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.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.