Johnny Damon was ejected from last night’s Tigers-Angels game, ostensibly for arguing balls and strikes. Word on the street, however, is that home plate umpire Dale Scott was less angry about his judgment being questioned than he was about his judgment being questioned by a 36 year-old man with this haircut:
If I was the umpire I’d have been less angry at the haircut itself than I would be at Damon’s apparent gutlessness. If you’re going with the mohawk, you’d better go full-Baracus with that bad boy. In fact I can guarantee you that Damon would have had a smaller strike zone last night if he hadn’t brought that weak haircut sauce.
UPDATE: This photo was taken by Kurt Mensching of Bless You Boys, and the original post of it can be seen here. Apologies for the lack of attribution, Kurt!
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.