I’m going to Wrigley Field on Friday for the Pirates-Cubs game. Assuming that the upcoming renovation would spell their doom, I had planned to say goodbye to the Wrigley urinal troughs when I was there. For, whatever you may think of them, the ones in Wrigley are likely the last of their kind in Major League Baseball ballparks.
But wait! Via Bleed Cubbie Blue, we learn that they are to be saved!
“For the last several years, we have basically undertaken a number of focus groups and surveys among fans as we’ve looked to put together our plan to restore and improve the stadium,” Green said. “What we found is that our male fans have no problems with the communal nature of the troughs, cheek to cheek if you will. It’s part of enjoying the game.”
Focus groups: way worse than urinal troughs, generally speaking, but in this case the preservers of history. And culture. And whatever else you may call urinal troughs.
BCB’s Al Yellon provides the context as well as a recent photo of said troughs. You know, for science. I’m sure that was what Al told the security folks at Wrigley as he snapped the photo in the men’s room anyway. And thank God for his work in this regard.
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.