That’s not exactly the phrasing the writers of the linked story use — they use a colorful metaphor that starts with “a” and ends in “hole” and which we here at HBT would never, ever say ourselves — but you get the idea.
Now, granted, this comes from Mother Jones, which comes at things from a way left perspective, so you may differ as to the relative evil occasioned by acts of team owners. For example, when Royals owner /Wal-Mart CEO David Glass was asked about child labor and said “you and I might, perhaps, define children differently,” you may view that as a positive message of empowerment for kids in Bangladesh who are bucking the liberal claptrap about how they should be in school or off playing someplace rather than assembling things that help someone in Iowa cook their bacon faster as opposed to something truly monstrous. That’s not for me to decide!
I will say, though: learning that Al Gore once called Liberty Media CEO/Braves owner John Malone “Darth Vader” actually makes me like Malone way more than I used to, so this stuff can be complicated.
Lots of fun facts about team owners I never knew before here. But I gotta tell ya, reading this, I almost get the idea that if you have some money and run a business, Mother Jones is gonna think you’re an a-hole. Just a gut feeling.
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.
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.