David Ortiz

“David Ortiz is not a baseball player”

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Remember that John Steigerwald guy who blamed Bryan Stow’s beating on the fact that he wore a Giants jersey to Dodger Stadium? Yeah, that was some first class poop-stirring.

This bit he wrote about David Ortiz over the weekend doesn’t approach that state of sublimity, but it’s pretty good poop-stirring all the same.

The inspiration: the fact that Ortiz, by virtue of the Red Sox playing a weekend series in a National League park, had only three plate appearances all weekend. And the fact that, coming into the weekend, Terry Francona complained to a local radio station that he couldn’t use his best lineup because of that:

Francona told 93.7 The Fan that it wasn’t fair he had to keep one of his most dangerous hitters and highest paid players out of the game. He also said his batting order is built around Ortiz.

How pathetic is it that Ortiz is either so fat or uncoordinated that his manager can’t find a place for him to play? … He’s such a clod that he risks injuring himself simply by stepping on the field without a bat? Sorry, if that’s the case, David Ortiz is not a baseball player.

As I said a week or two ago, the old DH wars are, well, old.  That said, I am growing weary of hearing American League managers complain about not being able to use their DH in NL parks during interleague games.

Suck it up and either stop complaining or else put your guy in the field somewhere. Your team has been going to NL parks for several years now. Your boss constructed a roster knowing full well that, for a handful of games, you’d have some lineup challenges.  You don’t hear NL managers complaining that they, unlike their AL opponents, don’t have some offense-only player they can use at DH while on the road during interleague play, do you?

Fair? Not necessarily. But neither is rain on a weekend when you planned a picnic, and no one wants to hear you complaining about that either.

(link via BTF)

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.

The Blue Jays and Bautista have reached a one year deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on during batting practice prior to game five of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.

The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.