It was a surprise to see Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti at the Oscars, sitting right behind Michelle Williams, but A’s general manager Billy Beane showing up in support of “Moneyball” was certainly to be expected.
Beane told Jane Lee of MLB.com that he was shocked to find that his seats were in the fourth row, near Gwyneth Paltrow and Bo Derek, which presumably means they were located in some sort of weird time warp.
“Moneyball” got shutout in all six of its nominated categories, but Beane, his wife, and his daughter–who’s also portrayed in the movie–“had a great time” and hung out afterward with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Oh, and he also took a picture with Tim Tebow. Because why wouldn’t Billy Beane take a picture with Tim Tebow at the Academy Awards?
It’s a shame Beane and Colletti couldn’t work out some sort of a trade while there together. Maybe next year, when “The Andre Ethier Story” gets nominated.
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.