Astros’ prospect Jonathan Singleton’s Twitter account is raw and unvarnished. For now anyway. I feel like that’ll all change once management decides that one of their top prospects calling someone “gay” as a mild insult and telling fans that he’ll sign their fan mail if they send him weed is not the best thing for The Brand:
The improper use of “your” there is almost as egregious, but let’s let that slide for now.
The weed tweet has been deleted, it seems, but nothing disappears on the Internet:
Singleton is a kid and he probably doesn’t mean much by all that stuff. Guys his age often use “gay” as a putdown, even if they shouldn’t. And joking about autographs for weed, while not exactly hilarious, is also pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things. UPDATE: Maybe not as harmless in Singleton’s case, as I had forgotten that he has said he has a marijuana addiction and has already been suspended for it once.
But Singleton is one of the future faces of a young franchise looking to win over a fan base that has grown apathetic over the past several years. And, more immediately, he is subject to a social media policy which makes it pretty clear that anything even looking like pro-drug references or even skirting the lines of homophobia, etc. is grounds for discipline.
Other players have done this and either haven’t been disciplined or, at the very least, received quiet discipline about it. Singleton had best watch it lest he get a phone call from someone with the club or the league telling him to knock it off.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.