With no baseball on last night I ended up watching some cable show in which “Rowdy” Roddy Piper brought some woman claiming to be a spiritual medium into his Oregon home to tell him what all of the ghosts were trying to say to him. He’s haunted by Adrian Adonis, mostly. Not making that up.
Apart from the fact that this alleged medium’s allegedly spiritual communications all conveyed information which was available on Piper’s Wikipedia page, it was pretty riveting stuff. The only downside: Piper didn’t go along with it for 55 minutes of the show only to end it with a massive heel-turn, smashing the medium’s head while barking “just when they think they got the answers, I CHANGE THE QUESTIONS!”
What I’m saying is, it was sad that the ravages of time, age, injury, illness and possibly substance abuse have dulled Hot Rod’s once incredibly sharp edge. There’s no way Piper circa 1985 woulda sat there for that. He would have chewed his gum, kicked the medium out of his house and talked to the ghost of the late great Adrian Adonis himself. They would’ve had a grand time, actually, then they would have gone and kicked Ricky Steamboat in the nards and smashed fruit into Jimmy Snuka’s head or something.
But even though Piper has reduced himself to playing along with third rate hucksters, it’s not as bad as the pro-wrestlers who are now associating themselves with something worse: Jeff Loria. Maury Brown reports that the Miami Marlins are hosting a Legends of Professional Wrestling night on August 24:
You won’t get The Rock or Hulk Hogan, but former WWE/WCW Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg will throw out the first pitch, wrestlers will sign autographs during the game and then post-game there will be three to four wrestling matches inside the ring on the West Plaza of Marlins Park.
Big names include. Goldberg, Brett Hart, Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, Koko B. Ware. Go read Maury’s post for the rest. Fifteen in all.
Biggest shocker: there are still 15 wrestling legends who have not yet died.
Earlier this week Tigers GM Al Avila said that his club was going to get “lean” and “efficient” and that their days of spending big money are over. Later in the week Avila said that they would not likely offer a long term contract to outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season.
None of those comments necessarily suggested that the Tigers would be conducting a fire sale or anything, and it’s certainly possible to get leaner while still competing. One would assume that the Tigers could cut fat in the middle but still head into battle with their superstars. But that may not be the plan. Buster Olney:
. . . the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody.
Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler.
Trading those guys would be a pretty big deal. In both senses of the term.
It would take a blockbuster-sized deal to move such players. Verlander is owed $28 million a year for the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 at $22 million. Cabrera just finished the first year of an eight-year, $248 million deal that will be paying him more than $30 million a year between 2018 and 2023, with an $8 million buyout for 2024. And that’s before the fact that both Verlander and Cabrera are 10/5 guys with full no-trade protection if they choose to exercise it. Beyond that Kinsler is a relative bargain at $11 million in 2017 and a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton are hanging around too.
But for as big a trade would have to be if any one of those guys were dealt, it’d be a bigger deal in terms of team philosophy and direction. Cabrera has confirmed his Hall of Fame credentials in his nine years in Detroit. He’s the best player to wear the English D since Al Kaline and has been the biggest star in the organization for most of a generation. Verlander is nearly as important and nearly as famous. I don’t think it’s likely the Tigers will move either of them because the logistics of such deals would be mind-boggling, but even entertaining deals for these guys would alter the course of the franchise for years and years to come. It happens to every franchise eventually, but I don’t think the Tigers fan base is prepared for it to happen to them yet.
Still: the free agent market is thinner that it has been at any time in years and years. Cabrera and Verlander, if they could be had, would be the biggest splashes any team looking to improve could possibly acquire. Kinselr would be a big get for anyone as well. Al Avila knows that. Even if he’s not ready to part with his superstars, he probably owes it to his organization to at least listen.
Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.
There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.