I never get tired of thinking about the Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura fight. And now that Ventura is managing the White Sox, people are finding occasion to talk about it all again.
Over at CSNChicago.com, Chuck Garfien has a new angle on it. Seems that one of Ventura’s players — Paul Konerko — was at the game. He was in the stands with his U.S. Junior Olympic baseball team. In fact, they met Ventura before the game when Ventura offered them inspirational words about sportsmanship and stuff.
So of course seeing him charge the mound in blind fury a couple hours later had an impression:
Did seeing Ventura go after one of the best, most respected players in the game change his opinion of him?
Nope. The opposite.
“That made me think nothing less of him, only more because anybody who’s going to charge Nolan Ryan, you gotta have…”
Konerko paused for a few seconds, trying to find the right word he can use on family television. Then one popped in his head.
“You gotta have some guts let’s just put it that way.”
I’m glad he corrected himself. Because you can’t say “balls” on Comcast/NBC-affiliated outlets.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.