roy halladay long getty

Roy Halladay really loves Chase Utley

15 Comments

I am fascinated by Roy Halladay’s Twitter account. There’s nothing spectacular about it really — he’s a retired dude who likes to fish and play golf and stuff — but because I can’t think of any ballplayer’s whose on-field and off-field personas are more different.

On the field Halladay was like the Terminator. He was always business, always serious. While his arm may have given out, you feel like he could still go 12-8 each year based on his intensity alone. It carried over into interviews too. He was never mean, but there was not a lot of emotion there. It was business and logic and zero nonsense.His Twitter feed, in contrast, shows him to be rather funny. Occasionally goofy in a good way. He dabbles in observational comedy and stuff. It’s kind of neat.

Today, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association gave out its team-by-team Heart & Hustle Awards. They’re voted on by alumni and active Major League players and is presented annually to active players who “demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.” Chase Utley won it for Philly, and Halladay went with the heart, going on a multi-tweet endorsement of Utley as a professional and a human being.

I began to read it with some amusement but then I started to kind of love it, mostly because it was a mix of Mac’s letter to Chase on “Always Sunny” and the “I love you, man!” stage of a bender, only done stone-cold sober at 2pm on a Tuesday.

Ignore the typos and there/their/our/are level of word mixups. The man was on a roll here and likely typing on his phone:

Corny? I dunno. But that’s some heartfelt stuff right there. From a guy who, as a player at least, gave you the impression he could rip out your heart in a second if he wanted to. Maybe I’m being a softie this afternoon, but I sort of love it.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.