As Aaron noted earlier today, monobrowed-man-child Jack Clark called the Cardinals “quitters” and said “they have poopy in their pants.” While such a sophisticated and air-tight indictment is difficult to rebut, Tony La Russa has a law degree, so he’s trained in the finer arts of oral advocacy. Specifically, the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” defense:
“I just don’t feel like Jack has had the kind of spotless career
where he can be making judgments like that. Whether it’s our team,
pitchers, players, whatever,” La Russa said. “I think it’s a real
personal (criticism). That’s why I’m saying something about it.
It’s a very offensive quote to make. … I respect Jack a lot
because he did a good job of pulling his career together. But he
had times where there were evaluations from his peers — and I
wasn’t his peer — but his peers and his bosses were less than the
best. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t take some of that past
As a disinterested third party who also has considerable experience with advocacy and debate, I render my judgment thusly:
More seriously speaking, Aaron’s observation from this afternoon wins the day: Jack Clark: if you’re going to say a ballclub “quit,” you had best be prepared to say who on that ballclub quit and show your work. Otherwise you’re nothing more than a friggin’ blowhard.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).
Free agent closer Mark Melancon is entertaining at least two offers in the four-year, $60+ million ballpark, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The teams thought to be in the running are the Giants and Nationals, with the Giants having a slight edge due to their strong interest in him last summer (per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick).
Crasnick also said that while the Giants are keeping tabs on the top three free agent closers this winter, the other two being Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, they’re leaning toward Melancon as a (slightly) more affordable option in the ‘pen. It’s worth noting that Melancon would not cost the Giants a draft pick if they decided to sign him.
Melancon had an outstanding season in 2016, nearly reaching career-best numbers with a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and 5.42 K/BB rate in 71 1/3 innings split between the Pirates and Nationals’ bullpens. The veteran right-hander earned his third career All-Star distinction after stifling opposing hitters with a 1.23 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate in the first half, and went on to appear in his fourth consecutive playoff run.
Despite the Giants’ apparent lead in the bidding for Melancon, Rosenthal mentioned a third mystery team who might throw their hat in the ring as well. No clubs have been name-dropped as of yet.