Jason Bay decided to make Larchmont, New York his in-season home. According to this sweet story in Sunday’s New York Times, he’s the talk of the village. The author’s young son decided to reach out to the superstar slugger:
For his part, Gabriel decided to write Mr. Bay a letter and wrap it
around a baseball. I quote in part: “I am a huge Mets fan (like die-hard
even in the years when they weren’t so good!) Here is a baseball. Can
you sign it and return it to your mailbox this week between 2:25 and
3:15 (so I can retrieve it).” He was going to put it in the Bays’
mailbox, but it was locked, so he stuck the letter and baseball between
boards in their white picket fence.
Yep, you guessed it: a couple of days later the ball was placed back in the fence, signed by Bay. My warm fuzzies over this story will probably last a good while.
Indeed, I like the story so much that I’ll do everything in my power to pretend that sad-sack grownup memorabilia hounds won’t ruin it all by staking out Bay’s home, sticking balls and photos in his fence accompanied by fake letters from “kids” in the hopes that they’ll have new stuff to place on the shelf of their seedy collectibles shops next to their very rare Mary Worth comics.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.