At some point you figure it’s best to just be quiet about things and hope the bad stuff ends as the season collapses. But Dustin Pedroia put on his media pants yesterday and went on at length with Rob Bradford of WEEI and explained his side and/or the team’s side of every notable Red Sox controversy of the year.
He talks about the early-season Youkilis-Valentine battles. The big July meeting in which, allegedly, everyone piled on Valentine. Photos of him not looking like a big Bobby V. supporter. The Johnny Pesky funeral. It’s all out there, all explained in his own words.
Which, fine. Much of it makes perfect sense. It has to, because no real life situations can actually happen in the over-the-top cartoon villain ways that most Red Sox controversies are described to be in the Boston media.
But really, does he think this is going to help? I kinda doubt that this is going to help. It seems like the best way to kill all of this garbage is to deprive it of any media oxygen whatsoever.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
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.