U2 is messing with the baseball schedule

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Bono.jpgI’m sure Bono didn’t mean to bug ya, but he’s doing it all the same:

Don’t know whether or not Bono favors the designated hitter rule, but
based on U2’s summer concert tour, they’re definitely American
Leaguers.

The band is playing Angels Stadium
(June 6-7), the Oakland Coliseum (June 16) and Toronto’s Rogers Center
(July 3) before, finally, landing in NL Florida’s Landshark Stadium (or
whatever they’re calling it now, on July 9). And it wreaked havoc with the 2010 schedule.

The reason it’s wreaking havoc: U2 needs a park for 10 days to simply build and tear-down the stage setup for a single night’s concert. As a result, the Angels have a fourteen-game road trip in their future come June.

All of which would be fine if U2 was any good anymore, but ever since they decided that nostalgia was more important than being interesting [cough!] “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” [cough!] they’ve been adrift on a sea of awfulness. I mean, “Pop” was no great shakes, but at least they were trying something.

Where was I? Oh yeah, baseball. 

This is not unprecedented of course. As the linked article notes, the Astros went on the road for a month in 1992 when the Republican National Convention was held in the Astrodome. That was a 26-game road trip, during which the Astros went 12-14.

But the 1992 Astros weren’t exactly contenders like the Angels are. They finished the year 17 games out, and even if you’re generous to the point of ridiculousness, you can’t pin anything that happened to the baseball team on the convention apart from annoyance.

If the Angels finish a game or two out of the money this year, though, fans have my permission to burn copies of “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” in the streets.

That is, if they hadn’t done so already on general principle.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.