Hunter Pence rides around on a motorized scooter. So often, in fact, that last season the Giants handed out a bobblehead doll depicting Pence on his beloved scooter.
But some jerk stole the scooter Sunday night while Pence had it parked at a restaurant in California. He didn’t have it locked up because, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com: “The battery charger is rare and it wouldn’t do anyone any good to take it.”
Someone took it anyway and now Pence is offering a no-questions-asked signed bobblehead for anyone who returns it to him in one piece. And he really seems broken up about losing it:
It was one of my favorite things that I have. I’m grateful for stuff, but aside from my baseball equipment and my scooter, and maybe my laptop, there are not many (possessions) that I care about. … I try not to be too attached to things, even though I have a bobblehead with it. I felt it was an extension of me.
Or as manager Bruce Bochy put it: “He had a sad face on this morning. I’ve never seen that.”
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.