San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves

Chipper Jones has words for Melky Cabrera after some pelvic thrusting taunting nonsense

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Melky Cabrera wasn’t all that popular in Atlanta after his dismal, one-year stint there. He’s less popular now.

Last night, during the Giants 9-4 win over the Braves, Cabrera did some sort of pelvic thrust choppy taunting thing after Gregor Blanco hit a home run. Earlier in the game he had been making some weird gesture to the fans in left field and acted like he was going to throw balls to them but didn’t. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSN BayArea.com, he also made a hand gesture in the sixth inning when Jason Heyward didn’t try to tag from second base on a fly ball to left field.

After witnessing all of that, Chipper Jones wasn’t exactly happy:

“That’s Melky, and that’s why he’s not here anymore … He got a little happy when I think (Gregor) Blanco hit the home run. That won’t be forgotten.”

Well, he’s also not there anymore because he totally mailed in his one season with the Braves, showing up woefully out of shape and playing lazy, sloppy baseball.  He got his head on straight since he went to the Royals last year, getting in good shape and playing hard and effectively ever since.

But I’m sure the Atlanta fans were giving him the business for his play in 2010.  That he decided to taunt like that shows that he hasn’t completely matured since 2010. Which is a shame, because his game certainly has and he should probably let it do the talking.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.