You may recall how, last fall, former Giants slugger Kevin Mitchell repeatedly punched a guy on a golf course after the man “had spoken disparagingly about him earlier.” Apparently that’s frowned upon in California, and Mitchell pleaded no contest to the charges in March. Yesterday he was sentenced to three months probation and anger management classes.
The best part of this report, though, is that it contains some stuff from a preliminary hearing we missed from a few months ago:
Leonard Lerma said Mitchell started throwing punches on the 13th hole.
“I want to show you who I am, motherf–ker,” Mitchell said, according to Lerma’s testimony in a preliminary hearing. “I’m an old school gangster.”
Perhaps the craziest thing about this is that the ire between the two had started a week earlier when the victim of the assault — who had taken golf lessons along with Mitchell one morning — was bad mouthing the instructor later, saying that the instructor ruined his game, only to have Mitchell defend the instructor’s honor. Not the kind of thing you expect from “old school gangsters,” but not without honor either.
And in Mitchell’s defense, golfers who complain about someone else ruining their game are insufferable jerks who probably could use their ears being boxed by former NL MVPs. It’s the entire reason I’ve kept Andre Dawson on my personal payroll since 1987. You know, just in case.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.