Kevin Kernan is down in Port St. Luice and he caught up with early spring training arrival David Wright. Wright opined about the Wilpon-Madoff mess:
“I’ve become very close with the Wilpon family over the years. They’ve done a lot for me. And I feel for them, just having to go through this. I called Jeff a few days ago just to let him know that I was thinking about him and if he needed anything from me, I’m there for him.”
Wilpon then asked David Wright for $300 million.
OK, maybe not. Wright went on:
“Getting down here and playing baseball you don’t have to listen to every day what’s going on in that situation. It’s almost like once you walk across these lines; it’s almost like a sanctuary. That’s one of the best things for me to get back out on the baseball field. You don’t have to think about everything.’’
The turmoil of a club’s business doesn’t impact the fans as directly as it does the members of a team, but it does affect us. And of course, most of us have stress and uncertainty of one form or another in our own lives. Spring training and baseball serves as a sanctuary for us too.
We’re a little over two weeks until actual spring training games start. The beauty of the electronic age allows us to watch a lot of them or, at the very least, follow them live in one way or another. When they do — or even when the mitts start popping next week — the world will be a better place.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.