On Saturday the Braves did a throwback night to 1914. As part of it they nixed all of the loud music from over the P.A. including walkup music for the hitters and run-in music for closer Craig Kimbrel, relying on organ music instead. Kimbrel’s usual jam is “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses.
Not hearing that when Kimbrel came in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth really bothered Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman. From the AJC:
“My issue is when, I don’t mind using the uniform, I love the throw-back uniform, but when the atmosphere is taken out of the game,” Freeman said. “Fans are coming here to have an experience and there is nothing on the Jumbotron, no music is playing. I’m looking in the stands and people’s heads are down. It kind of takes the energy out of the stadium, especially when the best closer in the game comes in and there are not flames (on the scoreboard), nothing like that.”
I’m with you, Freddie. I mean, without flames on the Jumbotron and some GN’R blaring, it’s really not even baseball. And really, doesn’t anyone remember 1914 Braves hitter Possum Whitted coming up to this jock jam of the day?
Dudes: between the Braves announcers complaining about Bryce Harper all the time and Freeman finding reason to whine about this sort of thing on a night they beat the best team in baseball, it’s a real drag to root for the Braves these days.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.