Last week Brian Cashman said that the Red Sox were probably the better team on paper. Yesterday, Red Sox President Larry Lucchino downplayed that. For those of you who don’t think the Yankees-Red Sox thing isn’t icky enough, I give you “hormonal satisfaction”:
Although Larry Lucchino admitted to taking “hormonal satisfaction” from the Red Sox outdueling the rival Yankees this winter, neither the team president nor chairman Tom Werner put much stock in New York GM Brian Cashman’s remarks last week that the Sox are the better team. Werner even labeled it “reverse psychology.”
Said Lucchino: “They’re always the favorites. C’mon, they’re the New York Yankees. They’re in the biggest market in the world. We’re happy to be the guys that they worry about looking over their shoulder.
The only thing less appetizing than thinking of a baseball rivalry in terms of “hormonal satisfaction” is listening to Yankees and Red sox brass argue over who the bigger underdog is.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, Lucchino’s comments come in the course of an article about Josh Beckett being in much better shape. It wasn’t quite strong enough for a BSOML headline, but if some of you guys get hormonal satisfaction over that meme I’ve tried to beat into the ground, it may scratch the itch anyway.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.