Chan Ho Park: "Philadelphia was the No. 1 choice"

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Almost immediately after it was announced that the Yankees had signed Chan Ho Park for $1.2 million, Phillies fans went crazy, wondering why one of the only truly effective relievers they had last year was able to get away so cheaply and easily. Park says it was all on the Phillies:

“I had a wish after the season. Philadelphia was the No. 1
choice. I had a tough time leaving there. I had much support from fans
and community, and I had the best teammates there, so -” . . . Asked why negotiations with the Phillies failed, Park said: “Too late.
Too late. Too late. It didn’t work well in the beginning, and later on,
too late. . . . They were talking, and it didn’t work. Trying to get a
deal, and it didn’t work out. And then later on they just gave up, and
I lost.”

The article goes on to note that Park was disappointed in Charlie Manuel making oblique jabs at Park’s toughness, saying when the team signed Danys Baez and Jose Contreras that they were pitchers who would never refuse to take the ball.

What the article doesn’t note — and what was rumored early in the offseason — is that Park was (a) telling the Phillies that he wanted to start; and (b) telling the Phillies that he wanted a lot more money than he ended up getting from the Yankees, so it’s probably worth taking the “why in the hell didn’t Amaro re-sign Park” stuff you hear from your pfriends in Philly with a grain of salt.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.