Draft's early rounds filled with some great names

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Often in sports there’s talk of “big-name players,” but this post isn’t quite about that (or really about much of anything, as you’ll soon see).
Maybe it’s just me getting old and thinking ahead to all the botched pronunciations in my future, but I’ve been amazed by the number of “interesting” names being drafted so far, beginning with the trio of Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon, and Manny Machado in the top three spots.
Sure, there has been the occasional Gary Brown and Kyle Parker and Matt Harvey mixed in, but a ton of non-traditional, awesome-sounding, and/or crazy looking names have caught me eye:
– Christian Colon
– Barrett Loux
– Delino DeShields
– Karsten Whitson
– Deck McGuire
– Yasmani Grandal
– Dylan Covey
– Hayden Simpson
– Mike Foltynewicz
– Kolbrin Vitek
– Kellin Deglan
– Chevez Clarke
– Cito Culver
And that’s just in the first round! Some others, from the second and third rounds:
– Cartier Goodrum
– Ralston Cash
– Stetson Allie
– Taijuan Walker
– Chance Ruffin
– Mike Kvasnicka
– Bryce Brentz
– Taylor Lindsey
– Noah Syndergaard
– Asher Wojciechowski
– Yordy Cabrera
– Griffin Murphy
– Drew Smyly
– Andrelton Simmons
– Angelo Gumbs
– Addison Reed
– Cameron Rupp
I suppose this is what happens when the children of Generation X parents start becoming draft-eligible. And yes, I’m just jealous that my Baby Boomer parents named me something ordinary like “Aaron” instead of something amazing like “Cartier” or “Stetson.”
UPDATE: In the sixth round, the Phillies drafted an outfielder named Gauntlett Eldemire. Game over.

Diamondbacks name Dan Haren as pitching strategist

PHOENIX - APRIL 05:  Starting pitcher Dan Haren #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Diego Padres during the Opening Day major league baseball game at Chase Field on April 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.

Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.

Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.

Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life

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For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.

And it continues anew:

There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.

Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:

FORT MYERS, - MARCH 14: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox makes the throw to first on the ground ball from Jason Rogers (not in photo) of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning of the Spring Training Game on March 14, 2016 at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South, Florida. The Pirates defeated the Red Sox 3-1. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Or at the end of the 2015 season:

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox warms up prior to the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on August 31, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won the game 4-3. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.

Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.