Comment of the Day: Marcus Thames is no stiff

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I’m still irked at T.J. Simers’ weapons-grade idiocy in his Marcus Thames column.  And a lot of what is animating that is something that I neglected to mention in the last post on it: Marcus Thames is a really, really nice guy.  I’ve never met him, but several reporters I know have talked about him being warm and friendly, as have several fans who have had the privilege to root for him or meet him.  No, he’s not a five-tool player. No, he’s not a superstar. But that’s kinda not the point.

A few minutes ago reader PierzynskiAteMyKitten — um, viva pseudonyms — posted his own Thames recollection:

Thames is a class act, and it’s painful to see him attacked like this.  While with the Tigers, he was always mentioned in the same sentence as Granderson as one of the truly good guys in baseball.

Here’s my little Thames anecdote: while he was rehabbing with the Toledo Mud Hens, I saw him play my local Durham Bulls.  It was a drizzly day, and I was one of the few fans in the stands, and one of even fewer to be dressed in full Tigers regalia near the Mud Hens dugout.  There was another family of Tigers fans near me, including several young kids, also in full Tigers gear.  Before the game, Thames came over and chatted with us for a while, and then gave the kids a boatload of gear, including a bat, balls, and batting gloves.  It was by far the coolest interaction I’ve ever had with a pro baseball player.

This is who Simers decided to belittle. This is who Simers decided to go after when he had a case of writer’s block.  I realize it’s hard for Simers, what with him having written nine entire items in the month of March so far, to come up with new material, but one would think that he’d choose a different target to attack when he felt the need.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.