Paul Konerko was in the stands for the Robin Ventura-Nolan Ryan beatdown


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, 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.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.