Ty Cobb’s great-grandson is a college basketball player and his name is Ty Cobb

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Bob Pool of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about Ty Cobb’s great-grandson, a 19-year-old college freshman with the same name who’s on the basketball team at Occidental College and turned down the chance to be a two-sport athlete because he’s just not all that into baseball.

I’m not going to play baseball here. It’s just not my love. Basketball has always been my favorite sport. I get it all the time: “Why are you playing basketball?” I played baseball through high school. This will be the first year I’ve ever not played. I guess Occidental just caught me at the wrong time. I’ve played football, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, run track. But basketball is the one I always come back to. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s what I love to do.

Occidental baseball coach Jason Hawkins still plans to see if he can talk Cobb into playing baseball too, but for now he’s a 6-foot-5 small forward only. As for what life is like as a teenager with a Hall of Famer’s name, particularly when that Hall of Fame had some not-so-wonderful moments chronicled in a movie?

People have given me a hard time about it because Ty Cobb had a tough reputation among a lot of people. They think he wasn’t a very good guy. Some people thought he was a jerk. I’ve had to defend him on more than one occasion. My dad knew him really well. My dad would tell fun stories about when he was young and interacting with Ty Cobb.

When my dad was about 12 my great-grandfather was in his late 60s or 70s. One day he had a fresh linen suit on and they were talking baseball and he decided to teach my dad how to hook-slide. So they go out in the backyard on the grass and Ty Cobb is in his fancy suit and he’s got the cuffs of his pants rolled up and one of his helper ladies came out and said, “Mr. Cobb, you can’t be doing that!” It kind of showed his competitiveness even into his twilight years.”

Maybe they can include that scene if Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Wuhl ever get together for a sequel.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.