If you’ve kept up with the World Cup at all, you’re well aware of what a vuvuzela is by now. The plastic air horns blown by South African natives have now infiltrated the United States, and in the least likeliest of places.
The Marlins gave away 15,000 mini vuvuzelas on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium and encouraged fans to blare them throughout the Feesh’s interleague game against the Rays. It didn’t go over well with some people — namely the media attempting to craft stories about the game with constant buzzing fluttering around the park — but the fans in south Florida sure seemed to like the things.
MLB.com beat writer Joe Frisaro was in attendance, and says that Sun Life Stadium “vibrated loudly” after Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan homered in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla threw in earplugs at one point and first base umpire Ed Rapuano did the same.
The Marlins have averaged a major league-low 16,213 fans this season and yet still caused a ruckus. Imagine if vuvuzelas were distributed in Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium, where over 43,000 fans stream in on most nights. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.