On one level I’m happy that Ozzie Guillen is now backtracking from his controversial comments over the weekend, saying that his stuff about baseball treating Asian players better than Latinos was taken out of context, misinterpreted and so on. I mean, we have a pretty decent pennant race shaping up here in the AL Central, and I’d hate for some silly off-the-field distraction to unduly impact it.
On the other hand, Guillen’s moonwalking from controversy disrupts a pet theory I have: that Ozzie is going to try to get himself fired so that he can take over the Marlins job next season. No, I have no reason other than my own deranged mind to support such a theory (well, almost no other reason), but I think that’s what Kat Von D did on Miami Ink before taking over her own show in L.A., and this totally fits the pattern.
Um, forget I said that. I have no idea what any of that meant. Anyway.
In other news, you will officially win the Internet for the day if you can find me a single recent example of public figure trying to get out from under the heat of controversial comments without playing the “my words were taken out of context” card. Indeed, it’s gotten so bad on that score that whenever I hear it, I instantly translate it to “since I was on tape and thus can’t pretend I didn’t say it, I am now trying to the next best thing.”
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.