Remember when Gary Sheffield showed up to the Winter Meetings and said he was just there “to advise” a couple of young players? And then remember when he later admitted that he had an interest in playing again, specifically for the Rays?
You might also remember that Rays manager Joe Maddon took Sheffield out to dinner as a courtesy and to “get to know him,” but that the Tampa Bay front office did not want to add a 42-year-old who sat out for all of the 2010 season.
As expected, nothing ever came of that dinner. The now well-run Rays don’t throw money at veterans, especially veterans that they have no use for. Maddon was simply being nice in listening to what Sheffield had to say.
Yet, Sheffield went on to tell ESPN 1040 in Tampa on Thursday that he “felt a little disrespected” that the Rays never bothered to call him once the Winter Meetings ended. The .292/.393/.514 career hitter said that he is now “99.9 percent” committed to retirement because his hometown team won’t have him.
That Joe Maddon is a real jerk. Or something.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.