mcgriff bigger

Fred McGriff isn’t having the best couple of months

5 Comments

The Rays fired the Crime Dog!  Or, probably.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays declined to rehire Fred McGriff after the 2010 season for reasons unknown.  He had been working as a special advisor in the community outreach department for a total of four years.

Those roles are usually more celebratory than anything, and his time probably just expired.

But, there’s more bad news on McGriff.

Alexandra Zayas, also of the Times, is reporting that McGriff’s wife Veronica filed for protection against the former ballplayer on January 14, just about three weeks ago.

Veronica McGriff wrote this in the police report:

“I am afraid and scared for my life and well-being.  During the past four months, my husband has been acting very strange. I learned that he secretly forged my signature to transfer our $1-million from a trust. He has stopped talking to me and the only communications he has had with me have been rude, aggressive and violent.”

“I don’t know who he is anymore. … I fear he is going to try to hurt me and I do not feel safe in my home.”

Scary stuff, but it sounds like things have been smoothed over now.  Veronica and Fred agreed to begin marriage counseling on January 31, dismissing the petition and dissolving any potential injunction.  It’s probably not fair to guess, but perhaps the strange behavior was a result of the Rays’ decision to cut McGriff loose.  Whatever the case, things seem to be back on track.

McGriff, now 47, retired after the 2004 season with 493 career home runs and a stellar .284/.377/.509 career batting line.  He was a five-time All-Star and drew MVP votes in eight different seasons.

Josh Hamilton has knee surgery, out 2-3 months

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Getty Images
3 Comments

Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.

As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:

That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
7 Comments

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.