Andy McCullough of the KC Star has a feature on Royals’ pinch-running sensation Terrance Gore. No, not Jarrod Dyson, though even Royals fans often confuse the two, McCullough reports. Dyson is super fast but Gore is even faster. Indeed, McCullough’s paragraph ledes assert that Gore is the fastest man in baseball:
The fastest man in baseball drives with caution . . . The fastest man in baseball looks like a teenager . . . The fastest man in baseball was a scrawny teenage boy . . . The fastest man in baseball still toils in obscurity . . .
It’s a good feature on a guy who probably never would’ve seen the light of a major league roster a few short years ago, when stealing bases was not a priority for most teams. Heck, even today he might not have seen the light of day of a roster anywhere else but in Kansas City. The Royals are running wild this postseason, and Gore is a big part of it.
Still, part of me wonders how a foot race would go between Gore and Billy Hamilton. Let’s say we drop the Home Run Derby next summer and have a race? The All-Star Game is gonna be in Cincinnati, so it’d be a great spectacle featuring a local player . . .
September 2011. Then-Yankees catcher Russell Martin said this:
“Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me . . . Because I hate the Red Sox. They are fun to play against because they have a quality team and they are gritty and they play hard and stuff, but I would love to see them lose . . . I guess it just comes with the territory. When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way.”
Russell Martin, impending free agent, in September 2014, on the possibility of signing with the Boston Red Sox:
“It’s definitely a place to consider if the option is there,” Martin told WEEI.com during a late September interview . . . “It’s a great baseball town. People love their baseball. For the most part they’ve always been competitive. They’ve got a great team. [Dustin] Pedroia is one of personal favorites. I love the way he competes so it would be a pleasure playing with him.”
The lesson here is not that Martin is a hypocrite or anything. The lesson here is that free agency politics and saying the right thing to the local press at a given time is a far greater consideration for players than the rivalries we as fans have decided are important.
We’re rooting for laundry, people. The players know this way better than we do.
Another big shocker from the land of options: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Rangers are expected to decline Alex Rios’ $13.5 million club option for 2015.
Rios batted .280/.311/.398 with four homers over 131 games this season. He was mentioned in trade talks, but no one ever bit. Which isn’t surprising. It’s possible he could be useful for someone next season, but not at eight figures a year.
My friend Ben owns a used bookstore in Wooster, Ohio, and when he comes across fun and/or weird baseball-related stuff he shoots it my way. He shot this my way this morning. It’s Tom Seaver, then with the Mets, explaining how Reader’s Digest Condensed books were a key part of his spring training regimen:
Seaver owns a winery in Calistoga, California now. I picture him up in the hills among the vineyards, settled into a nice leather chair in some beautiful mission-style house, lighting a fire in the fireplace and settling into a condensed version of “The Good Earth.”
I also picture Pete Rose or someone derisively calling him “Shakespeare” back in spring training in 1970 or whatever.