This story is only tangentially linked to baseball, but it’s a slow Saturday afternoon, so what the heck. As you’ll see below, former pro wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts led the Turner Field crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during last night’s game between the Dodgers and Braves.
Roberts (whose real name is Aurelian Smith, Jr.) doesn’t have the best singing voice, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who watched him wrestle in the 80s and 90s.
The 57-year-old Roberts has had all sorts of issues with drug and alcohol addiction, but he has cleaned himself up recently with the help of another former pro wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page. These days, Roberts is doing things like tweeting pictures of his gluten-free cookie mix. 2013 is weird, man. But in all seriousness, it’s nice to hear that he is making an effort to turn his life around.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.