It’s Bob Newhart’s 84t birthday.
I love Bob Newhart. My parents didn’t own many albums when I was a kid but they owned “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” and I listened to it all the damn time.
Newhart’s go-to thing for his lounge act was his “telephone conversation” bit in which he’d play one party to the conversation and you’d just imagine the rest. It didn’t have to be a telephone, of course. My favorite Newhart bit was “The Driving Instructor” and that took place in the front seat of a car with only the instructor talking. Poor, poor Mr. Adams.
Also good, though, was his “Nobody Will Ever Play Baseball” bit. In it he imagines what would happen if Abner Doubleday called up a game company like Parker Brothers or something and proposed the game of baseball. Enjoy, and Happy Birthday Bob Newhart:
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.
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.