Pop quiz, hotshot! You pull your car over to the side of the road as the engine smokes. You’re loaded and drinking from a bottle of scotch and you don’t bother to stop when the police officer shows up. You know that you’re less than 12 hours from being the lead story on every sportscast in the country and your teammates and fans giving quotes about how much you let them down. Oh, and the shirt you were wearing was either too gross or barfed on or whatever for the police to continue letting you wear it, so you have on jailhouse scrubs.
Question: how happy are you? Answer:
Wow! Pretty happy! Or just blindingly drunk.
Another possibility, and this is actually serious: There’s a trend out there among defense lawyers to tell their high profile clients to do their best to smile for mugshots for PR purposes. Really. Remember Tom DeLay? It seems nuts, but lawyers know that the mugshot will be spread everywhere, and no one want their client to have their Nick Nolte or James Brown moment if it can be helped.
I bet Cabrera called his lawyer on the way in to the jail and was told to do his best to look presentable. Sadly, the whole jailhouse scrubs thing kills the effect.
Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.
Moustakas, 30, declined a $15 million mutual option with the Brewers at the end of the 2018 season, and like many others left on the market, has yet to find a landing spot in advance of spring training. While he’s several years removed from his last All-Star performance, he ran a decent campaign with the Royals and Brewers last year, slashing a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, a .774 OPS, and 2.4 fWAR across 635 plate appearances.
He certainly appears to be a fit in Anaheim, where he could supplant Zack Cozart at the hot corner and balance out the Angels’ right-heavy lineup alongside Kole Calhoun, Justin Bour, and Tommy La Stella. Even if the Angels have serious interest in the third baseman, however, they’re likely to wait and see what kind of contract Machado (and the as-yet unsigned Bryce Harper) fetches before extending any serious offers of their own. They’re far from the only club to use the four-time All-Star as a litmus test this offseason, which has only fueled a growing unrest among MLB players who believe that more serious action — such as a midseason walk-out or a league-wide strike — will need to be taken over the next few months.