Maicer Izturis fired back at fans who question his durability, as the Angels infielder told Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times that “those are ignorant people who say that” and “they don’t know the game.”
Izturis, who was on the disabled list three times last season and has played just 254 of a possible 486 games during the past three years, explained to Baxter that “I could play 140 games at 90 percent or 80 percent, but that’s not the way I play. I play 100 percent.”
Athletes playing through injury is generally met with too much praise, as they often play poorly or make the injury worse by doing so and ultimately don’t actually help the team. However, rarely will you hear a player admit that he’s unwilling to play at “90 percent or 80 percent” health, like Izturis did, which certainly isn’t going to stop “those ignorant people” from questioning his durability.
Izturis tried to downplay his missed time by bringing up all the games Josh Hamilton has missed for the Rangers, saying: “I don’t see people saying he’s fragile. They say he plays hard.” However, while it’s true that people say Hamilton plays hard, Izturis suggesting that Rangers fans and media members don’t question the reigning MVP’s durability shows his ignorance. Hamilton shifted away from center field because of concerns about staying healthy there and after his latest injury occurred running the bases there was tons of talk about how there’s really no way for the Rangers to keep him from getting injured. His being fragile is a major topic.
Most of all, though, there’s really nothing to be gained from a player calling fans of the team he plays on “ignorant people” who “don’t know the game.” Of course, right now he’s healthy and hitting .380, so fans probably won’t be too harsh on the guy with 27 hits in 16 games.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.