I probably shouldn’t rock a Billy Joel-inspired headline one post after criticizing someone else for writing headlines that are in poor taste, huh? Anyway:
It’s the end of a very brief and probably over-hyped era: the Dodgers have taken down the “Mannywood” sign that has adorned the left field corner in Dodger Stadium for the past couple seasons. The stated reason: they sold that space to an advertiser. The big picture: that sign was coming down whether the real estate was sold or not.
Ramirez has played only 61 games this year. The excitement of 2008 gave way to the multi-faceted disappointment that was 2009 and now — regardless of how good his rate stats are this year — his absence and the team’s struggles make the sort of joie de vivre that inspire those kinds of signs unthinkable. Absent a comeback next season that makes Vlad Guerrero’s year look like a
disappointment, there will be no similar hoopla surrounding Manny
again, no matter where he plays.
As a wise man once said: everything ends badly otherwise it wouldn’t end.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.