From the Palm Beach Post:
Tony La Russa’s date of birth: October 4, 1944
Charlie Manuel’s date of birth: January 4, 1944
I understand how one may assume that La Russa is the oldest manager in baseball by virtue of him constantly implying that he invented the damn game, but Cholly is older. Both in actual age and in spirit.
I mean, I once interviewed Manuel while sitting in an automat that, on his instructions, I reached by streetcar (“you know, because of the gas rationing, what with the war on and all,” he said to me.). I tried to go back there the next day but the automat and the streetcar had strangely disappeared. I tried to call him on the number he gave me — “KLondike 5-3532” — but the number was disconnected.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.