Dayan Viciedo has started just twice in 10 games since the White Sox called him up from Triple-A, but manager Ozzie Guillen isn’t feeling sorry for the 21-year-old rookie:
Hell no. Viciedo is the luckiest man on earth. He’s making $10 million and living out of Cuba, he has cars better than mine, he spent one or two years in the minor leagues, and now he’s in the big leagues.
I can’t vouch for the “cars better than mine” part, but Viciedo did get $10 million from the White Sox to sign out of Cuba two offseasons ago.
Omar Vizquel has started 18 of 25 games at third base since Mark Teahen went down with a broken finger and the White Sox have won 15 of their last 18 games, so Guillen is understandably in no hurry to make a switch:
I want to give him more playing time, there’s no doubt. I love to manage the kids. I love to see the kids grow up in baseball. But right now we’re in the situation, I’m not saying he’s not the best guy, but the guys playing right now are playing pretty good, and I can’t make any changes.
Fair enough, but Vizquel has hit just .252 with a .311 on-base percentage and .319 slugging percentage this season and while general manager Ken Williams tries to acquire a big bat like Adam Dunn from the Nationals it would make sense to see if Viciedo can provide some offensive spark while starting more than once a week.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.