Robert Wayne Harris killed five people in cold blood and wounded another while robbing a car wash twelve years ago. And yesterday the State of Texas put him to death for his crimes. As he went to meet his maker, he had baseball on his mind:
“I’m going home. I’m going home,” Harris said. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be alright. God bless, and the Texas Rangers, Texas Rangers.”
Probably not the sort of the sort of thing that offsets the Rangers’ opponents’ endorsements.
Anyway, this is not a new thing for Texas executions. According to the story, several condemned men “have thanked the Dallas Cowboys football team for providing them enjoyment” prior to their lethal injections. So, yeah, priorities are pretty awesome down there.
Also: man, do NOT give your son the middle name Wayne.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.