This is random, but I enjoyed it like crazy.
Edward Achorn wrote a book about Old Hoss Radbourn last year (the corporeal one, not his ghost, which haunts Twitter). I never did get around to reading it for some reason, but I’ll remedy that soon. In the meantime, I have greatly enjoyed his day-by-day diary of the 1884 Providence Grays baseball season — Old Hoss’ team — over at his website.
Today’s entry is a peach. It’s not about Radbourn, who was suspended when the Grays met the Phillies on July 22nd, but Charlie Sweeney, Hoss’ younger rival in the Grays’ rotation (a rotation which included only two men back then). You should read the story in its entirety, but know that it starts with Sweeney waking up late, realizing that he has missed the morning workout and may miss his start that afternoon. His explanation to his manager:
“If you want to know why I was not here this morning, I will tell you. I was drunk last night and did not get home,” Sweeney confesses.
The game gets even more interesting. And the game story ends better than any game story you’ve read in your life:
“At the conclusion of the game,” the Sporting Life reports, “the foolish pitcher left the grounds in the company of two women” — prostitutes, described as “very bad company,” whom he had escorted to the grounds in his half-drunk state — “and an hour later could have been seen staggering up the principal street of the city”
And people think Carlos Zambrano is trouble.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.