A member of The Best Fans in Baseball got arrested last night in St. Louis for aiming a laser pointer at Giants pitcher Shane Loux and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. And, you’re not gonna believe this, but it appeared to be some dumb rich kid, doing it from a luxury suite his friend’s dad owned:
City police arrested a 17-year-old boy from the Ladue area for allegedly pointing a green laser at the opposing team’s pitcher and at Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny in Busch Stadium during Monday night’s game … Matheny then saw the culprit laughing from a suite along the first base line … The Cardinals’ skipper made eye contact with the teen, pointed to him and mouthed the words, “I see you.” The teen then laughed, waved and pointed the laser above the manager’s head.
The cops went after him and he tried to run. He dropped the pointer in a trash can, but they found it. The kid was held for disturbing the peace, but prosecutors are looking at other possible charges. I hope it’s not illegal to use those things or else I’m going to soon have way, way less fun with my cat.
Anyway, you don’t often hear about this kind of thing at sporting events. It’s usually interfering with aircraft that gets you busted for this sort of thing. But according to the article this happened at Citizens Bank Park back in 2009, so it’s not unprecedented.
The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.
Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.
Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.
UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.
12:15 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.
Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.
The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.
What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.
Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.