UPDATE: Now ESPN Boston and the Boston Globe are hearing that a Joe Blanton deal is not close and may not, in fact, happen.
For the next 24 hours, I think baseball is going to be like the people of Los Angeles in the movie “1941.” Panicking. Seeing things behind every corner. Americans fighting Americans. And if there’s one thing I can’t stand seeing, it’s Americans fighting Americans.
Or does no one besides me remember that flick?
8:47 AM: Joe Blanton probably feels a bit unwanted right now. That may change soon as multiple sources are reporting that the Red Sox and Phillies are deep in discussions to get Blanton.
This move is probably essential for the Phillies, in that they’ll certainly want to unload some of the $17 million Blanton is still owed. Far too much for a [gulp] number five starter.
I joked last night that the Red Sox should snag Blanton simply to make it more likely that the Yankees wouldn’t get Lee, and that seems to actually be happening. I worry about Blanton’s performance in the AL East — he allows way too many base runners to hold his own against much, much stronger competition — but the Sox have had Dice-K for several years now and they have somehow survived. Having both Blanton and Dice-K is gonna make them really, really hard to watch, however.
How about this: the Yankees need pitching! The Sox should make a very public offer of Dice-K to New York. It would never ever happen, but the screw-you value of such a move — to both the Yankees and Dice-K — would be unrivaled in baseball history.
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.
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.