Not many sights in baseball more welcome last night than seeing Brian Roberts back in a major league lineup. The Orioles’ second baseman, sidelined for 13 months due to a concussion, made his return and went 3 for 4 with a sac fly.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation. And he was clearly emotional about it all after the game:
“I actually got a little more emotional than I thought I was going to. It took me a second to gather myself. It was very special and much appreciated, that’s for sure. Everyone has been so good to me here in my career, the fans have been so great and supportive of me the whole time. That was very special … I’m just so grateful. I sometimes don’t have words right now for what I’ve been through and where we are now. I’m humbled and grateful to have the opportunity.”
Maybe it’s irrational, but it’s so much harder to see a guy lose extended time to a concussion than it is to, say, a leg or arm injury. I’m not sure why that is. Either way, it’s so nice to see Roberts back.
OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.
Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?
The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.
There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.
OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.
King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.