Craig Calcaterra

New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes drinks during a spring training baseball workout Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Associated Press

On the links with Yoenis Cespedes


Most of us first heard about Yoenis Cespedes‘ golf game last October when, to the chagrin of some in the media and some fans the media riled up, Cespedes decided to take in a round before a playoff game against the Cubs. The controversy, to the extent it even qualified as one, basically ended when the Mets got past the Cubs and moved on to the World Series.

Since then we’ve learned that Cespedes has a passion for golf and spends all of his free time on the links. Yesterday, as part of a video shoot for SNY, a couple of members of the media joined Yo on the course as he played nine holes with Jeff Wilpon. Marc Carig of Newsday was one of them and his story is a great read.

Warning: If you’re a long-struggling golfer, you may wish to skip it because it will only make your blood boil. See, Cespedes never picked up a club until 2014 and now regularly shoots no worse than the low 80s, often breaking that (he shot a 79 yesterday). Indeed, his first-ever round was the only time he shot over 100. Ballplayers probably get less credit for freakish athleticism than football or basketball players, but make no mistake: they’re not like you and me. Cespedes certainly isn’t.

Bonus fun: Cespedes’ 79 came despite the fact that he didn’t have his cigarettes with him. He smokes Marlboro reds out on the course and says they help him to relax. Because they were taping his first nine, however, he had to go without. His reaction to that: “Ay yai yai!”

But he soldiered on and played through it. Because he’s a ballplayer.

Jacob deGrom just learned that his hair distracts hitters

Jacob deGrom Getty

Jacob deGrom‘s hair is pretty extreme for a ballplayer. His long, flowing locks are immediately recognizable. People like to change their look up after a time, however, so after a couple of years looking like he has one would not be shocked to see deGrom just cut it all off one day like, say, Tim Lincecum and Zack Greinke did before him. A fresh look can do a lot for a guy.

On second thought, maybe not. Because some anonymous hitter just tipped deGrom to the fact that his hair helps him on the mound. That comes via this Bob Klapisch story about the Mets’ aces at The hitter, who faced deGrom in the postseason, meaning that he came from either the Dodgers, Cubs or Royals, said this:

“First of all, I see this guy on the mound who looks like a stick figure,” the hitter said. “I mean, you don’t see major league pitchers who look like that. And he’s got that hair – you can’t not look at it, it’s everywhere. It bothers me when I’m trying to pick up the ball out of his hand. All I see is hair.”

deGrom said that it had never occurred to him that his hair distracted hitters and added “But I guess now I’ll never cut it.”

Good going, random Dodgers, Cubs or Royals hitter. You just blew it for everyone else.

Jarrod Dyson strained his oblique muscle

Jarrod Dyson

Hey, the first kinda notable injury since spring training games started: Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson left today’s Cactus League game with a strained right oblique.

Dyson was slated to be the Royals primary right fielder, at the very least forming the left-hand side of a platoon with Paulo Orlando but, as was discussed over the winter, possibly giving him the job outright. He hit .250/.311/.380 in 90 games last year. He’s more important for his glove and his wheels, however, having stolen 26 bases while being caught only 3 times and showing great range.

Oblique diagnosis can be all over the place. If minor, they can sideline a player for only a couple of weeks. More often, however, it can be 4-6 weeks. If that’s the case here, Dyson can kiss his spring training goodbye.