ESPN’s Amanda Rykoff went down to Citizens Bank Park last week to check out the “Baseball 101” program the Phillies have put on for female fans the past several years. As she reports, it’s kind of a misnomer, because the program is not about educating allegedly uninitiated women about the basics of baseball. No, it’s much cooler and respectful of their phanatical phans:
This day is an opportunity for the passionate, knowledgeable female fans who make up nearly half of the Phillies’ fan base to experience an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the team they follow so loyally, with some female bonding and a lot of fun along the way. There are no rudimentary explanations of balls and strikes, double plays or RBI. Not a single pink hat or T-shirt was spotted among the 147 participants.
These women know their WHIP and their OPS. And they love the game of baseball as much as they love their team.
Baserunning clinics put on by Juan Samuel. Bullpen sessions with Rich Dubee. Very cool stuff that I’m guessing most of us, male or female, would love to do if given the opportunity.
Good reading. Check it out.
UPDATE: Chris F.’s first comment made me ashamed of myself. I’m sorry I failed everyone by not baiting Phillies fans here. Let me make amends: I do have one question about the Baseball 101 program, however: who do they have teaching the clinic about irrationally thinking that Ryan Howard is an MVP-caliber hitter? That has to be part of the bill, right?
Ahhhhh. That’s better.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.