What’s more soul-killing: the lack of substantive baseball stories in the dead of winter or the proliferation of fluffy-nothing football stories a few days before the Super Bowl?
Kind of an existential question. Maybe the fluff football stories are worse in some way because, really, it’s not like there isn’t a lot of substantive, legit football things to talk about right now so there’s way less of an excuse for them. Baseball stories right now may be silly — like, really silly — but it’s not like there’s a big baseball game this weekend. Probably doesn’t matter.
Anyway, we now have crossover of the fluff football and the fluff baseball, as the Derek Jeter of football — Tom Brady — says that he loves the Tom Brady of baseball — Derek Jeter:
Tom Brady usually evokes man-crushes, but when it comes to Derek Jeter, the Patriots’ star quarterback gets giddy like a schoolgirl. The two-time NFL MVP and husband of supermodel Gisele Bundchen gushed Tuesday that he’s a big fan of the Yankees captain.
What follows are (a) quotes from Brady about how he loves the way Jeter plays the game (yawn); and (b) a tale-of-the-tape comparing the charms of Derek Jeter to that of Gisele. Bonus: one of them is pictured in their underwear.
Sorry, Yankees fans, it’s not Jeter.
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.