HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Things you missed while you restrained yourself from killing perspective-free Ohio State football fans who actually had the gall to worry — after a 73-20 victory over some Directional U. — that “the defense just didn’t have the intensity it needs.” Or maybe that was just me. Columbus in the fall is worse than New York in the summer. Sure, some Yankees fans may get bent out of shape if the team doesn’t go 162-0, but at least they don’t expect 162 shutouts:

  • Jeff Francoeur hit his 100th home run. This story reminds me of those “he’s determined to finish what he started stories” about the guy who takes a week to complete the New York Marathon or something, only far, far less inspiring.
  • Baseball’s second-in-command is being forced out. I’m pretty sure DuPuy is part of, like, six different “blue ribbon panels” and “independent commissions” and what have you that Selig set up years ago in order to punt tough decisions he didn’t want to make. This either means that we may, for example, hear something about the A’s future sometime soon. Or it may mean that new commission members have to be appointed and 18 more months added to the studies so that they may get up to speed.
  • The Phillies and Mets got all snippy at each other. It’s cute how they think these games matter for something.
  • Tim Lincecum rejected a baseball in the Giants-Rockies game he perceived had not been subjected to the Coors Field humidor. And they say drugs dull the senses.
  • The Rangers clinched the right to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the AL East champion.
  • If effing with people was an Olympic sport, Ozzie Guillen would have medal-laden pictures of himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated like he was Mark Spitz or something.
  • Bob Brenly takes himself out of the running for the Cubs gig. A gig that I figure he’d have about a 0.02% chance of getting in the first place. He probably knew that, and rightfully figured that it would be better to “take himself out of the running” than to be seen as being passed over for the job.

And now, let us begin the last week of the regular season.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal,¬†LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune¬†reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.