career day

Great Moments in Blogging: Middle School Career Day

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Reason for the light schedule from me this morning: I spoke at a career day at a middle school.  Check out that pic: that title is how the kids in that room knew I wasn’t Murray Chass.

Not gonna lie: it was kind of fun. I’ve long held that Jr. high school kids should be frozen in carbonite until they mature, but these kids — 7th and 8th graders mostly — were really good.  And totally not impressed with people who write on the Internet for a living the way people over 30 are because the Internet has always been a thing for them, so where the hell else would you write? Indeed, the biggest jaw-drop I got the entire time: telling them that when I was in the 7th grade in the fall of 1985, we did not have the Internet. Heck, even the year 1985 seemed exotic to them.

Biggest laugh: telling them that I interviewed Tim Lincecum while he was wearing no pants. Indeed, 95% of the positive response I got from these kids involved naked ballplayers and the fact that I can do my job in my pajamas. I’m probably gonna get a call from the school board for all of that.

Nosiest questions: what do I make (I told them, but I’m not telling you) and whether I’ve ever been sued for anything I wrote (I told them “not yet”).  One kid asked me “do you have to write things that are true?”  I told them, yes, all of us in the media have to do that with the exception of Jon Heyman who has his own set of rules.  I’ll probably get more calls from the school board for introducing the subject of Jon Heyman than I will for the pantsless Tim Lincecum stuff. Oh well.

Oh, and you guys came up too. There was an overhead projector hooked up to a laptop, so I pulled the blog up as I presented this morning. After quickly scrolling by the Brandon McCarthy “asshole” post — young eyes, you know — I pulled up the ATH thread to explain to them how I get feedback via comments.  Note: Jr. high schoolers in central Ohio think you people have anger issues you need to work on. “Why do they care?” one kid asked. I don’t know son … I just don’t know

Oh well, shaping young minds was fun. Almost as fun as ruining the presentation for the guy who followed me. He was a lawyer. Guessing my slagging on the legal profession for the first ten minutes of my thing made his pumping up the legal profession a little hard for him. But hey, all’s fair in love, war and Jr. High School career day.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.