We’ve secretly replaced the 2010 Mets with the 2012 Red Sox and Walter Reed Hospital with Johnny Pesky’s funeral. Let’s see if anyone notices!
The late Johnny Pesky gave his life to his beloved Boston Red Sox but, sadly, it appears only four current players made time to attend theFenway icon’s funeral.
Word from Yawkey Way is that the Sox front office hired buses to bring players, office and staff to the funeral from the ballpark to the church. The suits, we hear, were surprised and disappointed when the vast majority of the 40 players on the roster didn’t bother to show up for the services.
The Boston Herald had a reporter there and counted the players, observing only David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Vincente Padilla and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Let’s pause for a moment and note that one of those guys is considered the biggest jerk in the game and another one got ripped for going to a charity function earlier this year.
Anyway, you know that this has to be true and that the front office is really, really mad. How do you know this? Because the front office issued a statement saying that the team was “well represented” at the funeral. And the source telling the Herald that the team is angry is — and I am not making this up — “Someone Who Knows.”
But hey, maybe “Someone Who Knows” is right and there is anger about the attendance at the funeral. Know what’s worse than that, though? The fact that “Someone Who Knows” thinks it’s nice and appropriate to use a man’s funeral in service of the season-long blame game being played by Red Sox staff.
Some men just want to watch the world burn. They all live in Massachusetts and work for the Sox, apparently.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.