The Athletics name their new pitching coach

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You may want to sit down for this, but the A’s have named Ron Romanick their new pitching coach. He was formerly their bullpen coach.

I know. I reacted the same way. In fact, I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news. Everything is different now. It’s like, everything that happened before I heard this news was in black and white and everything since is in crisply-rendered high definition.

Let’s see, what else . . . Romanick pitched in the big leagues for parts of three seasons with the Angels. They used to be called the California Angels then. His last game was on July 21, 1986. I was on a family vacation to Nova Scotia then. I remember this, because we left right after my 13th birthday, and that was a week before Romanick’s last game. So yeah, we were probably on Cape Breton looking at lobster traps or something around then.  Fun trip, though. We took the car ferry from Yarmouth back to Portland, Maine and since we were in international waters then, 13 year-old kids could play the slot machines. That’s about all I got on Romanick, folks.  If anyone has anything more to add, I’ll consider updating.

Oh, and, um, sorry about the weird pic of him. I know it kind of looks like a hostage “proof of life” photo, but it was the only one of him in an Athletics uniform I could find on the whole Internet.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.