Lazy observation: baseball, a sport that is best experienced in the form of multiple installments over the course of long period of time (i.e. a 162 game season) has never been portrayed in a good TV series. At the same time, it has had multiple excellent treatments on the silver screen. Football, in contrast, a sport in which one game means everything, has had hardly any good movies done about it, yet had one pretty darn enjoyable TV series in “First and Ten.”* I suppose we can argue about all of that, but that’s my feeling about it. And please don’t tell me that “First and Ten” doesn’t hold up. I choose to remember it being nothing short of awesome.
Anyway, they’re trying again with a baseball TV series. Given the pedigree of the creator, it may just work:
Ron Shelton, the creator of “Bull Durham,” will be putting together a new hour-long comedy based on minor league baseball called “Hound Dogs” for TBS. Shelton will executive produce the project alongside Michele Weisler, Andra Buchanan and Todd DeLorenzo . . . Drawing from Shelton’s own experience as a player, the show centers on a minor league team and its general manager as they try to handle life’s ups and downs, both in and out of the locker room.
And since it’s on TBS, you know darn well it’s gonna get promoted up the wazoo during next season’s playoffs.
*I am immediately reminded by people that “Friday Night Lights” is an excellent TV series as well. I have never watched it — I don’t watch a ton of TV, really — but people I trust say it’s fantastic so I have no reason to doubt it. I’m also reminded by people that “Eastbound and Down” is a most excellent baseball series. I haven’t seen most of it either — being remedied soon thanks to NetFlix! — but why that escaped me I have no idea.
The Blue Jays acquired Yankees’ infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder for first base prospect Ryan McBroom, the teams announced Sunday. Refsnyder was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier in the week and is expected to report to Triple-A Buffalo, while McBroom could find a landing place on the Blue Jays’ Double-A roster in Trenton.
Refsnyder, 26, had trouble heating up at the plate during his third campaign with the Yankees. He batted .135/.200/.216 with a double and two stolen bases through his first 40 PA in 2017 and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coming out of the All-Star break. His numbers solidified during a 38-game stint in Triple-A, where he posted a .312/.390/.464 batting line with 15 extra-base hits in 159 PA. He’s not slated for a major league gig with the Blue Jays just yet, but could see some time at second base behind Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, especially with Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki still on the mend.
McBroom, 25, was ranked No. 30 among the Blue Jays’ top prospects in 2017. He profiles as a bat-only first baseman with little speed or range in the infield, and was working through his second season at Double-A New Hampshire prior to the trade. He entered Sunday slashing .243/.321/.402 with 12 home runs through his first 392 PA of the year.
Marlins’ president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters Sunday that he has no intention of dealing Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna or Dan Straily at the trade deadline this July. That’s a decision he feels would be better left in the hands of the Marlins’ new ownership, though the hand-off may still be a ways away.
That doesn’t mean that teams aren’t interested in the club’s core players, however. From Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
It’s not stopping calls from coming in,” Hill said of the interest. “It’s been fairly consistent, with people checking in to see where we’re at to see if we may be open to expanding the players we’re talking about. But we haven’t put any of those guys in play.
ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that there’s a catch-22 when it comes to moving superstars like Stanton. He represents the face of the franchise and one of the team’s most significant assets, but the remainder of his 13-year, $325 million contract also makes up a sizable portion of the Marlins’ debt.
While the club may not be ready to deal some of their marquee players just yet, they don’t intend to sit pat at the deadline, either. They’re still looking to shed some payroll in the bullpen after dealing right-handed reliever David Phelps to the Mariners and appear to be listening to multiple offers on fellow righty A.J. Ramos. Ramos, 30, has seen mixed results over his first 37 1/3 innings of 2017 with a 3.86 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 11.1 SO/9, though Hill appears optimistic that the Marlins can extract considerable value from a trade.