Reader D — that’s how he signed the email anyway — alerts us to a fine piece of American history up for auction. A baseball bat. And not just any baseball bat:
… a 25-inch ornately detailed bat with gold-leafed vines wrapped around the mid-barrel portion meeting a silver metal scroll at the handle. On the scroll is engraved “R. Huff, Fulton, Missouri, 1936, Ku Klux Klan.” A silver-colored metal wraps around the handle while the knob is inlaid with what appear to be 12 ivory circles. On one the end of the knob is a hooked silver cross inlaid with “KKK” engraved on it. The 25″ bat shows some wear but overall is in EX condition.
There was a Roy Huff who played in the Cardinals system in the 1940s and 50s, but he would have only been 12 when the bat was engraved. Guessing it wasn’t his unless the little league slugging awards were kinda crazy back then.
I asked on Twitter who would ever want to bid on such a vile thing, and of course a million people responded with “Luke Scott” or “John Rocker.” Yawn. Way too easy. I prefer this answer:
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.