The man who hit “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” has died. Bobby Thomson was 86. No one can be fully defined by their best or worst moments on this
Earth. But if you have to choose one of ’em, being remembered for
hitting the most famous home run in baseball history ain’t bad.
And while yes, Thomson was obviously best known for the home run that famously won the 1951 pennant, he was a pretty good ballplayer apart from that day too. Thomson hit .270/.332/.462 hitter who smacked 264 homers over the course of 15 major league seasons. He was an All-Star a couple of times. He got some MVP votes. In terms of quality I suppose a decent analog for him these days would be Raul Ibanez or someone like him.
But most important is that by all accounts — all of which I read in various books — Bobby Thomson was a wonderful human being who will no doubt be missed by those who knew and loved him.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.