Seems like storylines are flying all over the place this week involving Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and it’s only Tuesday. Time to sift through the muck:
– On Sunday, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com ran a quote from a White Sox source who had this interesting tidbit about the club’s desire to obtain Gonzalez: “That’s really what we need, a big left-handed hitter,” said the Sox source. “They’re saying [General Manager] Kenny [Williams] would give anything to get him, maybe even Gordon Beckham.”
– The baseball world was given a quick response to that notion this afternoon, when White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen revealed his undying love for the young Beckham. “We plan to have Gordon for a long time,” said the skipper. “I
don’t see why people talk about it.” He hasn’t heard anything about a possible trade because no trade is being discussed. Or, probably. The White Sox are known for moving in mysterious ways and Williams, one of the more interesting GMs in the game, is also a wizard at controlling the message.
– HardballTalk’s own Matthew Pouliot analyzed a possible Beckham-Gonzalez swap in a post earlier this evening.
– There’s one thing we know for sure: Gonzalez, a San Diego native, is probably on his way out of the city (and probably the state of California) by the end of this calendar year, and maybe as soon as the July trade deadline. We know this because Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune says Gonzalez is going to ask for a free agent contract similar to the $180 million monstrosity that Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees last offseason. It’s pretty apparent the Padres are not going to pay that.
Gonzalez, 27, has batted .279/.371/.519 with 106 home runs, 318 RBI and 105 doubles over the last three seasons while calling the ultimate pitcher’s park his home. He is under team control through 2011, for what it’s worth.
Update (11:57 PM ET): And it’s over. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double down the left field line off of Stroman, ending the no-hitter. Manager Jim Leyland immediately removed Stroman from the game.
U.S. starter Marcus Stroman has held Puerto Rico hitless through six innings thus far in the World Baseball Classic final. The Blue Jays’ right-hander has held the opposition to just one base runner — a walk — with three strikeouts on 68 pitches.
WBC rules limit a pitcher to throwing a maximum of 95 pitches in the Championship Round, so Stroman has 27 pitches left with which to play. If he hits the limit during the at-bat, he can continue throwing to the completion of that at-bat. Needless to say, though, Stroman won’t be finishing his potential no-no.
The U.S. has given four runs of support to Stroman. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Then, in the fifth, Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen both provided RBI singles. Update: The U.S. tacked on three more in the top of the seventh when Brandon Crawford drove in two with a bases-loaded single and Giancarlo Stanton followed up with an RBI single.
We’ll keep you updated as Stroman and any pitchers that follow him attempt to complete the no-hitter. Shairon Martis is the only player to throw a no-hitter in WBC history. However, the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule, or as it’s known now, the “early termination” rule.
Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.
Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.
Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.