Roddy Piper

The Miami Marlins to host a Legends of Wrestling night

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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.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.