Jim Bouton wrote a tell-all book that angered the Yankees. They kept him away from Old Timers Day for close to 30 years and, if it wasn’t for an emotional plea in the New York Times by one of his sons following the tragic death of Bouton’s daughter, they may not have even invited him back when they did.
The team is much better about letting bygones be bygones now, because Joe Torre wrote a tell-all book that angered the Yankees too, and only a couple short years later Torre will be back in pinstripes:
Joe Torre is headed back to the Bronx. No, the man who led the Yankees to four World Series titles isn’t planning a return to managing, but he revealed Thursday that he will attend his first Old-Timers’ Day on June 26 at Yankee Stadium.
“I may be letting the cat out of the bag, but I was invited back for Old-Timers’ Day,” said Torre, who stopped by Steinbrenner Field Thursday as part of his spring training tour in his new role as MLB’s executive VP for baseball operations. “I’m planning on going.”
In other news, I wasn’t aware that former managers attended Old Timers Day. Given the Yankees pre-Torre experience with turnover, that could make for a really crowded dugout.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.