You guys are familiar with my Charlie Manuel-as-throwback fixation. I truly believe that he was sent here from, say, the late 40s, by some benevolent scientists in order to save us from ourselves. Sort of a reverse “Quantum Leap.”
I’m certain he has vast stashes of fresh beer made by breweries that haven’t existed in decades. I think he wrote the text for all the Burma-Shave signs back in the day. I would bet my life that he calls the couch “the davenport” and the refrigerator the “ice box.” He is a human time capsule, carrying wisdom and folkways in that head of his that Western Civilization has lost.
So I’m totally not surprised that his barber saw both Don Larsen’s perfect game and Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in person, the latter of which he took in after playing the ponies (“I caught a couple of winners”). In fact, I bet that the barber is actually Cholly’s sidekick, sent here by the scientists too. His mission: if anyone gets wise to Manuel’s game, he fixes to give ’em the old dipsy doodle, see?
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.