Canseco testifying

A series of very sad tweets by Jose Canseco


Jose Canseco has taken to Twitter the past few days, talking about his desire to play baseball again. Among the more notable tweets:

  • I can dh for any major league team and lead the league in home runs,just give me the chance
  • I will show everyone that steroids are completely overrated once I get the chance to play aqgain.all I need is the chance
  • If a team would give me the chance I would not let them is my life,I miss the game its part of me,its my addiction
  • I will not give up the dream of playing in the majors again,I just cant
  • If you love something and it defines you ,never give it up
  • I dream about playing almost every night.when I wake up and realize I am not anymore that’s when the nightmare begins
  • I am and will always be just simply a basball player,my tomb stone will just say. Baseball.
  • Why is everyone so negative,I will play again
  • Life is about beleivinging in something

Those last two came after many began to mock him in reply.

I won’t mock Jose Canseco. Not for this anyway.  He’s being honest about how he feels and there’s no crime in that.

But it’s hard not to pity him.  Because even if he had never become the poster child for PEDs in baseball and even if he had not exposed his former teammates and colleagues in his books, Canseco would not have a chance to play baseball again.  He’s 46-years-old. He hasn’t played truly competitive baseball for a decade. It’s not happening, and wouldn’t happen even if Canseco’s wasn’t blackballed from the game as he frequently claims.  He’s too old. He may be in physical shape, but he’s no longer in baseball shape. Baseball, even at its most meritocratic, is unforgiving in that way.

Canseco’s post-baseball life and career shows how extreme a gulf there is between that at which he excelled — putting a hurt on a baseball — and that to which he is left. Celebrity. Infamy. Based on some of his late night tweets I even imagine loneliness.  All players have adjustment problems to some degree or another, but Canseco’s seem quite extreme.

I hope that I’m just reading too much into some random tweets.  But if not, I hope Canseco gets some help. Because he sounds like he’s crying out for it.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.