Robin Ventura is the White Sox’s manager now and not just an underrated former All-Star third baseman who once got put in a headlock and punched by Nolan Ryan, so the Rangers have decided to change their usual routine in the name of showing him more respect.
Instead of regularly playing the 1993 clip of Ventura charging the mound and getting beaten up by a 46-year-old Ryan–which they’ve shown on the ballpark jumbotron before nearly every game–the Rangers will not show the video during their opening-weekend series against the White Sox.
In fact, according to Rangers senior vice president for ballpark entertainment Chuck Morgan they may stop showing it altogether:
We may show it on the day it happened as part of the 40th anniversary moments, but that’s probably it. I just thought this offseason that we didn’t need to be showing that anymore. I watched how St. Louis treated Stan the Man during the playoffs and that’s how we should treat Nolan as the face of the franchise. We’ll celebrate his no-hitters and other moments.
I also don’t think it’s right for us on our Opening Day to show a fight, and then that whole weekend we’re going to treat Robin Ventura with respect. He’s the manager of the White Sox. We don’t need to do anything like that.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that Ryan agreed with no longer showing the footage being a good idea, but didn’t force Morgan to make the change. And as you can see by the accompanying graphic, Ryan has previously been just fine with autographing pictures of him punching Ventura in the head.
Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.
Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.
The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.
It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.
As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.
Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.
Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.
The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.
According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.
Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.
It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …
The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.
McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.