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.

Must-Click Link: The Turbulent Final Year of Yordano Ventura’s Life

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 23:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals reacts in the sixth inning while taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in game six of the 2015 MLB American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 23, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.

It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.

Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.