HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I threw my back out this weekend. No idea how I did it. When I sat down on Saturday morning I felt fine. When I stood up to get out of the chair none of my lower back muscles worked. These are the sorts of things that happen to you when you’re slothful and are pushing 40. Silver lining: given that standing up was quite painful and doing any actual housework or active parenting was out of the question, I sat in a comfy leather chair for two days and read two books. Well, finished a long one I had been reading and read another.

Something I already knew but which was underscored in a major, major way: Edward Hopper and James Ellroy would be the worst wingmen in history.  If you asked Hopper to talk to the friend of the girl you’re scoping out, he’d say nothing for five minutes, then say something witheringly cutting and then paint a picture of her as a figure of stark loneliness.  Ellroy would go motormouth on her about how she looked a lot like his dead mother. You know, the one whose murder he caused by invoking a curse back in 1958?  Either way, you’re not going home with the girl you were scoping out.

Anyway, this is what you may have missed if, like me, you spent the weekend reading about two fantastic artists with serious psycho-sexual issues:

Oh, and if you care: “Rooms by the Sea” and “American Tabloid” are probably my favorites, though those change quite frequently depending on mood.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.