As you may have seen, today President Obama released his long form birth certificate in an effort to shut up the loony fringe who decided to use the citizenship issue to attack him as Some Horrible Other, seeing as though open racism and xenophobia is off the table in polite society these days. There are several baseball implications for this.
For starters, given his views on the matter, Orioles’ left fielder Luke Scott’s pregame routine is going to be a bit more complicated today. I’d like to see him double down on this and simply respond “I see they’ve gotten to you too,” when confronted by the press, but I am not optimistic that he is that awesome.
More entertainingly, the release of the birth certificate has led many a clever baseball wag to weigh in on Twitter. Our own Aaron Gleeman made a great point:
Big deal. Show me Livan Hernandez’s birth certificate. Then we have something.
I’ve seen it. It’s printed a foot off-center. However, in October 1997 the clerk ruled that it was perfectly acceptable.
Here’s a far more substantive connection between birtherism and baseball, from HBT reader Steve Ferra:
The brith certificate I want to see is Tony Gwynn Jr’s. He’s thin and can’t hit. I am extremely suspicious.
We are through the looking glass here people.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.