There were all manner of reactions to the Athletics signing Manny Ramirez yesterday, but the one that stood out to me the most was the reaction — across multiple tweets — from Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com.
Miller is not at all pleased with the fact that Ramirez has a job now. And he has already decided how he’s going to cover the story:
Um, OK. I guess it’d be silly to actually go to Phoenix, see how Ramirez is doing with the A’s, how he’s getting on with the players and coaching staff, what he has to say about his past transgressions and future prospects and then write about that. Much more prudent to sharpen knives and be determined to rip everyone now. Saves time, you know.
Miller went on to say that we live in a “twisted world” because Ramirez has a job now while Johnny Damon doesn’t. When it was pointed out to him that Damon likely would have a job now too if he’d accept $500K to play, Miller said that “economics are a large part of the twisted world we live in.” He went on to call the signing “reprehensible” again in a later tweet.
When it was suggested that he was being unfair in judging the story beforehand, Miller said this:
So there it is: a national sportswriter’s coverage of a minor signing by a non-contender is going to be influenced by that writer’s scorned feelings. He gave Ramirez a chance, you see, and his generosity was not rewarded. So it’s time for “sharpening the knives” and “ripping” him and the organization which signed him.
Seems reasonable to me. Oy.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.