Hall of Fame pitcher Old Hoss Radbourn died in 1897. Those of you who follow the baseball rebop on Twitter, however, know that his ghost haunts social media. And despite the fact that he died 76 years before I was born, he has more than three times as many Twitter followers than me. Vexing.
Anyway, Hoss gave an interview to Jon Weisman of the newly-independent Dodger Thoughts, and it runs today. It’s all worth a read, especially if you’re a Dodgers fan, but my favorite bit is about fandom. It serves as a wonderful rejoinder to the comments of some of the Philly fans in that post about booing this morning:
2) The Dodgers play in Los Angeles. What kind of appeal does this city hold for an oldtimer like yourself?
None, I am afraid. Base ball is meant to be played in nasty, inclement weather with angry, miserable louts for fans who take the sport too seriously and seek nothing more than to horse-whip you for making the slightest of mistakes. I believe this insane misanthropy has in recent years been mis-labeled as “passion.”
Hoss has already paid the ultimate price. He has no reason to lie.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.