Roger Maris honored in North Dakota

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Roger Maris AP.jpgA billboard company in North Dakota has decided to give Roger Maris his due:

A North Dakota billboard company has erected a pair of
signs in Fargo honoring local hero Roger Maris, whose record 61 home
runs in 1961 have long been clouded with an asterisk.

Because he clubbed the homers in more games than Babe Ruth’s record
60, the baseball Hall of Fame has never recognized his feat, much less
admitted him to Cooperstown . . .The billboards feature a picture of Maris during his days as a New
York Yankee and the slogan, “Fargo’s Maris ‘Legitimate’ Home Run King.”

Apart from the fact that (a) there never was any asterisk applied to Maris’ record; (b) the Hall of Fame has most certainly recognized his feat; and (c) if the billboard copy mentioned above is accurate, this is a wonderful example of superfluous quotation marks, which always seem to warm my heart for some reason, this is just fine.  Certainly beats a big empty billboard with a “rent me” sign on it.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.