That sound you hear is Luke Scott’s agent and most of the Orioles’ front office simultaneously slapping their hands to their foreheads in exasperation as they read Sam Mellinger’s column in today’s Kansas City Star. You know, the one in which Luke Scott continues to be a birther despite the release of Obama’s birth certificate:
“(President Obama’s) birth certificate has yet to be validated … If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me. So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.”
The rest of Mellinger’s column is, as usually, pretty sharp. Like me, he’s not going to lose sleep that there are people like Luke Scott playing baseball for a living. I mean, they’re paid to hit and throw the ball, not hold forth on the topics of the day.
But even so, you can’t help but marvel at the crazy seeping from his pores.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.