Mike Scioscia was in perfectly good shape during his 13-year career as the Dodgers’ catcher, so adding him to the ever-growing “Best Shape Of His Life” list wouldn’t really be accurate.
But after packing on quite a bit of weight during his 12-year managing career Scioscia dropped nearly 40 pounds this winter and told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times that he plans to lose another 20 pounds:
Last season, it just got away from me. I realized I was getting too heavy, and I’ve got to get it down, so that’s what I’m doing. There’s a difference between putting on a little weight and getting unhealthy. I was starting to get unhealthy.
Plaschke tells the story of how Scioscia met his wife 30 years ago when she brought him a plate of cookies at Dodger Stadium. Now that same wife “kind of nudged” the 53-year-old manager to get in better shape. His father suffered a stroke at 60 and died at 71, and Scioscia explained “that’s always been in the back of my mind.”
At this point the “Best Shape Of His Life” roster has so many players that they could probably start a second and maybe even a third team, but every team needs a manager.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.