I gotta be honest: if John Malone, the CEO of Liberty Media — owner of my Atlanta Braves — invited me to have lunch with him, I’d probably balk too. I mean, really, what would we have to talk about? Our vast land holdings? Our fights with the FCC? The awkwardness of the fact that, in all likelihood, I know far more about the Atlanta Braves than he does? I mean, sure, if I could take him to Ted’s Montana Grill and talk about its namesake like he was my ex-girlfriend, pining for the days when he ran my team it would be fun. But really, I’d probably give it a pass.
But do you do the same thing if you’re a Dodgers fan? This guy did, according to Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times:*
After all these years, Brian Gadinsky was invited to lunch with the owner of the Dodgers. And he turned it down. He turned it down for the same reason he had earlier trashed his season-ticket renewal notice, which led to the invitation in the first place. He turned it down because it would mean breaking bread with Frank McCourt, and he is done with Frank McCourt.
“My friends all asked me if I was crazy,” Gadinsky said. “I told them, no, I am just tired. … I am tired of being loyal to a man who has not returned that loyalty.”
I guess I can see that. Of course, given that this is likely the only shot Gadinsky will ever have to slip McCourt a mickey, he probably should reconsider.
*Note: Plaschke continues to be the world’s worst abuser of the one-sentence paragraph writing style. Which is almost a awful as certain diseases, so when I block quote him I compress the paragraphs for readability. Bill: don’t do this anymore. It does not add gravitas to your prose. It makes things harder to read. It tips us all off to the fact that you are tasked with filling column inches and not telling interesting stories. Which is a shame when, as you often do, you have an interesting story. Cut it out, OK?
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.