Jose Guillen is one of the many, many guys who wouldn’t be nearly as maligned as he is if it weren’t for his contract. I mean, no, he’s no great shakes, but if he was doing one year deals for reasonable money every winter no one would be saying bad things about him. Well, not many bad things about him. He’s been useful at times, and I kinda feel bad when people go after guys like him simply because Dayton Moore decided to overpay him. Even when I do it, which I’m sure I have before.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that, assuming no one makes a deal for him in the next nine days, some team is going to be able to sign him for peanuts after the Royals release him. I had half a thought yesterday that Atlanta might be one of those teams because they could still use an outfield bat. I think Frank Wren knows, however, that he’ll lose the entire fan base if he trots out 2/3 of the 2010 Kansas City Royals’ outfield in the middle of a pennant race. The messaging is just wrong, ya know?
But the Yankees and Giants don’t seem to mind: each of them is reported to be at least somewhat interested in the guy. Which is a bit funny because (a) the Yankees have brought in something like 248 extra position players in the past week, so I’m not sure whose place Guillen would take; and (b) the Giants are already running Pat Burrell out to left field, so why would they want to add another frequently-gimpy and none-too-fabulous outfielder?
But the point is made: without the $12 million albatross hanging around his neck, Guillen is at least moderately desirable and could very well wind up with his 10th team sometime this month.
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, Bob Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.