Cell Phone

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I had an excuse for missing baseball news this weekend: I got a new phone that is perhaps the scariest bit of technology I have ever encountered. I’m still traumatized, frankly, and all I’ve done is figure out how to change the ring tone. You guys who spent all weekend watching football have way less of an excuse. That’s just a sad sport, frankly, and if you can’t get everything you need from Florio, Rosenthal and the rest, God help you. You don’t need to actually watch it.

OK, sorry. That was hostile. I’m just a bit phone-shocked. I’ll be better as the morning wears on.  The weekend wrap:

  • Sticking with the Mets, the kabuki theater they are going through in order to satisfy the rabid portions of their fan base that they’re really considering Wally Backman for the job when they totally don’t plan on hiring him is something to behold.
  • Bad news: an elbow injury has likely ended Jamie Moyer’s career. Good news: He can get some simple surgery to fix it now, but if he had suffered this injury during the early part of his career they would have shot him to ease his suffering. See, because medical science has advanced so much in the past . . . oh, just forget it. I’m just sad that this may be my last chance to make a Jamie Moyer is old joke.
  • Derek Jeter and the Giants? Nah, but you know, even though I’m 100% certain Jeter goes back to the Yankees, a Giants uniform is the one non-Yankees uniform I can imagine him looking the least out-of-place in. Just aesthetically speaking. It’s the one uni that looks good and classic enough so that it wouldn’t diminish his historical stature, while at the same time not breaking some rivalry or cultural taboo like the Red Sox or Dodgers would. OK, maybe the Tigers, but I’d prefer it if Alan Trammell remained the most famous Tiger shortstop of all time, thank you.
  • Edgar Renteria wants to come back in 2011. The one guy who could have gotten around the old “all things end badly or else they’d never end” maxim is gonna blow it. Oh well. And hey: another Tiger shortstop.

Hey, I think I figured out how to make my phone make fart noises!  Progress.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.