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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.