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.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

Brandon Belt
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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

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Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

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Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.