I realize this is over a week old and that Sox fans were all over it, but it completely eluded my radar, so it likely eluded the radar of others as well:
After Adrian Beltre clubbed a home run in Friday night’s game,
television cameras caught him in the dugout taking what looked like a
serious swing at catcher Victor Martinez. Turns out, he was taking a swing, and there was a perfectly good
explanation – if you’re someone who doesn’t like having their head
Martinez and Beltre are friends, but in the home run celebration,
Martinez touched the top of Beltre’s head — and the third baseman said
that’s something his fellow players know he absolutely hates. Beltre
reacted immediately, lashing out at Martinez.
The two were smiling throughout, but Beltre definitely put some force
behind his good-natured swing at Martinez.
“He knows I don’t like that. I don’t like anybody to touch my head,
and he knows it. He does it on purpose. So I’m not responsible for
everything that happens after that happens,” Beltre said.
Doesn’t saying something like this basically guarantee you a lifetime of head rubbing? It’s the equivalent of “psycho” from “Stripes” telling the platoon that he doesn’t like being called Francis.
Anyway, this would be a lot more interesting, I think, if the Sox were still struggling. Someone could legitimately get cold-cocked.
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.
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.