Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez is as good as gone

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We all looked kind of silly last winter assuming that Adrian Gonzalez was going to be traded. We never took into account the possibility that the Padres could, you know, win some ballgames. But win they did, and it took Gonzalez right out of the trade speculation pool before the weather got hot.  What’s more, the Padres success had some people thinking that maybe the club could find a way to keep the hometown hero in the fold after all.

Yeah, about that:

The agent for Adrian Gonzalez says it’s “pretty much a fait accompli” that the Padres slugger will test the free-agent market after the 2011 season . . . [Gonzalez’s agent] says he’ll seek market value for the three-time All-Star and doesn’t anticipate the Padres veering from their financial structure.

Maybe this all talk, though, and the Padres feel differently about the possibility of signing their stud. Jed Hoyer?

Hoyer says the type of contract Gonzalez will seek in free agency is something that only a handful of markets can support, “and San Diego is not one of them.” Hoyer says it doesn’t make sense to make an offer that doesn’t come close to what Gonzalez would want.

Well then.

If the agent says the guy is going to test the market and seek top dollar, and the GM says the team can’t afford him, doesn’t that put us right back into “the Padres are going to trade Adrian Gonzalez” territory?  And with him making an insanely low $5.5 million this year, wouldn’t it make him a highly sought after commodity?  If you’re in he market for a corner bat, how are you not banging down Jed Hoyer’s door right now?

And if you’re Jed Hoyer, can you really just decide to hold on and wait for the 2012 draft picks? Don’t you have to see if you can’t do better?

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a start to deal with the yips

9 Apr 2000: Rick Ankiel #66 of the St. Louis Cardinals winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Brweers at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport
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The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.

It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:

On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:

“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”

Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.

 

Justin Turner talks “Easy D”

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:

No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!

Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:

It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:

I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.

And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.