We heard a few months ago that Steve Garvey was interested in owning the Dodgers if (read: when) they are eventually put up for sale. I sort of laughed that off because, well, it’s Steve Garvey. When he played it was said that he wanted to be the governor of California one day. And then he ends up doing infomercials. That reach for the stars/stay far too close to Earth dynamic seems to describe Garvey pretty well.
But at least one person who is seen as somewhat more serious about things is going in with Garvey: Orel Hershiser, who said yesterday that he was joining Garvey’s little would-be Dodgers investment group.
I guess this is all interesting. But I also can’t help but think it’s a lot of show. That people with real money — more money than ex ballplayers of Garvey and Hershiser’s vintage have — are the people who really move deals, and that ex-ballplayers are really there for the P.R. that could possibly make any given ownership group look more attractive and approvable to Major League Baseball.
Unless you really think that someone like Steve Garvey is able to personally wrangle a billion dollars or more to buy the Dodgers and serve as the actual head of the operation — which I don’t — I would see both him and Hershiser as team ambassadors than as actual owners, and would expect their personal equity stake in any ownership group to be so low as to border on rounding error.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.