I really don’t watch much TV these days. When I do watch TV it’s usually an entire series at a time on Netflix or something like “Battlestar Galactica,” or “Pushing Daisies” or something. The only shows I actually watch as they’re being broadcast anymore are “Breaking Bad” and “Archer,” and those are on so rarely that I go months without watching stuff other than ballgames.
So, no, I was unaware that Mario Lopez hosts some show on some off-brand network* in which celebrities confront people who hate them. But I now know that Barry Bonds — who is described a friend of Lopez’s, which is just kind of weird when you think about it — will be making an appearance:
Barry Bonds will try to rehabilitate his tarnished image by confronting a fan who hates him on the upcoming reality show “H8R.”
On the show, the MLB home-run king will watch a tape of one of his biggest detractors chewing him out, and then confront his “H8R” — who won’t know the slugger has been watching him — face-to-face.
It’ll be up to Bonds to convince the guy that he isn’t so bad, after all.
OK. I’m not sure what this accomplishes in the grand scheme of things other than to cement the fact that the Republic is in its death throes, but OK.
Next up after Bonds: the entire fan base of the Phillies trying to make their case, with me being the guy on the tape.
*OK, cheap shot. I mean, I work for NBC, and it’s not like we’re living in the days of Cosby-Family Ties-Cheers-Night Court-LA Law anymore ourselves. Still, the highest rated show on the CW is that crap my wife watches with handsome vampires and some girl who looks perpetually confused. No, you’re thinking of the other one. No, not that one either, the other other one about handsome vampires and a perpetually-confused girl. Oh, never mind.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.