Sometimes the folks stationed down the lines — historically called “ball girls,” but I can’t say I’m a big fan of that name given that when they’re female they’re usually women, not girls — don’t have the best defensive chops. They get the job done as far as picking up the foul rollers, handing them to kids in the seats nearby and getting the heck out of the way on pop fouls on which fielders may have a play, but you don’t often see them catching the hot shots.
Well, two games into the season and we’ve seen two pretty sweet plays from the ball girls at Petco Park in San Diego. Here is the one from Opening Day:
And here is one from last night. Different Ball Person:
So far on the year they’re better than the Giants’ defense.
Now, that name. “Ball women?” That doesn’t sound great either. We need a new name.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.