Are Mets fans justified in booing K-Rod?

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Howard Megdal takes a look at Mets fan’ relationship with their expensive closer:

Francisco Rodriguez has held up his end of the bargain with the New York Mets and their fans.

He’s been a good closer, by any reasonable measure: the Mets have
called on him again and again to finish off the other guys, and the vast
majority of the time, that’s exactly what he’s done.

But the fans don’t generally like him all that much. They boo him
when he comes into games, or at least some of them do–enough to make
themselves understood.

You know how I feel about the booing. I think booing is uncalled for unless a guy just dogs it or rips his teammates or does something other than merely fail on the field despite his best efforts to succeed.

But I get it.  I think Howard has a good take here and I think you should read it, but I’d quibble with the “K-Rod has held up his end of the bargain” statement.  He has tried — I don’t know anyone who has suggested that he hasn’t — but he has been a less successful closer in New York than he was in Anaheim, and that, I think, is what people are reacting too.  I wouldn’t boo that, but I’m also in the minority on booing etiquette.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.