Turducken

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I love Thanksgiving week. It brings back so many memories. Grandma’s turkey. Weird uncle Pete’s turducken. That time I learned about the Braves signing Andres Galarraga while I was sitting in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport waiting for a connecting flight . . .

  • It strikes me that the Derek Jeter saga is putting lie to that notion that baseball is truly cracking down on teams and agents using the press to negotiate this winter.
  • Jim Leyritz is acquitted of manslaughter charges. No joke here. Just don’t mess up the second chance you’ve been given, Jim.
  • Domonic Brown is learning that just because you’re sent to play winter ball doesn’t mean you actually get to play winter ball.
  • Oliver Perez is stinking up the Mexican League. This is probably a good thing. If he was pitching well down there the Mets would be tempted to start fresh with him next spring to see if he could snag a job. Now it’s way easier to simply release the guy.
  • The Marlins and Nats are both courting Javier Vazquez. It’d be nice if he stayed on the east coast this year, because if he gets to pitch in Citi Field it will allow some Yankees fans additional chances to boo him.
  • The bidding for Cliff Lee is expected to start at $120 million. I got this image of that “Saturday Night Live” sketch from the mid 80s when Christopher Guest was the auctioneer and he threatened to suffocate hamsters and shoot himself if the bidding didn’t go higher. I may be one of six people who remember that sketch.

Short week, kids. You can do this. Just pretend that today is Wednesday.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.