The Baseball Road Trip of a lifetime

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CAC Road Trip.jpgThere’s someone who does the whole visit-all-30-parks-road trip every year, but (a) I never get tired of hearing about it; (b) I never stop being jealous; and (c) I always root for the guy(s) to finish, whether or not they’ve given themselves a time limit.

The latest is Navin Vaswani, a journalist/blogger who is chronicling his trip in The Globe And Mail. So far he’s made it to Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and both New York
parks. He hits Fenway tomorrow and then points south and west.  I’ll be following his progress, and you should too because these kinds of things are fun.

Whenever I see this I like to drag out my proposal from a couple of years ago: a road trip show akin to Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” but for baseball.

The premise: a half hour travel show in the host hits up a Major League city for a weekend in an effort to convey the
history, flavor, and general milieu of a given team, its park, its fans,
and its city. He meets up with a couple of knowledgeable locals, goes to a couple of games, hits a couple of loyalist bars, stores or a museum or two and gives viewers a
taste of what it means to be, say, a Brewers fan. Or a Dodgers fan. Or whatever.

I figure you have at least 40 ready-made shows there once you do all the Major League teams, a trip to Cooperstown, the All-Star Game, some select minor league parks, and some side trips to Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Japan and stuff.

If only I knew someone at a network who could get this sort of thing off the ground . . .

Brett Lawrie “likely to be traded” by the A’s

Brett Lawrie

Oakland’s re-acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie from Houston makes it “likely” that the A’s will now trade infielder Brett Lawrie, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Slusser says Lowrie’s arrival “all but ensures” both Lawrie and Danny Valencia are on the trading block, adding that Lawrie “is considered the better bet to be traded.”

Acquired last offseason from the Blue Jays in the Josh Donaldson trade, Lawrie hit .260 with 16 homers and a .706 OPS in 149 games while playing second base and third base. At age 25 he’s a solid player, but Lawrie has failed to live up to his perceived potential while hitting .263 with a .736 OPS in 494 career games.

At this point it sounds like the A’s plan to start Marcus Semien at shortstop and Lowrie at second base.

Gammons: The Red Sox could go $30-40 million higher on David Price than anyone else


Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox are on a mission to sign David Price and that they will pay some serious money to get him. Gammons quotes one anonymous GM who says that he expects the Sox to “go $30-40 million above anyone else.”

The man calling the shots for the Sox is Dave Dombrowski and he knows Price well, of course, having traded for him in Detroit. But there is going to be serious competition for Price’s services with the Jays and Cubs, among many others, bidding for his services. It would be unusual for a team to outbid the competition by tens of millions as Gammons’ source suggests, but the dollars will be considerable regardless.

Sean Doolittle, Eireann Dolan hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving

Sean Doolittle

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving usually means one thing: going to some mildly depressing bar in your hometown and meeting up with all of the people with whom you went to high school.

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend, Eireann Dolan, bypassed that dreary tradition and did something more uplifting instead: they hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for an early Thanksgiving dinner.

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There has been a lot of controversy lately about U.S. policy regarding Syrian refugees. Based on all of this, the only thing controversial here is that someone is letting that kid be a Chicago Bears fan. That’s no way to introduce anyone to the greatness of America.

Orioles have reached out to Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.

Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.

Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.