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.
It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.
On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.
At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.
If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.
Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.
Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this: