Earl Weaver, Juan Samuel

Earl Weaver is auctioning off a ton of memorabilia

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Whenever I hear about a baseball figure auctioning off stuff I worry that they’re broke or something, but in this day and age it’s more likely that they’re merely trying to simplify their estate plan.  That seems to be the case with longtime Orioles’ manager Earl Weaver, who is auctioning off all kinds of things:

Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver is auctioning off 47 of his treasured keepsakes, including his 1966 World Series ring and jerseys received as gifts from Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray.The former Baltimore Orioles skipper will earn tens of thousands of dollars from the sale, but Weaver says he doesn’t need the money and isn’t keeping any of it.

“I have four children. They have children, and their children have children,” said Weaver, who turns 81 in August. “I don’t know how to divide whatever memorabilia there is among them.”

The article lists a lot of the things he’s selling and Weaver talks about how, when you have a ton of grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom don’t love baseball as much as you do, it’s way easier to simply liquidate the collectibles.

He also says something briefly about remembering the stuff that led to his acquisition of said collectibles, and that resonates with me. I’m not a pack rat. Aside from some baseball cards in the basement I don’t keep much. I don’t begrudge those who are fond of keepsakes, but the memories of people and places in my life are far more valuable to me than the keepsakes themselves.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: there is no word if Weaver’s auction items include any Terry Crowley cards, books on tomato plants or treatises on team speed.  And if you don’t know why I mention that, I suggest that you use Google to find out.  And if you do, dear God, make sure the volume is down on your computer and that there are no minors within 1000 yards of you when you find what you’re looking for.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.

Yovani Gallardo and the Orioles are both “optimistic” about a deal

Yovani Gallardo
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Multiple reports Wednesday had the Orioles and free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo deep in negotiations on a multi-year deal. Nothing has been finalized yet, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com says “both sides appear to be pretty optimistic still.”

Ghiroli adds that the “ball is in the Orioles’ court,” although that may simply reveal her likely source to be Gallardo’s agent. Whatever the case, Baltimore is apparently now willing to forfeit their first-round draft pick to sign Galllardo and he may lead to a domino effect in which they also forfeit a second-round draft pick to sign outfielder Dexter Fowler.

The idea being that if you’re going to cough up the 14th overall pick to sign a mid-level free agent with spring training right around the corner you might as well cough up a lower draft pick to sign a second one. Gallardo has shown signs of decline, including a big dip in strikeout rate, but he logged 184 innings with a 3.42 ERA for the Rangers last season.