Dusty Baker didn’t know the secret handshake needed to get into Yankee Stadium. Fortunately, someone came along who recognized him.
“It’s hard to get in this bad boy,” Baker said Friday before his Reds took on the Yankees. “Some guy asked me today, `Could I help you?’ I was in the front, trying to get in. I said, `Yeah. I’m here for the game.’ He goes, `The gates aren’t open yet.”‘
“I said, `OK, man. I’m the manager,”‘ Baker explained.
“The baseball team.”
“Yeah, what’s your name?”
Nope, try again.
“He didn’t know,” Baker said. “I didn’t wait long. Another guy came over. He recognized me. And this other guy apologized. He said, `I’m sorry, man. He didn’t know.”‘
Baker took the slight delay in stride and entered the park. As for whether all of his players are accounted for, that’s still unclear. Earlier this week, with the Reds taking on the Mets, one of the team’s players, whose identity Baker was unwilling to reveal, ended up taking a cab to Yankee Stadium, instead of Citi Field, prior to a game.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.