Last week I wrote a post ranking my favorite baseball movies and then started talking on Twitter about how “The Sandlot” is underrated.
FOX Sports North director of communications Becky Ross Mielke replied that “The Sandlot” was coming out on special edition DVD/Blue Ray to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie, so I joked back: “I would like to buy one for the whole internet. How much for that and free shipping?”
I never did get a price quote on that, but the Twins and FSN just sent out a press release announcing that they’ll show “The Sandlot” on the Target Field jumbotron after the May 19 game against the Red Sox. It’ll also be shown on FSN and the movie’s writer/director/narrator, David Mickey Evans, will be at the ballpark.
Assuming that the weather in Minnesota rises above, say, 50 degrees by mid-May the idea of watching a Twins-Red Sox game followed by one of the best baseball movies of all time sounds like a pretty fun evening. I will likely be there, shouting “you’re killing me Smalls” and “this better be a short game, I gotta get home for lunch” to the annoyance of everyone around me.
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.