I kid the GM people! It’s just that I lived in Flint, Michigan for the first 11 years of my life and was surrounded by people — and continue to be in contact with many of them — who act as if General Motors didn’t make some pretty awful cars in the 1980s. And not just that, they treated you (i.e. my old man) like he had committed treason for buying a 1980 Toyota Supra back in the day. As if he were trying to betray the auto industry. Pshaw! It’s just that he was entering his midlife crisis years, needed a peppy little sports car and couldn’t afford a Corvette thanks to the UAW blowing up the cost structure with their cushy, industry-killing demands!
Wait, I may have lost the thread there. Never mind. The point here is that Ron Washington had a customized 1985 Cadillac Eldorado that he loved more than life itself which he lost in Hurricane Katrina. As a gesture of gratitude for the 2010 pennant, the Rangers tracked down one just like it, had it customized and presented it to Washington as a gift, and he is over-the-moon happy about it. Which is beyond cool.
Don’t laugh at Washington for loving that car. We all have irrational loves when it comes to vehicles. The car that I loved the most in my life was my 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS. Midnight blue. Got it before my senior year of high school and kept it through college. Despite it, you know, being a 1987 Chevy Cavalier RS, it ran like a top. And I didn’t care if the paint faded the hell off it in no time, a phenomenon with which anyone who owned a blue 1980s Chevy product is intimately familiar. It was my car, man. I loved that car. If they all hadn’t rusted out years ago, I’d buy another one in a second.
And no, that has nothing to do with the fact that I am the same age my dad was around the time he bought that 1980 Supra. No midlife crisis here, no-siree, nope!
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.