When you wear ridiculously flamboyant clothing into a baseball clubhouse where the players are celebrating an ALDS victory by spraying each other with champagne, ginger ale, and beer … well, you run the risk of catching some liquid shrapnel.
And as Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com writes, that’s exactly what happened to TBS sideline reporter Craig Sager after the Rangers’ win over the Rays last night:
[Tommy Hunter] grabs several cans of Bud Light from the neatly stacked coolers on wheels stationed around the clubhouse for easy access. Then Hunter made his move. He stalked Sager, and once he got within firing range, he shook and fired. Like a fire hose of barley and hops, Hunter doused Sager, spraying him from his neatly brushed hair down to his some-sort-of-animal-skin loafers.
Sager, at a total loss, took the soaking without saying much of anything, seemingly stunned with a look on his face that said, “Hey, what’d I do?” Then came the kicker. Hunter, his beer barrage finally over and Sager literally drenched, gave a whoop as he turned away from Sager and then shouted: “I don’t even know who you are!”
On one hand that wasn’t very nice of Tommy Hunter. On the other hand, anyone going into the clubhouse mid-celebration has to expect to be doused in something and presumably a big part of the reason Sager dresses like he does is to be noticed when he walks into a room. He got his wish.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.