Reader emdash gives me the heads up on a neat story from James Wagner at the Washington Post. It’s about how a network of Dominican players in the majors makes a point to supply visiting Dominican players with Dominican food when they come to town:
Do you know how hard it is to find a Dominican restaurant in Cincinnati or Minneapolis?
So Dominican players — even those who don’t know each other well — take care of each other through their own version of the food network. The Dominicans on the home team are responsible for sending food to their countrymen on the visiting team. Albert Pujols (Los Angeles Angels), David Ortiz (Boston) and Nelson Cruz (Baltimore) always bring food for visiting Dominican players. Soriano’s wife or a family friend will make an extra helping of Dominican food so that he can do the same. Robinson Cano (Seattle), Francisco Liriano (Pittsburgh), Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee), Jose Reyes (Toronto) and Adrian Beltre (Texas) take part, too.
Wagner says that it’s believed the tradition started with Vlad Guerrero — as if he wasn’t awesome enough — and has become really well-established. He talks about the wives and mothers of the players who spend their time cooking to keep the tradition going.
Very cool story.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: