstating things. J.T. Snow did make his major league debut with the Yankees against the Royals at the end of a season.  It’s just everything after that which is wrong.

  • Snow did hit three doubles against the Royals in his career, but none of those fit Mayne’s descriptions either. The first one came in 1993 while he was with the Angels. But Mayne
    didn’t catch in that game
    , Mike MacFarlane did. The second came in 1996, but Mayne wasn’t on the Royals anymore. He was on the Mets.


  • Snow did eventually hit a double against the Royals while Mayne was catching. It happened during an interleague game in 2003 while Snow was with the Giants.  Sadly, it doesn’t fit Mayne’s description either. The double came on the third pitch, not the first, and it was pulled down the right field line, not hit the opposite way like he says.


  • Snow’s first hit of any kind against the Royals with Mayne behind the plate came on June 24, 1993. It was a single on 2-0 count with the Angels down 6 runs in the 9th inning. Given the score I suppose that could have been a tipped pitch, but we’re getting pretty far afield from Mayne’s story here.

Look, I’m not trying to embarrass Mayne here. His blog is a blast, and this particular post is almost 100% redeemed by the reference to “The Jerk” at the end.  But still, one of the things that makes it hard to make any progress in analyzing and commenting on baseball is that there’s 150 years of accumulated baloney floating around that everyone takes as gospel.

Stuff like Mayne’s story is harmless, but how much of the rest of it isn’t, and how much history and insight have we lost because people have chosen to believe the myths instead of the facts, even if it’s understandable that they’ve done so?

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.