Since I pointed out bad Philly fan behavior yesterday, I would be remiss in not pointing out bad Yankee fan behavior today.
Last night, after the game got out of hand, Yankees fans threw beer bottles and other debris into the Rangers bullpen as Neftali Feliz was warming up. For added color, they began a chant of “a–hole, a–hole” at someone, though it’s hard to tell who. You can see video of the bottles and chants over at Crossing Broad. Oh, and a fan ran on the field as well, though he was quickly taken into custody. People at the game tweeted, however, that the fan tried to fight the cops as he was being taken away, so he was obviously a brain surgeon.
It may or may not be worth noting that the reason I am aware of all of this is because multiple Phillies fans emailed it to me this morning with some variation of “because you and the rest of the national media only like to pick on Phillies fans you probably won’t say anything about the bad behavior at Yankee Stadium last night, but in case you decide to be fair for once, here are some links.”
No telling if those emails came from the same folks who told me I was wrong about Phillies fans being so defensive yesterday . . .
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
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.