I’m probably not alone in thinking that I had some pretty mean wiffle ball pitches back in my day.
My screwball caused hitters to tornado themselves into the ground, my knuckler put Bugs Bunny to shame, and my rising fastball not only came in deceptively hot, but was the one pitch I could put wherever I wanted to … usually.
Well it turns out I was probably more of a decent innings eater than a Cy Young candidate, sort of wiffle ball’s answer to Joe Blanton. My once rock-solid confidence in my abilities was shattered after watching the video above, which is perhaps the coolest pitching exhibition in the history of YouTube (with apologies to this guy)
Meet WiffleBoy28, and check out his nasty pitches on YouTube and on his web site, where he gives tips on how to pitch (and scuff!).
It would be wise to get to know this guy. I’m talking to you, Sandy Alderson. Think about Oliver Perez, and then ask yourself what you’ve got to lose.
— Hat tip to Ted Berg for the find.
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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.