It seems fairly simply to me: you either wear throwback jerseys for a team called “the Smokers” and go with all of the tobacco imagery that entails, or else you just avoid it altogether. The Rays, however, want to have it both ways, by wearing replicas of the old Tampa Smokers minor league team jerseys, but by censoring out the cigar that appears on the front:
Weak sauce, Rays. History is history, and the Smokers had cigars on the front of their shirts. Either be cool with that and realize that no one is going to start smoking simply because Evan Longoria has a stogie on his shirt or, if that is just too offensive to your tender sensibilities, go in a different direction and throw back to the, I dunno, Tampa Lace Doilies or whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
(via Big League Stew)
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.