Some of you wasted your weekend running errands, mowing lawns, going to graduation parties and spending time with your families. Some of you were smart and read HardballTalk. For those in the former camp, here’s some of what you missed:
- Carlos Zambrano returned to the rotation. And lost;
- The Royals may have already locked up their first round pick . . . who they won’t pick until today, so that, like, makes them psychic or something;
- Randy Winn signed with the Cardinals. Between that and the Phillies getting Willy Taveras, the market on sawdust-filler outfield help is getting tight;
- Carlos Beltran is playing honest-to-goodness baseball;
- Clackin’ that bat, gone with the wind, Garrett Wittels has done it again;
- Oliver Perez on the DL just when the Mets need a roster spot? How . . . convenient;
- Jason Heyward strikes out five times. So does Mark Teixeira. Took Teixeira extra innings to do it, though, so Heyward totally wins;
- D-Train debuts in desert; does dandy;
- Mike Cameron is bringing sexy back. Or something.
- Jeffrey Hammonds and four other guys were drafted before Jeter. Which is weird, because Hammonds is 49 years-old, isn’t he? Or does it just seem like he is?
- Mike Stanton is coming up. Between him, Strasburg, Heyward and Ike Davis it’s been quite the year for young NL East talent. Meanwhile, Domonic Brown has nose pressed against a window somewhere, sadly watching all the other kids have fun.
- And of course, here’s your week ahead.
Happy Monday, everyone.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.