You know what would be a reasonable response to the NCAA stripping Reggie Bush of his Heisman trophy yesterday? Acknowledging that Bush is almost certainly not the only Heisman trophy winner who took cash in violation of the rules and deciding that the exercise of changing history like that is pointless and empty.
You know what would not be a reasonable response? Looking back at the baseball MVP awards and deciding how the Reggie Bush approach would work to strip known steroid users of their hardware. That’s what Tom Weir does over at USA Today this afternoon.
Of course, stripping Barry Bonds of his awards is the easy part. How Weir knows that Mike Piazza, Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez — just to name a few of the alternate universe recipients — didn’t take PEDs is beyond me. What’s even farther beyond me is how Weir could follow the PED in baseball discussion these past few years and not acknowledge that the primary lesson of the Mitchell Report and subsequent test results is that fans’ and reporters’ steroid parlor games are
pointless, because for every obvious case like Barry Bonds, there are
several more guys who were juicing that you never would have suspected.
Does that sound familiar? Long time readers may remember me saying nearly the same thing. Why? Because Rick Reilly did the same little exercise that Weir does today over at ESPN in February 2009, and I went after his take too. It was just as dumb as Weir’s piece. OK, Reilly’s was dumber, but only because he probably makes 20 times the money Weir does to peddle his stuff.
But hey, they met deadline and posted something, and that’s all that matters, right?
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.