More interesting public art coming to Nationals Park

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Remember those statues of Frank Howard, Josh Gibson and Walter Johnson that were installed at Nationals Park last year?  The ones with the multiple limbs that were described as “having the unfortunate effect of making the players seem covered in tumorous growths.”  Yeah, there’s more of that sort of thing coming next season:

Thomas Sayre with Raleigh, N.C.-based Clearscapes, Inc. is designing 30 “stainless steel-domed forms which will accurately
follow the theoretical model of the trajectory of a curving fast-ball
pitch,” said Sarah Massey, spokeswoman for the D.C. Commission on the
Arts and Humanities. They will be suspended by early next year from the
eastern garage. [note: here’s a concept photo]

In addition to that piece will be “four suspended mobiles with four dozen hand-painted baseball figures
rotating to a “freshly composed tune of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.'”

“Curving fast-ball pitch?” Moving right along . . .

My taste in art tends towards, I dunno, the less adventurous (my favorite artists is Edward Hopper), so I’m probably not the right person to judge.  I’d note, however, that most of the folks who go to ballgames don’t tend to go for stuff that, like someone quoted in this article says about the Nats’ new art “might not be a concept that the mind can wrap itself around now.”

Art shouldn’t always be easy to take. Indeed, there are good arguments that it should never be.  I just hope that those responsible for some of these kinds of things are cool with a lot of confused people who would rather find their way to the beer counter than ponder stainless steel-domed forms which
follow the theoretical model of the trajectory of a “curving fast-ball pitch.”  

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.