Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena was claimed off waivers by the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cubs are well out of contention for a playoff spot and would do well to dump some cash. And the Yankees could use an upgrade at designated hitter, where Jorge Posada and Co. have been far too inconsistent. But it doesn’t sound like Pena will be making his way to New York this month.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com wrote earlier today that the 33-year-old slugger is “not going anywhere” and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted moments ago that the Cubs and Yanks have “had no contact” yet concerning the waiver claim.
Pena will become a free agent this winter and could probably net the Cubs a lower-tier prospect from the Yankees’ farm system, but the Chicago front office made no effort to shop him at last month’s non-waiver deadline and apparently haven’t found new motivation here in late August.
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune thinks he knows the Cubs’ primary reason for standing pat: half of the one-year, $10 million free agent contract that Pena signed last winter was deferred to 2012.
And why does that matter? Well … uhh … we don’t have a damn clue.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.