Murray Chass

Murray Chass slams Stan Musial. Really.

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Some blogger who writes from home — claims he used to actually be a reporter with a big paper or something — decided today that the most pressing thing he had to do today was to cut Stan Musial down to size:

It turns out that the 90-year-old Musial is not the Saint Stan he is considered in St. Louis. For sure, Musial remains the great player he was in his Hall of Fame career and deserves all of the accolades he has received for his achievements in that career.

As a person, however, he left much to be desired. Marvin Miller raised the issue in a recent conversation and provided the evidence to make his case. It is a convincing one.

Actually, it’s not.  It’s two third-hand anecdotes in which someone told someone who told Miller about something Musial allegedly did. Or, rather, things employees at a restaurant for which he was almost certainly a hands-off owner did in denying Curt Flood a seat because he was black. And something a committee on which Musial served related to the first MLB pension system did. There’s really nothing in here about anything Musial himself did, and even the implications are contradicted by others.

This is weak sauce, even for Chass.  The same Chass who just recently got into a little trouble for another post he wrote, also based on a conversation with Miller, which Miller repudiated soon after. Wait, make that two of them.  It was hard to tell what happened in those cases, but I know one thing: if Chass is writing something based on his conversations with Marvin Miller, I’m not going to give him any benefit of the doubt.  Not that I give him much of that anyway.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.