The sports schedule needs to figure out how to eliminate the couple of weeks between the Super Bowl and the spring training games starting because that void leads to boredom and that boredom leads to stuff like this from Harold Reynolds — laundered to arguable respectability by Ken Rosenthal — to bubble up to the surface:
Albert Pujols for Mark Teixeira.
And, if that doesn’t work, Pujols for Ryan Howard.
Think it’s nuts? Think again.
Rosenthal argues for it by suggesting that the Yankees need to “make a splash” and that the Cardinals would love to unload the Pujols contract headache. Pujols has a no-trade clause, but he’d agree to it, Rosenthal says. He may be right about that part. Teixeira has one too, and Rosenthal says he’d agree to it. That would make no sense. Why would Teixeira want to leave the Yankees and willingly try to fill the shoes of a Cardinals legend? A legend, by the way, who is way better and way more beloved than Teixeira will ever be by Cardinals fans. Rosenthal says the Cards could play him more to agree, but isn’t money the roadblock to keeping Pujols?
Rosenthal goes on to talk about a Howard-Pujols trade, which if I remember correctly got Buster Olney nearly laughed off the Internet last spring. Or a trade to the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera because, you know, Pujols would just love to play in Detroit. He ends it all with a trade for Adrian Gonzalez, sending Pujols to Boston. That would probably make more sense than any of the other ones but that’s damning with faint praise given that all of these are psychotic scenarios.
Which isn’t to slam Rosenthal. He all but admits that they’re psychotic scenarios at the outset of his article. I think he, like a lot of us, is just bored.
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.