I knew it! The guy is on his best behavior for a while, making us think that he’s all about dedicating himself to baseball in an effort to justify that out-sized contract, but really it’s all about the spotlight for him. Him and his actress girlfriend and the cover of fashion magazines, with the subheadline “the swinging years.”
Just so typical. I mean, that Alex Rodriguez is so full of — wait, what? You mean it’s not A-Rod on the cover of GQ? It’s Jeter? And he’s talking about how he’s gone out of the way to keep his private life private as opposed to getting is splashed all over the tabloids? Oh, well. This is embarrassing …
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t go out and have fun. But there’s been a lot of players that come to New York and get caught up in the lifestyle, and before you know it, they’re sent away to another team because it affected their performance. My number one priority was on the field. I’ve had fun. It’s not like I’ve never gone out; I’ve done a lot of things. But I’ve always kept sight of my number one priority.”
Sigh. Even in a big glossy magazine feature he comes off as a boy scout. And that’s pretty hard to do. I’m convinced at this point that if you put subconscious-reading electrodes directly on his cerebrum and fed him a steady diet of seared scallops in a truth serum-infused reduction for months on end and you’d still get nothing better than “I just try to be prepared out there,” references to “Mr. Steinbrenner” and rebop about how playing for the Yankees is a great honor. Really, his professionalism and polish are practically sickening at this point. At least for those of us who require a steady dose of human frailty to make us feel better about the fact that we more or less topped out during our junior year of high school.
But I hold out hope. I’ve always maintained that if we ever get a really juicy Derek Jeter story, it won’t come via a Derek Jeter interview. It will come via interviews with Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years. And if anyone has the email address of any of those people, by all means, please submit it to be via the “Send Tip/Feedback” button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
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.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.