I guess we’re going there now. From the Philadelphia Daily News:
The story is fine enough. One of many focusing on Trout’s return to the Philly area yesterday. It’s framed by a couple of interesting Raul Ibanez quotes. One in which Ibanez talks about how his own son took Trout’s lead on physical fitness more than his own dad’s — the hook for the idea that, sometimes, non-parental role models are necessary — and ends with Ibanez talking about Trout “respects the game” and respects lots of other things.
I obviously have no issue with Mike Trout — I’m a pretty big fan boy if you haven’t noticed — but I really wish we wouldn’t play the “role model” card with him or any other athletes. I have no reason to suspect there’s anything wrong with Trout, but if at any point he shows himself to be human and has a moment of human frailty or fault in the next, oh, 20 years or so, he’s going to be hit harder than he should be simply because some reporters decided that he was a good role model once.
I realize I’m always going to lose this fight — those people are always going to want autographs and will always put them on pedestals of one form or another — but I wish we could just let ballplayers be ballplayers.
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.