Zack Hample is well-known in baseball circles for his ability to collect baseballs — especially home runs balls. He’s written a book on the subject as well as two others.
Hample has also found himself in some controversy. Last year, he bought a military member’s ticket to the Fort Bragg game, which went against the rules as well as the spirit of the event. He made a Tinder profile to find ticketholders.
So, Hample is not everyone’s favorite. And certainly not Clayton Kershaw‘s. Hample said today, in a series of tweets, “Today I asked Clayton Kershaw if I could have a baseball. He said, ‘No, you got 7,000 of ’em.'”
Hample’s next tweet read, “…it was a blue Father’s Day ball. I said, ‘It would mean so much to me,’ and Kershaw was like, ‘No, it wouldn’t.’ <sigh> Still love him.”
His third and final tweet pertaining to the incident read, “…with that logic, Kershaw’s next paycheck shouldn’t mean all that much to him, right?”
Not to pile on Hample, but there are many more deserving recipients of a souvenir, like kids and charities. Hopefully those special Father’s Day balls find themselves going to a good cause rather than Hample’s man cave.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.