There’s a lot of projecting Miguel Cabrera’s season forward going on today. Saw Buster Olney doing it on Twitter. They’re doing it at High Heat Stats today too. If you play the on-pace game, Cabrera could have, like, 200 RBI.
Odds don’t favor that, of course. He’s likely to slump at some point. Well, maybe. He kind of looks like he’s NEVER going to slump, to be honst. He’s just impossible to pitch to these days. If you haven’t had a chance to watch many Tigers games lately make a point to see some, because it’s not often you see someone toying with pitchers the way Cabrera has been lately.
But I am torn about this whole on-pace thing. On the one hand, I’d like to see him challenge a record of some kind because history is fun. And the record most in need of challenging in my view is Hack Wilson’s RBI record. That needs refreshing, I think, if for no other reason than that I selfishly and subjectively think a player better than Hack Wilson should hold that record.
On the other hand, I’m not sure what I’d do if a historic season for Cabrera turned into months of people talking about how what Cabrera is doing proves that RBI is a be-all, end-all statistic when it clearly isn’t in terms of individual player evaluation. Man, that would make the old school crowd insufferable.
Maybe we can compromise and he can challenge .400. Batting average is flawed too, but not nearly as much as RBI. I think I could live with overheated batting average talk better.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.