UPDATE: Slusser just posted a few tweets walking back her report about Dunn meeting with the A’s yesterday, including: “I’m told much to my horror that the Chronicle’s report of earlier today that the Athletics met with Dunn is not accurate.”
She stands by the information about the A’s being “in the mix” for Dunn, but the meeting never took place and, as I wrote initially, it’s hard to take Oakland as a realistic landing spot for him either way.
A’s representatives traveled to Houston yesterday to meet with Lance Berkman and while in Texas they also had a separate meeting with Adam Dunn, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
I’m sure Billy Beane and company had extensive sales pitches prepared for both players, but I prefer to imagine the A’s ringing Dunn’s doorbell and shouting “hey, we were in the neighborhood, so we decided to stop by!” as he answers the door wearing pajamas, slippers, and bed-head.
Dunn signing with Oakland seems highly unlikely given his reported asking price, but the A’s have been linked to Berkman repeatedly throughout the offseason and are clearly looking at various veteran designated hitter options following reports that they may non-tender Jack Cust.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.