The Gold Glove is a joke of an award these days. The process determining the winners is hopelessly flawed in conception (are other players and managers the best judge of this stuff?) and almost but not quite always results in the wrong people winning (No Peter Bourjos? Really?). But hey, an award is an award and it’s fun to be surprised who wins it when the announcement comes, right?
Well, not in this case.
For the first time ever ESPN televised the Gold Glove announcement last night. Before the announcement, however, its p.r. site promoted the show, listing the finalists for the award at each position in its press release. Tell me if you notice anything funny about the list of finalists, as taken from a screen capture of the page:
Notice anything? Like, how the guy who was later announced as the winner has his name written in a smaller font? As if it were pasted in from a list of the winners or something, messing with the formatting? Happens to bloggers all the time, I hear, but I’ve never seen a press release like this tip news-to-come.
Now, to be fair: this wasn’t brought to my attention until after the awards were announced last night and it’s possible that these names were altered on the web site after the fact to reflect the winners. Possible, but not probable, however, because the rest of the release is still in the future tense and nothing else denoting the winners as winners has been done. Press releases are a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them. If they were actually wanting to make a second announcement — who won, not who was nominated — a second release or a radically-updated initial release almost certainly would have issued.
This is pretty unimportant — like I said, the Gold Glove award stinks on ice, and p.r. as a concept is the very definition of frivolous — but it’s funny that the only thing interesting the award had going for it the year (i.e. the awards show) was subject to a spoiler.
UPDATE: I was not aware of this before because I missed the comments, but reader brucewaynewins caught this and noted it in the thread below the Fielding Bible post that went up late Monday night. Great catch, Bruce!
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.