I didn’t know Martin Manley. I was vaguely aware of who he was. He contributed to a sports blog for the Kansas City Star for a few years. He maintained the Sports in Review blog, which I’d looked at a few times. There are a lot of people like that who have floated around the sabermetric universe over the past 20 or 30 years: acquaintances of acquaintances whose name rings a bell and who, if you Google a bit or jog your memory some you can place.
I don’t think I’ll forget him now. He killed himself on Thursday. It was his 60th birthday. And before doing it he wrote up an insanely-detailed website setting forth his reasons for it and his life story. The most notable thing about it: he was not sick. He was not poor or in trouble or, on the surface anyway, depressed or in distress of any kind. He simply decided that 60 years was enough and that he wanted to do it.
The website — which I have been reading for a couple of hours now — reads like someone working out a simple problem of logic. Instead of concluding something mundane, however, it concludes with Manley killing himself for reasons stated.
I know it has nothing to do with baseball, but Manley sounds like a lot of people who comment around here or who frequent Baseball Think Factory or who hang around on Twitter. Older than most web-based folks, but imbued with a certain perspective and politeness about them as a result.
I have no idea what to make of it, but it seems like more than anything else, Manley wanted his story to be shared, so I am sharing it. And I am simultaneously remembering that we don’t know a hell of a lot about anyone or about this world for that matter.
(thanks to Rob Neyer for the heads up)
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.