I guess it’s not odd that someone is selling the corked bat that got Sammy Sosa in hot water several years ago. I’m just surprised that it’s former teammate Mike Remlinger. I mean, did Sosa let him have it, or what?
Last year Remlinger said he contacted Sosa to ask if the retired
slugger wanted the broken barrel. An assistant relayed the message to
Sosa, who said he wanted the bat, according to Remlinger. But he never
heard back from Sosa’s camp again.
“At that point in time I
was just going to give it to Sammy because I figured it was his to do
with what he wanted,” Remlinger said. “Then when I didn’t hear back from
him I figured it was mine to do with what I wanted.”
What is it with relief pitchers stealing corked bats? Remember Jason Grimsley and Albert Belle?
Anyway, Remlinger’s story is a good one if for no other reason than he describes a pretty awful cork-job by Sosa. Apparently the bat was drilled from the barrel all the way down past the label. The odds of that thing cracking open were likely not long.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.