Good for Bud:
Any chance that baseball had to get back in the Olympics for 2020 likely was scuttled when commissioner Bud Seligsaid Major League Baseball wouldn’t put its season on pause to enable the best players to compete.
“Look, we can’t stop our season in August,” Selig said last month. “We just can’t.”
That won’t fly with the International Olympic Committee, which isn’t going to hold a tournament for horsehide retirees and minor leaguers when the NBA and NHL send their best to Olympus.
Good for Bud for two reasons: (a) for noting that the regular baseball season is more important than an international competition which doesn’t really give a hoot about baseball; and (b) for not playing ball with the same IOC which thinks that wrestling shouldn’t be in the Olympics anymore when it’s ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FREAKING OLYMPIC SPORTS.
But really: with professional leagues in multiple countries and an international tournament already in existence in the form of the WBC, does baseball in the Olympics serve any real purpose?
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.