Remember how the Pirates signed those two Indian reality-show winners? Well, they’re back in camp this year, and unlike last spring, which was basically a publicity tour masquerading as baseball, this year they’re pitching and working out just like any other ballplayers. And they’re improving:
The progress between last spring and now is remarkable, Pirates farm
director Kyle Stark said, considering they knew next to nothing when
they arrived. They had a difficult time getting the concept of catching the ball
with the glove, not their bare hands, and the first time a ball was hit
back to one of them during live batting practice, he jumped and screamed
Not bad. It usually takes Pirates prospects two or three years to stop jumping and screaming when the ball comes their way.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.