Just heard this one: A disc jockey, a pilot, a baseball player and a supermodel all get shot into outer space. The disc jockey says to the supermodel, “hey, come here often?” and then she says …
Oh. Wait. It’s not a joke, Here’s MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, reporting on Hensley Meulens’ wild ride:
He went on to share details about the upcoming space mission, which will take place in 2014. Meulens’ space ticket came courtesy of Space Expedition Curacao, which is in the process of acquiring a commercial spaceship. The initiative will eventually allow the public — for a very hefty price tag, of course — to purchase a ticket for a quick trip to space.
The first 100 flights, though, have been set aside for a group of so called “Founder Astronauts.” Meulens will join three Dutch celebrities — a disc jockey, an air travel pioneer and a supermodel — on flight No. 1. That announcement was made on April 12.
Since this is a a Curacao-based thing, I assume that Andruw Jones is the backup. But, since Meulens is the San Francisco Giants’ hitting coach — the same San Francisco Giants that can’t hit their way out of a paper bag these days — I’m guessing his schedule will be wide open come 2014 to make that flight.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.