I know it’s hard to believe that a guy who alienated his entire clubhouse in Atlanta and then made headlines buy putting homophobic slurs on his eyeblack in Toronto did something douchey, but in this case it actually happened.
Yunel Escobar, ladies and gents, playing Jedi master to Jordany Valdespin’s padawan, strutting after a home run when he had gone 0-for-3 on the day and had a throwing error in a game his team was losing:
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said during spring training that he anticipated a time when he would have to call SS Yunel Escobar into his office to discuss some on-field behavior. That time has arrived.
Maddon wasn’t pleased with the way Escobar made the safe sign as he stepped on home plate while completing his two-run, ninth-inning home run during Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays.
Escobar’s defense was that he does that every time he hits a home run.
Well, my son used a diaper every time he had to take a dump until he was potty trained. He eventually figured out that he shouldn’t do that forever because to do so reflected on his maturity level.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.