Based on Arizona’s underwhelming return for Dan Haren and the right-hander’s giddy reaction to being traded to another West Coast team it’s clear that his no-trade clause played a role in limiting the Diamondbacks’ options.
Minnesota and Detroit were among the teams linked to Haren last week, but both were reportedly on his no-trade list and it’s no surprise that he was less than enthusiastic about the possibility of going to a cold-weather city in the middle of the country.
Haren was born and raised in California, played college ball at Pepperdine University in Malibu, spent the past six seasons in Oakland and Phoenix, and sounds thrilled to be moving to Anaheim:
I was born and raised 20 minutes from there, and I still have a lot of family there. This point in my career, being on the West Coast has a lot of value for me. Being able to be near family and going to a ball club that is dedicated to winning–for not just this year but a lot of years–I am very excited for the chance to go there and win.
I’m willing to accept that Haren’s ability to block a deal to several interested teams limited the Diamondbacks’ options, but they still sold very low on a 29-year-old pitcher signed for reasonable money through 2013 and the package they ended up accepting from the Angels was largely built around a significantly worse 29-year-old pitcher they’re overvaluing because of his nice-looking winning percentage.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.