Tweet from WEEI’s
Chad Rob Bradford, who is on the ground at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers this morning:
Buchholz at 198 pounds after pitching at 185 last year.
Somebody didn’t get the “best shape of his life” memo!
In other news, I have come to view Twitter as positively essential to doing this here job. Just about anything worth knowing in baseball gets tweeted first these days, so I’m on Twitter all day listening to what baseball people — writers, players, agents, whoever — have to say.
But while Twitter is really valuable, it does have one problem: when nothing is really going on, the stuff that is just barely news gets really, really overplayed. Take this morning for example, when we learned the following from various Boston writers:
That’s all in less than an hour. By the end of the day I fully expect to learn that some other Red Sox players have shown up where they’re supposed to be and have begun to do things like throw baseballs to one another. I know it’s Boston, and Sox fans are crazy, and they want to hear any little thing that happens, but if that level of coverage is required to keep the masses happy, the masses can go get bent.
In other other news, I’m going to be doing a little spring training trip in early March, and when I’m there I’m going to tweet my butt off. Excpet when I do it, I’m going to make it interesting. Stuff like “Pedroia just walked by; told me Big Papi lost an arm in a thresher accident last night” and “Sabathia throwing a bullpen session; new eephus pitch looks good.”
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, Bob Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.