Remember Mike Bacsik? He was the guy who served up home run number 756 to Barry Bonds back in 2007. Back in January he was accused by former teammate Tim Redding of grooving the pitch to Bonds, which caused a minor dustup. Bacsik came out of that looking OK, though, because it turns out that Redding has often been a jerk to teammates and, hey, Bacsik is just some ex-pitcher trying to make a living on the radio.
Turns out that Bacsik is the bigger jerk, however, as yesterday he tweeted the following after the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks: “Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio.” The tweet was almost immediately deleted, but nothing ever dies on the Internet.
A lot of people thought Bacsik served up the homer to Bonds in an effort to make a little living for himself out on the memorabilia circuit. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he’s not going to be invited to sign “Mike Bacsik #756” on worthless baseball cards anytime soon.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.