Ken Rosenthal tackles the Ozzie Guillen/Fidel Castro dustup and, early on, says this:
I normally cringe at politically correct overreactions, particularly in response to mindless, preposterous remarks from people who are just spouting off. But …
So you can guess where that’s going: a politically correct overreaction.
Rosenthal calls Guillen’s Castro comments “about as extreme and insensitive as it gets,” and then says that the Marlins should suspend him for 30 days.* Which is frankly crazy. Even just the first part, because I can think of A LOT of things that would be more extreme and insensitive than what Guillen said. I mean, really, has anyone asked Luke Scott about the Trayvon Martin shooting yet? That could be fun.
Seriously, though, two of the longest suspensions in major league history were 30 days each. They were handed out to Pete Rose and Lenny Randle. You probably remember Rose’s — he shoved an umpire — but you may not remember Randle. He was an infielder for the Rangers. In 1977 he approached Rangers’ manager Frank Lucchesi before a spring training game and punched Lucchesi in the face, fracturing his cheekbone in three places. Lucchesi required plastic surgery to repair the damage. Thirty days.
In 2004, reliever Frank Francisco assaulted a fan with a chair and broke her nose. He got a 16 game suspension. Kenny Rogers once assaulted a cameraman. He got 20 games. There have been countless players and managers who have (a) gotten DUIs; or (b) gotten in fights; or in some cases even (c) assaulted their wives or girlfriends, and they didn’t get 30 days, even if they got a suspension at all.
Against that backdrop, is it really reasonable to think that Ozzie Guillen should be suspended for 30 days simply because he voiced an unpopular and rather dumb political opinion? Isn’t that … a bit of an overreaction?
*It wasn’t noted when this first went up, but should have been: Rosenthal doesn’t think Guillen will get 30 days. He says a week is more realistic.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.