I remember the movie “Convoy” pretty well, but I gotta tell ya, I don’t think Kris Kristofferson ever had abs like that. He must have paid off the movie poster guy. And Ali, what’s with the perm? Man, our 70s icons did NOT handle the late 70s well. Anyway.
The first I ever heard about Truck Day — the day the equipment trucks leave the ballpark and head to the team’s spring training facility — was Boston’s version of it. In the few years since then more and more teams have made a thing out of it. Understandable. They all have their own websites and as far as P.R. things go, you could do way worse than Truck Day.
I’m still pretty “meh” about it all. I wonder things like why these multi-million dollar businesses don’t have dedicated equipment and supplies in both their home parks and their spring training facilities which are really used year-round. I wonder why an airline sponsors Truck Day in Boston. Don’t the air freight people get mad at them for that? I wonder why it’s even a thing for the Rays, when the distance between their ballpark and their spring training complex is 74 miles. The Indians send their crap over 2,000 miles so I get that, but for the Rays it’s more like car pool day, amirite?
Sorry, I know I’m being grumpy about this. If it makes even a handful of fans hopeful and optimistic and reminds them that spring is right around the corner it’s a good thing. I realize the problem is mine.
Anyway, here’s a video montage from MLB.com of various teams getting their crap together, on a truck and on the road:
Groundhog Day tomorrow. And no matter what that woodchuck does, pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.