From the Department of Things I Did Not Know Until A Couple of Hours Ago: The Indians’ Ray Chapman is not the only ballplayer to die after being struck in the head by a pitched ball. And he’s not even the only one to be buried at Lake View Cemetary in Cleveland. Courtesy of a story from my friend Vince Grzegorek at Cleveland Scene, click through to meet the late Charles Pinkney, who was killed by a beanball on September 14, 1909.
The occasion for Vince’s story today: Pickney, after years of resting in an all-but-unmarked grave, is finally getting a proper headstone. Chapman’s is already something of a shrine, with baseball fans giving it the Jim Morrision-at-Le Pere Lachaise treatment. Instead of joints and wine bottles, however, Chapman gets gloves and bats and stuff. Next time I’m in Cleveland I think I’ll visit Pickney’s grave. Maybe leave a batting helmet.
If you’re interested — and why wouldn’t you be? — much more on Pinkney can be read here.
Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.
Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.
Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.
Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.