Mookie Wilson

Mookie Wilson — possible Mets first base coach — provides me with an excuse to mock my own child


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.

Angels sign outfielder Rafael Ortega to one-year contract

Rafael Ortega
AP Photo/John Bazemore
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According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.

It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.

Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.

Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

Wilin Rosario
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.