Kevin Mitchell gets probation for attacking a guy on a golf course

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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.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.