Canseco testifying

A series of very sad tweets by Jose Canseco

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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 down.baseball 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.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.