Corey Hart: coolest baseball player on the planet, scorpion expert

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I’m at the Brewers’ complex and I just got done talking to Corey Hart. For the second straight year he’s on crutches while I’m here, so that kind of stinks. But he’s having an MRI tomorrow. Assuming it’s all good he’ll be able to start the slow march back to playing condition.  And he’s optimistic that it’ll be a clean MRI. He’s feeling good.

The important thing here, however, is that he and I talked about Batman for a while. It was gonna happen. I’m wearing a Batman t-shirt today. He has a big Batman tattoo on his forearm and down his spine he has the worlds “Why so serious?” That’s some quality.  I did notice, however, that on the back of each hand he has a Superman-esque tattoo, one with his first initial in the shield, one with his wife’s. I had to ask:

“You’re sending some mixed signals here. Which is it: Batman or Superman?” I asked.

“Batman, definitely,” He said.

“Why Batman?”

“Because he’s a normal person without super powers but still does what he does. And he’s a good example. There are a lot of rich people. They don’t all do good things. Batman uses his money to fight evil.”

Can’t argue with that.

He then went to grab his phone to show me pictures of his extensive super hero action figure collection, which he has literally hanging on walls in the packages. We were interrupted, though, because some other reporters needed to ask him about baseball and things. As if that were important. Hart told me he’d catch me later to show me the collection, which he’s quite excited about.  MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy was there and as we walked out he told me that he’s seen the collection and that it’s impressive. I can’t wait.

Just before the Batman conversation Hart held court about Doug Melvin’s encounter with the scorpion. Hart, who makes his home in Arizona, is something of an expert on scorpions, and he talked about how one does and does not dispose of them in the home. He didn’t put too fine a point on it, but he made it pretty clear that Melvin did not go about it the right way.

“You don’t grab them,” Hart said. “You hit ’em with a hammer. They’re tough. Try to squish them and they’re still going to sting you.”

I’m not sure if Batman ever fought a villain named The Scorpion, but if he did, I bet he knows that.

Report: Orioles interested in Alex Cobb

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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.