Jamie Moyer is poised to become the home run king

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Jayson Stark points out something I hadn’t noticed: Jamie Moyer is four homer runs allowed away from becoming the all-time leader in that category.  When he does it, he’ll pass pformer Phillie Robin Roberts for the title.

A partner in my old law office once had a $100 million judgment entered
against his client following a month-long trial. We tried to give him crap over it and he said, in all seriousness, “anyone can win a $50,000 case, but it takes one hell of a lawyer to lose a
$100 million case.”

And he was right about that. No one would ever give
some schmuck like me that kind of responsibility, and no one would ever give an ineffective pitcher so many chances to give up long bombs. It’s like that with a lot of records. A Hall of Fame hitter is the all-time strikeout leader.  Nolan Ryan is the modern-era leader in games lost. The all-time blown saves list is filled with elite relievers.

Baseball is a game of failure (or so the saying goes). For a pitcher, giving up a home run is a failure of sorts.  But being around to give up as many as Jamie Moyer has is a testament to how someone works around their failures and compensates for them, thereby allowing them to, um, fail another day.

There’s something kind of nice about that.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.