Athletics bring back Jack Cust

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cust posing in dugout.jpgSearching for more production from a designated hitter spot that has combined for just two home runs (tied for lowest in the league) and a .291 on-base percentage (tied for third lowest), the Athletics have called up Jack Cust from Triple-A Sacramento, reports Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com. He’ll be in uniform for Saturday’s game against the Angels.

Cust was designated for assignment by the club after batting .216 with 20 strikeouts over 51 at-bats during spring training. The decision seemed a bit short-sighted at the time, especially considering that the team brought him back on a one-year, $2.65 million contract in January.

Money aside, Cust has amassed a .378 on-base percentage with a .462 slugging percentage over the past
three seasons, numbers that Eric Chavez hasn’t come close to matching (.247/.298/.355 with one home run in 93 at-bats this season).

Cust was batting .273/.444/.436 with four homers and 19 RBI with Triple-A Sacramento, putting up a 33/33 K/BB ratio over 110 at-bats.
  

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.