Michael Weiner spoke to the National Press Club today, and among his comments were his views on the Hall of Fame: he thinks Cooperstown “is for the best baseball players that have ever played,” and that’s regardless of their status as PED cheats or gambling cheats for that matter.
He said that PED users should be in, but that their plaques should bear some notation that they used PEDs. He also said he thinks Pete Rose should be in too. He also made a really excellent point: there will probably be executives and at least one commissioner [cough] Bud Selig [cough] inducted into the Hall who engaged in collusion in the 1980s, which Weiner rightly called a “massive conspiracy” against the players. Which it was.
I can’t find any fault here. At bottom, you have to have some consistent standard: everyone in based on their playing merits or no one in. Since we don’t know who used and who didn’t, how about everyone?
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.