Michael Kinsley once said that “a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” Bud Selig just told one of those truths.
The Commissioner was doing a presser with the Baseball Writers Association of America here this morning, and one of the first topics which came up was the Home Run Derby. Selig acknowledged that the rain put a, um, damper on things last night, but also explained, perhaps unintentionally, why the Derby always drags on:
The tail wagging the dog is never a good look for sports and pretty much explains why the Home Run Derby is a snoozer.
Let us now ponder all of the other things television may want and whether it’s a good idea to give it to them.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.