Craig Calcaterra

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Dan Uggla has a World Series ring

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Players without a World Series ring include Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas (sorry; 2005 was a blur for me)  Gaylord Perry and Ryne Sandberg. A player with a World Series ring? Dan Uggla, baby.

As Jon Heyman reports, the Giants are giving him one, as it is their policy to give all players who appeared on their roster during a championship season a ring. This despite the fact that Uggla’s time with the Giants lasted four games in which he went 0 for 11 with six strikeouts while making three errors. He was signed on July 21 and was released on August 7.

As Heyman notes, and as was reported earlier this offseason, Uggla and his doctors attribute his precipitous decline over the past few seasons to eye issues related to concussion-inducing beanballs. They think they have that figured out now, and he’s attempting to make the Washington Nationals. He’s 6 for 22 with a homer, a couple of doubles and four RBI this spring with only three strikeouts in 28 plate appearances. So maybe he’s on the comeback trail.

Even if he’s not, however, he will always have that World Series ring.

 

The Spaceman and The Excitable Boy

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Dan Epstein has a great column over at Fox today about two rebels/iconoclasts/weirdos who found themselves to be outcasts in businesses that, while superficially promoting and rewarding individuality, genius and fun, really don’t when push comes to shove. The outcasts in questions: Warren Zevon and Bill “the Spaceman” Lee.

As he blazed his weird trail through the 1970s — and particularly, his contentious 1978 season — Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee professed his admiration for Zevon, who after years of toiling, had finally broken into the big time with his 1978 album “Excitable Boy.” Zevon, in turn, took a shine to Lee, recognizing him as a fellow oddball, and wrote a song about him. Eventually they met and became friends, which couldn’t have possibly been good for either of them, even if it sounds like it would’ve been all kinds of fun to hang around them.

Epstein tells their respective weird tales and, as he so often does, in his books and his columns, reminds us of just how damn weird the 1970s were.

Matt Wieters’ X-ray comes back clean

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Matt Wieters was shut down with elbow tendinitis after catching on Tuesday. It was his first action behind the plate since he had Tommy John surgery, so he was sent for X-rays as a precautionary measure. Good news: they came back clean.

He’s still shut down from catching for the next week, and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready by Opening Day.

Yankees minor leaguer suspended for drugs

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This is pretty low-level news, but the entire sports world is fixated on college basketball today so, welp, there we are. Anyway:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees Minor League right-handed pitcher Moises Cedeno has received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Dude plays in the Dominican Summer League. Which just goes to show you how deeply into the organization A-Rod’s nefarious claws, um, claw.

Now, back to basketball. I’m watching on a delay. No spoilers, please. I’m just now tucking in to the Iowa State game. I got a feelin’ about ’em! Final Four, baby!

The Brewers exercise Ron Roenicke’s 2016 option

Ron Roenicke
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Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was entering the final year of his contract, but he’s no longer a lame duck. The Brewer have exercised his 2016 option, Adam McCalvy reports.

Roenicke is 335-313 in four years at the helm of the Brewers. By wins and losses, 2014 was his second worst year of the four. By the expectations game, it was a roaring success until, oh, mid-to-late August, with the Brewers defying most experts’ picks and leading the NL Central. Things ended poorly, however, with the bats going cold and the the Brewers dropping out of the playoff hunt. After that happened the club fired some coaches, clearly displeased with the team’s late-season stumbles, so it was not at all clear that they’d pick up Roenicke’s option.

But by doing this they seem to be signaling that, no Roenicke was not the problem and, as such, are providing a vote of confidence.