swagger wagon

Can “swagger” be “bullet-proof?” Ask Jonathan Papelbon.

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This is quote of the day territory, but it’s a bit early and lots of players will be talking to the media today, so we’ll hold off on giving it any awards.

Jonathan Papelbon talked yesterday about how he’s approaching 2011.  The key for him is focus.  Well, not exactly, because he kept saying that “focus” is the wrong word.  But it is something about his mental approach:

He said it. He admitted the swagger was missing. He was asked about that. “It’s here, yeah,” he said. “It’s here, but I’m talking about building it here in Fort Myers and through spring training, building it up and taking into the season with a swagger that is bullet-proof.”

He paused.

“Does that make sense?” he asked.

Well, considering that no one has ever satisfactorily explained the concept of “swagger” to me that wasn’t necessarily ex-post-facto — no one who loses or fails ever has “swagger” — no, it does not make much sense.

All I know for sure is that if all of this means that Papelbon is going to be more demonstrative and fist-pumpy on the mound this year than he usually is, God help us all.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.

Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.

Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.

The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.