Scott Podsednik said yesterday that he’d like to re-sign with the Royals “because we’re moving in the right direction” and “I like the challenge that’s presented here in terms of getting things turned around.”
That’s admirable, I suppose, but a big part of the Royals actually “getting things turned around” will be ridding themselves of veteran mediocrity like Podsednik and replacing them with younger, better players.
The average AL left fielder has a .431 slugging percentage and .772 OPS this season. Podsednik has a .378 slugging percentage and .725 OPS. Yes, he has 25 steals, but he’s also been caught stealing 12 times and in order to get his overrated speed in the lineup the Royals have sacrificed 50 points of slugging percentage and 50 points of OPS at an offense-driven position.
Oh, and he’s also 34 years old.
Of course, Jeffrey Flanagan of FOXSportsKansasCity.com wrote the article about Podsednik wanting to re-sign with the Royals and curiously omits any of his hitting statistics while instead writing things like this:
Podsednik, 34, still has excellent speed and can disrupt defenses. He also plays above average in left field. Perhaps most important of all, Podsednik plays like a winner. He has been through meaningful Septembers. He has a walk-off World Series home run. He’s not going to wilt under pressure.
Whatever the hell that means. In reality Podsednik hasn’t been on a winning team since 2006, and even then the White Sox finished in the third place. In the four seasons since then Podsednik’s teams are 41-53, 79-83, 74-88, and 72-90 for a combined record of 266-314, which works out to a nifty .458 winning percentage.
But hey, he’s “scrappy” and one time a bunch of years ago he had a big hit in the World Series!
Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.
“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:
Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.
Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.
While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”
Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”
Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.
This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.
Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.
Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.
The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.