As I’ve mentioned before, the best part of HBT Extra is when Tiffany Simons and I chat prior to taping. And, from time to time — and with Tiffany’s permission — I like to share some of the gems from those conversations. Today’s concerns “Star Wars.” And we got two gems, actually.
First, Tiffany recently interviewed R.A. Dickey and, later in the day, was to interview knuckleball legend Charlie Hough. In preparation for the Hough interview, she asked Dickey to describe the nature of his relationship with Hough:
Tiffany: “He said ‘Charlie is like the Jedi to my … something.'”
Tiffany: “Yes, that’s it. I have no idea what that meant.”
I don’t think this reflects poorly on Tiffany at all, by the way. Because even if you’ve seen “Star Wars,” “padawan” is a word that could elude you if you’re not obsessive about it, if for no other reason than I think it doesn’t appear until the prequels, and those stunk.
No, I’m more amazed by Dickey here. In his recent memoir her painfully recounted the mistake he made several years ago when he had an extramarital affair. The amazing part is that a guy who casually throws out Jedi-Padawan analogies like this was able to woo two women at various points in his life. Hope for nerds everywhere, right?
The second gem speaks more directly to Tiffany:
“My friends and I saw “Spaceballs” before we saw “Star Wars.” And we didn’t even know “Star Wars” existed when we saw “Spaceballs.” So when we saw “Star Wars,” we were all like ‘this sucks, “Spaceballs” was way better.'”
Do with that information what you will.
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.