Day: June 8, 2012

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes expects to avoid second DL trip

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Yoenis Cespedes suffered a strained left hamstring Thursday in his seventh game back from the disabled list, but he doesn’t think a return visit will be required, he told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday.

Cespedes said he expects to miss the entire series against the Diamondbacks this weekend, but that he hopes to return next week.

Cespedes was 10-for-25 with a homer and five RBI since returning from a hand injury on June 1. In his absence, the A’s will likely go with an outfield of Seth Smith, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick in NL parks.

Ralph Nader hates in-game ads on Yankees broadcasts, is completely ignorant

Ralph Nader attends the Time 100 Gala ce

Ralph Nader has done a lot of good in his life. I mean, if it wasn’t for him we’d probably all be driving boss-looking Chevy Corvairs right now but then dying in horrible wrecks later. So thanks, Ralph!

But the dude has often been off-the-mark in his latter years.  Today came another instance, and it involves the Yankees.

Seems he and his fan-advocacy group, League of Fans, hates the in-game advertisements during Yankees radio broadcasts. You know the ones: “Safely at second is Jones. And your family can be safe and secure with financial protection from New York Life Insurance Company.”

I don’t like those either, but they don’t get me all bent out of shape like Nader is. He wrote to the Yankees today, complaining about the ads:

“Have you no boundaries or sense of restraint?” Nader wrote, in his position as the founder of the sports advocacy group League of Fans. “Have you no mercy on your play-calling broadcasters? … Nader recalled growing up in Connecticut listening to Mel Allen call Yankee games “when the commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks—between half-innings.” Now, he said, the between-the-batter and between-the-pitch ads “have become a significant part of the broadcast.”

Nader liked listening to the commercials-during-breaks-only days of Mel Allen? Really? He liked those back in the ideal days of youth?  Well, he musta been listening to a totally different Mel Allen broadcast than anyone else, because the rest of the Yankees fans of his vintage heard Mel Allen dropping ads for Yankees sponsor Ballantine Beer, coining the term “Ballantine Blast.” As in “Mantle drives one to right … it’s gone! There goes another Ballantine Blast! How about that!”

At other times the Yankees were sponsored by Getty Oil. The announcers would refer to “Getty Goners.” As in “there’s another Getty Goner for Graig Nettles!”  Mel Allen may have done those too, though I’m told that it lasted into the 70s.

The lesson: most of the time, when people say that things were better than when they were kids, they’re full of crap.

Unless they’re Pirates fans over 30, in which case it’s accurate.

Angels starting Albert Pujols at third base tonight

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's first baseman Pujols watches the field during their spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona
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As expected, the Angels are using Albert Pujols at third base in order to get another bat into the lineup during interleague play in NL ballparks.

Pujols, who began his career as a third baseman and started there four times for the Cardinals last season, is making his first Angels start at the hot corner against the Rockies. That opens up first base for Kendrys Morales, who hasn’t started anywhere but designated hitter since May 29, 2010 … the day he broke his ankle celebrating a walk-off homer.

Manager Mike Scioscia also has right fielder Torii Hunter batting second in the lineup, which he hasn’t done since hitting .198 in 29 games there last year.

Cubs, Yankees, Braves and Dodgers bidding on Jorge Soler


Buster Olney reports that the first round of bidding on Cuban free agent Jorge Soler are in — his agent wanted bids by yesterday — and that the Cubs, Yankees, Braves and Dodgers have been the most aggressive.

The Cubs are not surprising given that they’ve been whispered about having strong interest in Soler and, in some cases, have been whispered about already having a handshake deal with the guy, though the Cubs vehemently denied it. There’s talk that the Red Sox, Pirates, Orioles, Phillies, and White Sox are in on him too.

Soler has to sign a deal by July 2 or else he comes under the purview of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s limitation on international signings.  Assuming he does that he could be looking at a $25 million deal.

Scott Rolen working toward comeback, but “no timeline” for return

Scott Rolen

Scott Rolen has had so many shoulder problems over the years that the Reds placing him on the disabled list last month led to speculation that he might be finished.

Rolen even had doubts about playing again, which were echoed by manager Dusty Baker, but for now at least he’s giving it a go.

Mark Sheldon of reports that Rolen took batting practice and fielded ground balls on back-to-back days for the first time since being shut down on May 12. And afterward Rolen said he “felt good” and is “ready to go out and do it again and progress this way.”

Of course, he also admitted that there’s still “no timeline” for his return and with rookie Todd Frazier sporting a .900 OPS as the primary third baseman the Reds have no reason to push the 37-year-old.