While the winter is an awful, awful thing for a baseball fan, it has served one healing purpose for Braves fans: it has allowed us to forget about Brooks Conrad’s follies in the NLDS against the Giants. In case you wanted to relive it, however — or if you actually want to find reasons not to hate the guy — there’s a nice profile of him in the AJC today. This part might makes you just want to die, though:
In the first inning of Game 3, Conrad bobbled a double-play ball. Then he dropped a pop-up to right field in the second.
When Posey handcuffed him in the ninth, Conrad’s wife Jessie was in the concourse at Turner Field, taking their 3-year-old son Jaxon to the bathroom. She hadn’t even seen the play. But she heard booing and her heart sank.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, please no,’” Jessie said.
The stuff that follows about his teammates and family rallying around him the night of the game is hanky material.
Spring is upon us and it’s time for renewal. And no one could use it more than Conrad. Here’s hoping that things turn out well for him him in the new year.
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.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.