Andy Martino of the Daily News does his best to comfort sad Wally Backman fans by passing along word that the team may be considering another 1986 Met for the coaching staff: Mookie Wilson, who could become the team’s first base coach.
First base coaches don’t really matter, but I link this for three reasons: (1) I LOVE Mookie Wilson; (2) it’s a slow news day; and (3) it gives me an opportunity to tell you how I annoyed my daughter over the weekend.
For the past three years I have contributed an article to The Hardball Times Baseball Annual. It just came out and you should buy it, by the way. No, I don’t get any money if it becomes a best seller. It’s just the best baseball annual you’re going to find, my article — recapping the year’s more frivolous stories — is pretty hilarious if I say so myself, and The Hardball Times is an awesome organization consisting of awesome people and you should support them. With the shilling over, here’s how I annoyed my daughter:
In the back of the book, all of the Hardball Times contributors have a little author bio. For the past two years I’ve ended my bio by saying “Craig lives with his wife and two children — Mookie and Tyrus Raymond — in a fortified compound on the outskirts of New Albany, Ohio.” Last year I told my daughter that I called her Mookie and she was livid, insisting that her name is not, in fact, Mookie. I did it again this year, of course, and I got my copy of the book on Saturday. I quickly turned to the bio page and put it in front of my daughter to show her that, once again, she is Mookie. She totally freaked out on me. It was fabulous. And hey, if you can’t mock your kids, who can you mock?
I woke up on Sunday morning with this picture shoved under my bedroom door:
Yes, that is my daughter shooting me with a ray-gun of some sort as her little brother — Tyrus Raymond — looks on laughing and as I scream in pain and horror. And hey, she got my little basement studio in there and everything! That kid has a bright future ahead of her assuming she doesn’t murder her father and stuff.
But next year: she’s totally Mookie again. Or maybe Honus.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.