This press release came out of Anaheim Angels central earlier today:
On Tuesday April 6, 2010, the Angels will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets.”
All fans in attendance at the Angels vs. Minnesota Twins game (7:05PM)
will receive a complimentary Hideki Matsui Blankie courtesy of Konica
“We are very excited about this special opportunity,” team spokesman
Tim Mead said. “Setting this world record will be a unique and
memorable experience for our fans, the first of many in 2010.”
According to the release, the current record for the largest gathering of people wearing “fleece
blankets” is 17,758 set by the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 5th.
That, of course, was widely billed as the “Snuggie” record,
named after those ridiculous wearable blankets. I suppose the keepers
of the record books make them call it the “fleece blanket” record so
that the Snuggie corporation doesn’t get free advertising out of the
deal. You know, like the beer company that is the namesake of the
record book sanctioning the record.
Anyway, I don’t want the world to
end on April 6th, but if it does — and this event makes it slightly
more likely to happen in my view — I will be tickled by the notion that alien
archaeologists might one day find our world and think that our
civilization worshiped a god named “Konica Minolta Matsui” by
assembling by the tens of thousands while wearing synthetic ceremonial
cloaks in his honor.
The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.
As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.
The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.
A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:
I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.
This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.
Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.
Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.
Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.