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.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.