The Society for American Baseball Research does a lot of things, but one of the coolest things it does is to host the indispensable Baseball BioProject. These are no small bio-blurbs. They are painstakingly researched essays on the life and playing times of the game’s most significant players and events.
And stadiums. Like the latest entry by Scott Ferkovich on Tiger Stadium, which is all kinds of fabulous. All kinds of fun nuggets, like this:
Old-time Detroit baseball fans, who fondly remember Tiger Stadium’s green wooden slat-back seats, may be surprised to learn that Navin Field’s original seats — all 23,000 of them — were painted yellow. One feature that remained constant throughout the entire 87-year history of the park was the 125-foot-high flagpole in deep center, made distinctive because it was in the field of play.
And the flagpole is still there. Or a flagpole. Not sure. Kind of cool, though.
Anyway, great reading for anyone interested in the grand old ballparks, the Tigers or baseball history in general.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.