The last time we checked in with Pat White was in March of 2011 after he informed the Royals of his intention to retire from baseball. Nearly two years later, he’s thinking about giving it another shot.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, White said on 640-AM in Miami today that he has an offer in hand from the Marlins. If he accepts, he will report to spring training to attempt to win a spot with one of the team’s minor league affiliates. However, the Marlins have their doubts about whether White is committed to baseball, as the 26-year-old indicated that he was open to a return to football while mingling at the practices for the Senior Bowl earlier this week.
While White is known mostly for his time as a quarterback at West Virginia University and his bust of a season with the Dolphins in 2009, he was a highly-regarded high school outfielder. He was even drafted twice by the Angels and later by the Reds and Yankees. His last stint in baseball didn’t go so well, as he gave up after playing the fall instructional league with the Royals, but there’s no harm in giving him a chance if a return to the NFL isn’t in the cards.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.