Craig Calcaterra

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Josh Hamilton sent a video of himself hitting to the Rangers back in March

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This is interesting. Today, at Rangers camp in Surprise, Arizona, Josh Hamilton told reporters that he sent a video of him hitting back in March, presumably to show them that he was healthy. Hamilton said, “I sent video to the Rangers of me hitting March 9, full-go,” according to Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register.

The first questions this raises, of course, is one of tampering of some kind. As in, were Hamilton and/or the Rangers trying to get something done back then? Maybe not, based on the circumstances:

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram cited a source saying Hamilton’s video was sent to former teammate Michael Young, now a special assistant, and it was just two friends exchanging video, rather than Hamilton trying to manipulate a trade.

Michael Young is important, but he’s not making decisions for the Rangers. And, of course, Hamilton was persona non grata with the Angels. At most, it seems, this was a “see, I’m healthy” sort of thing. Which Hamilton backed at his press conference yesterday when he said that if he had been allowed to be with the Angels and rehab during spring training he’d be playing now.

Still, as Fletcher notes, the Angels may not be happy about his even if they’re not commenting on it now:

However, it’s not likely the Angels front office would have been happy with Hamilton sending the video if they knew about it. If Hamilton was lobbying the Rangers to acquire him, it could have affected what little leverage the Angels may have to had to make the best deal possible.

Rather rich, one thinks, given that the Angels were doing more than anyone could expect them to have done to eviscerate their own leverage during this time. If they had treated him like they should have, he may have been seen as a far more marketable player than he was perceived to be. And, as Fletcher also notes, this whole episode suggests that the Angels have been lying about Hamilton’s baseball readiness, which was their putative reason for keeping him away from the team.

My guess is that nothing comes of this. Except maybe some serious drama if the Rangers and Angels are playing meaningful games against one another down the stretch.

The oldest living Yankee

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You’ll never guess who it is because you’ve probably never heard of him. But Louie Lazar of the New York Times tells us in this wonderful profile from the other day. It’s Rinaldo Ardizoia, who pitched for the Yankees in one game in 1947. He’s still alive — at age 95 — and living in San Francisco.

Ardizoia’s story is fantastic, not because it’s a tale of sports glory. It’s not. He had that one big league game and a decent career in the Pacific Coast League. He made some memories and some friends in baseball along the way. And then, in his 30s, just lived his life with his wife and children and job.

The part of this story that appeals to me is that, unlike every other story you see about some person who lives to 95 or older, it’s not painted as totally rosy and happy and carefree. Oh, there’s nothing tragic here — Ardizoia sounds like he has lived a good and rich life – but Lazar includes the parts where he talks about the important people in his life passing on. About how there are things about young people today he doesn’t care for. About how, at 95, not every day is a good full day and how there is a sense, however happy Ardizoia may be, that things are winding down.

That stuff is usually glossed over in profiles of the elderly. Not because the elderly play that down necessarily. Indeed, almost all older people I’ve talked to mention those who have passed and the mixed feelings that come with growing old quite readily. They’re not afraid of it. It just is. These people lived through World Wars and depressions and worse. They can face up to mortality just fine.

No, it’s usually because the writer, I think, is uncomfortable with it and maybe fears growing old themselves on some level. And, as a result, they paint nearly impossibly rosy and happy pictures of people growing old.

But not Lazar. And, as a result, he tells a wonderful, wonderful story.

The Orioles will play to no fans tomorrow; this weekend’s series will move to Tropicana Field

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The first two games of the White Sox-Orioles series have already been postponed. Tomorrow’s game? Get this:

The O’s are off Thursday. As for this weekend:

It was originally to be set in Baltimore. The O’s will still be the “home” team for purposes of batting order, etc.

Connolly further reports that the games that were cancelled will be made up on May 28 as a doubleheader.

As a result of this, the Orioles will be on the road for nine straight games, returning home on May 11 for a series against the Blue Jays.

UPDATE: Commissioner Rob Manfred said: “After conversations with the Orioles and local officials, we believe that these decisions are in the best interests of fan safety and the deployment of City resources. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by violence in Baltimore, and everyone in our game hopes for peace and the safety of a great American city.”

The Phillies option Domonic Brown to Triple-A

Domonic Brown
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Domonic Brown has been down in Triple-A Lehigh Valley on an injury rehab assignment. He has hit poorly on his assignment, but was eligible to come off the assignment today. Brown told reporters that he expected to be back in Philly when he did. Ryne Sandberg didn’t like it too much.

But whether it was based on his performance or on his comments, know that he will not be heading to Philadelphia. The Phillies just activated him and then optioned him to Triple-A.

Brown, who some people still talk about as if he’s some rising prospect for some reason, is 27-years-old and has 1,544 major league plate appearances. He was an All-Star who hit 27 homers in 2013, but regressed greatly last year and began this year on the DL with an achilles injury.

Now he’s in the minors again. While guys like Grady Sizemore and Jeff Francoeur take hacks in Philly.

 

Kirk Gibson has Parkinson’s Disease

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This is awful, awful news:

Gibson, who was the Diamondbacks’ manager until the end of last season, has been doing color commentary on Tigers broadcasts this season. I’ve only seen one game with him, but I thought his analysis was really good, even if he’s not a TV natural. He tells it like it is and, in expected Gibson fashion, does not beat around the bush.

Here’s hoping he and his doctors manage his disease as well as it can be managed and that he misses as few beats as humanly possible under the circumstances. God knows that even Kirk Gibson at less-than-his best is still an incredible force to reckon with.

Prayers for Gibby if that’s your thing, thoughts and best wishes if they’re not.

UPDATE: Gibson has released a statement:

“I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles. While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible.”