I realize that you can’t write the story of last night’s Yankees game without noting that Joe Girardi made the ballsy decision to pinch hit Raul Ibanez for the struggling Alex Rodriguez. That’s the kind of thing we’ll be talking about for decades, I reckon. It’s news, and of course you have to talk about it.
But is piling on A-Rod really the way to lead it? Are his failures, as opposed to Raul Ibanez’s heroics, really the first thing that should come out of your mouth, figuratively speaking, when talking about last night’s game? If you’re the New York Post and the Daily News, yes, yes it is:
Call me crazy, but you’d think the swipe at Rodriguez could wait until the second paragraph, not the headline.
And yes, I realize that saying such things about the New York tabloids is about as pointless an exercise in the world. It’s like complaining about the sky being blue or a zebra having stripes. The very question I’m posing here is rather nonsensical given who we’re talking about.
(Thanks to Jimmy Traina for the heads up)
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.