In which I pretend to be above passing along Derek and Minka news even though I’m really not


I got an email from a publicist a little while ago linking me to a report in “Life & Style Weekly” about Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly being back together. The email said that whoever writes about it “MUST CREDIT LIFE & STYLE WEEKLY.”  So this is credit. Here’s the story over there.  Though, really, you probably want to buy the paper copy, so you can learn why Pippa Middleton is “undateable.”

I mocked all of this on Twitter, but I shouldn’t have. There are people who care about this stuff. And I’m not above getting the page views for linking it, so we’re all a part of the same ugly little celebrity-chasing culture. I’ll own it.

Anyway, in case you care:

… they were seen strolling around the prestigious Musée d’Orsay in Paris on Dec. 29. “They had a guide taking them around on the fifth floor, and they were looking at Monet and the works of other French impressionists,” Pepperdine University student Jaime Olaez, who saw the couple at the art museum, tells Life & Style. “They went to all the different floors; they looked at Van Gogh. Derek was very low-key and was wearing a black-and-gray sweater. Minka looked very pretty. She was wearing white jeans, a brown jacket and boots.”

The Pepperdine student also got audio of their conversation:

Derek: Minka, you’re doing a great job showing me the museum, the Vermeer is quite good, simple, vibrant, but his work definitely fell off as he got older.
Minka: Remind you of anyone?
Derek: And I always confuse Monet and Manet. Now which one married his mistress?
Minka: Monet.
Derek: Right, and then Manet had syphilis.
Minka: They also painted occasionally.

Can I go home yet?  Oh, wait.


Mariners sign Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal

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The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.

This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.