There’s a new player on the NHL’s Minnesota Wild who has baseball to thank for his hockey career. He’s Casey Wellman, the son of former Giants and Royals’ utilityman Brad Wellman, and he got his start, indirectly anyway, on a Royals’ road trip:
In 1988, the Royals were in Boston to play the Red Sox when the Bruins
were hosting the New Jersey Devils in the Prince of Wales conference
finals. The Devils trainer was buddies with the Royals trainer and
invited Brad Wellman and Royals teammate Kevin Seitzer to Boston Garden
for a morning skate.
In the locker room, Wellman was invited onto
the ice. “But I didn’t know how to skate,” Brad Wellman said. “That
bothered me, so when I got back home after the year, I learned how to
skate and then (Casey and brother Logan) came and they were pretty
Coolest thing I learned in all of this? Brad Wellman’s Baseball-Reference page says that he’s Tom Candiotti’s brother in law. Tom Candiotti played Hoyt Wilhelm in *61, alongside Bruce McGill, who played Ralph Houk. McGill, of course, played D-Day in “Animal House,” which means that Casey Wellman has a Bacon number of 3.
Which is probably pretty low for a guy in the NHL.
(thanks to Neate Sager for the link)
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.