I suppose that’s low-hanging fruit. Alas. Point is that Barry Bonds was back in San Francisco yesterday for the reunion of the Giants 2000 team/celebration of ten years of that nice ballpark they have. He hasn’t done much media lately because someone who is indicted on perjury charges is well-advised to never say anything to anyone, but he did give the press six minutes of his time. Highlights, such as they were:
- Bonds had some nice words for Mark McGwire: “I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.” From the video of the interview you can tell he”s talking about becoming a hitting coach, but you just know people are going to take that as Bonds saying he was proud of McGwire for confessing to using roids.
- Indeed, the next question from a reporter was asking Bonds if he could see himself “doing what Mark did,” and then quickly appending ” . . . becoming a coach” in a way that made it seem clear that the reporter was aware of the ambiguity between apologizing/coaching. Bonds winced a bit until that “becoming a coach” part was added. You can tell he thought he was being asked if he was going to apologize. Just kind of interesting to watch.
- Bonds said that he wasn’t retired yet and wasn’t sure what he’d do in the unlikely event that a team called him. Seems to be that he was just being PR mindful about the subject, however. Rich Aurilia had just announced his retirement at the same event, Bonds probably knew it, so there’s no way that he was going to stomp on that with some announcement, formal or otherwise, of his own. Bonds can be a jerk, but he’s not so big a jerk that he’s going to rain on a former teammates’s parade. My guess is that he just ends up doing it Rickey-style and never saying he’s retired because, really, what’s the point?
- The quote in the headline came when it was noted that he was in shape. The full quote is fun for any of you who love to hate Bonds: “I’ve just been working out a lot, that’s all. I work
out all the time. It’s been in my genes my whole life. I
just don’t work out as hard anymore. I don’t lift as heavy weights
anymore to be bulky. I don’t know, I’ve got that Hollywood look.”
Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.
Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.
The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.
One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.
Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.
As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”
Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.
When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
The Marlins would like to add “another pitcher or two” before pitchers and catchers report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Among starting pitchers available, Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang, and Alfredo Simon are candidates for the Marlins, but they may hold out for the possibility of inking a major league contract. Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are other potential candidates, per Frisaro.
This offseason, the Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million deal and Edwin Jackson for the major league minimum. The back of the rotation, though, is still a question mark as Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino will compete with Jackson for two spots. David Phelps is dealing with an elbow injury and may or not be ready by Opening Day, but he could function in a swingman capacity as well.
You might want to sit down for this news. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has tabbed ace Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day in Milwaukee against the Brewers, CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports. Shocking, I know.
The Giants had a busy offseason, adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to the starting rotation, but neither had a shot at getting the Opening Day nod considering what Bumgarner has done for the Giants over the last five seasons.
Since the start of the 2011 season, the 26-year-old lefty compiled a 3.05 ERA with 1,034 strikeouts and 239 walks across 1,050 innings. Among starters who logged at least 800 innings in that span of time, only Clayton Kershaw, Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, and Felix Hernandez have posted lower ERAs. And Bumgarner is the only one among them with a championship ring. In fact, he has three.