This is kind of fun. Alyson Footer tells about how back in the 90s, when she was doing Houston Astros PR work, one of her jobs was to keep track of all of the aliases that the players used when checking into hotels. Aliases that kept them from being bugged by fans but that, as a result, made it somewhat difficult for her to remember who was who.
Sadly there aren’t any totally awesome aliases mentioned here. Though, yeah, Carl Everett using “Rod Stewart” was pretty tight. I wouldn’t think of him as having a sense of humor. But actually, now that I think about it, it’s possible that he was just a dead serious Rod Stewart fan. Like, if you told him that “Young Turks” was a horrible, empty pop song which more or less spit on the raucous memory of The Faces and the genuinely sweet and affecting qualities of Stweart’s early solo work, Everett would beat you up.
Biggest surprise, though: Footer makes no mention of guys using the alias “Buck Naked.” It was the 90s for cryin’ out loud. If you asked 12 guys back then to come up with a fake name, at least seven of them would have used Buck Naked, right?
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.