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 James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.