Comment of the Day: Marcus Thames is no stiff


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.

Rangers set ALDS rotation: Gallardo in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

Yovani Gallardo

Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.

Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.

Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.

Indians promote Chris Antonetti to President, name new GM

Chris Antonetti
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In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.

Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.

Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.