UPDATE: No one has said so or anything (OK, now they have!) but just plain logic is causing most people to believe that the Joyce Twitter account is a fake. The avatar thing is just too nuts. And it’s not likely that that Major League Baseball would allow such a thing anyway.
How did I get suckered? Just lazy, I guess. Fake accounts tend to be over the top. That this one wasn’t probably threw me. I’m usually sharper and more skeptical than that, so who knows what my problem was. I suppose I was just caught up in a credulous moment this morning.
Still, there was something positive here. As I said a few minutes ago, I heard about this from secretly viewing Jon Heyman’s Twitter feed (shhh! don’t tell him!). Which means that someone is
pulling a prank on Heyman, because he believed it. I don’t approve of Twitter hoaxes, and I sure as hell don’t like being duped just like Heyman was, but I do
approve of people messing with Heyman, so consider me conflicted
11:35 A.M.: Here’s something I wasn’t expecting: infamous-then-noble umpire Jim Joyce started up a Twitter account late last night. The best part: at first his avatar was a screen-cap of his call at first base in the Galarraga game, showing that Joyce has either a good sense of humor or a great perspective or both. He changed it, though, because people thought it was one of the many hoax celebrity (such as he is) Twitter accounts. This is legit though. (Update: rather, it probably isn’t)
If I had to guess it will soon go quiet, like so many Twitter accounts do. At the very least by the beginning of next year because I bet Major League Baseball doesn’t want umpires on Twitter. I kind of hope not, though. Anything that cuts through the filters and static between newsmakers and the public is a good thing.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.