I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but one of my favorite 1990s baseball things is watching Braves games on TBS and hearing a constant flow of Greg Maddux F-bombs through that networks’ seemingly over-sensitive field mics. That doesn’t seem to happen very much these days. Maybe because players are more refined than Greg Maddux — hard not to be! — or maybe because of mic placement or what have you.
But those days may be back soon!
MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In cooperation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, up to as many as six players on each team will wear live microphones during the game. Coaching staff will also wear live microphones throughout the game and live microphones will be positioned at each base, down the first- and third-base lines and along the outfield wall, producing in-game audio content on a scale that has not previously been done.
That “brief delay” is a bit of a drag if, like me, you just want to hear gratuitous profanity. But those of you who want to hear what ballplayers say to one another and stuff, this should be cool.
But never fear: I will be in Arizona on March 7th, and I’ll try to be at that Indians-Diamondbacks game. I’ll position myself near the field so I can hear the profanity and make a point to tweet it to all of you. That way you can get the entire experience.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.