Andre Ethier flipped the bird: During batting practice before Monday’s game against the Brewers, Ethier was snapped givin’ the finger to a photographer. And actually, the AP story uses the phrase “flipping his middle fingers at a photographer,” so it may have been the rare but always impressive double-barrel salute. I like that kind of moxy. UPDATE: oh yeah, it was the double-deuce. WARNING: have your fainting couch handy if you click through to those pics.
The Dodgers and Major League Baseball don’t like that kind of moxy, however, so they made Ethier apologize yesterday. Though it wasn’t the most contrite apology. The L.A. Times runs his comments, and it really sounds like he’s more interested in complaining about the photographer than anything else.
Which is fine by me. I mean, sure, I suppose the photographer could retain Gloria Allred tomorrow and hold a press conference reenacting the incident, but I’m guessing he’s seen worse before. If I were the Dodgers I’d prefer it if my players didn’t flip the bird to photographers, but given that my family — including my wife, my mom, my grandmother and everyone ever — has a habit of flipping off any other family member who ever tries to take a picture, I don’t have much room to talk.
Really, it’s uncanny. I have a picture somewhere of my great aunt Ruth flipping me the bird when she was 86 years old. Why? “Because you’re probably going to use that picture for my obituary.” Well no, now that you shot me the bird, I can’t really do that, can I Ruchel?
Oh well. It was a lot funnier before digital cameras and bird-bombing a pic burnt up actual film.
There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.
Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:
The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.
When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.
Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?
Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.
The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.