Red October

Bonds, Clemens Hall of Fame odds start at 10/1

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A little groggy this morning. I was going to go to bed early, but as I was about to I noticed that “Blade Runner” was on HDMV, and “Blade Runner” is one of those movies that, no matter how many times you’ve seen it — in my case several dozen times — and no matter how many versions of it you own on DVD — I have two — you have to sit and watch all the way through. So I did.  It ended at about 11:40, which for an old man like me is pushing it some.

But just as I was about to go to bed “The Hunt for Red October” came on the same channel.  Same rules apply there too, so I really had no choice.  I didn’t watch the whole thing, but I did watch up until the F-14 crashes on the flight deck of the Enterprise and Fred Thompson unleashes his immortal “This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it” line. I went to bed after that.

That’s probably the line I quote the most from that movie in “And That Happened” posts.  The second most-quoted line from that movie in ATH is no doubt “personally, I’d give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?” after which Sean Connery thoughtfully chews some meat which looks to be tougher than shoe leather.

Oh, and speaking of odds, the oddsmakers at Bovada have set them for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame induction:

 

Given yesterday’s observation about how, maybe, some old-school anti-PED guys are willing to give Bonds and Clemens the benefit of the doubt, maybe it’s a good bet. And that’s the case even if they’ve done … questionable things.  Because they have also done extraordinary things and we should revel in their time.

Anyway, if you’re into betting on such things, there you are.  If you put a gun to my head I’d still say they won’t make it, but I’d probably consider laying at least a little money on Bonds and Clemens at 10/1.

And yes, I know this was a long way to get there, but hey, at least you now have a thread dedicated to “Blade Runner” and “Hunt for Red October,” and that’s cool, right?

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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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.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.