5:30 P.M.: It seems that the reports of Buck Showalter’s ascendancy are a bit premature. There’s nothing to suggest that deal between the Orioles and Showalter has had the kibosh placed upon it, but the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Showalter will not be named Orioles’ manager this weekend.
The link goes to a detailed breakdown between the Buck Showalter fact and Buck Showalter speculation that is well worth your time if you care at all about what’s going on in O’s land. Seems to me that, yeah, Showalter is going to get the job, but it’s not yet a done deal and anything can still happen.
Monday, 8:51 P.M.: A source tells Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse that Buck Showalter is expected to take over as Orioles manager on Saturday or Sunday.
Just yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted that the Orioles were negotiating with Showalter and that he was expected to be in uniform sometime after the All-Star break. It’s worth noting that the local beat writers have sung a decidedly different tune on this, but where there’s smoke, there’s probably some fire.
The O’s will probably play it cool over the 36 hours or so, as they don’t want to upstage the All-Star Game, but it wouldn’t be a shock to hear an official announcement on Wednesday.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: