That Richie Whitt guy isn’t backing off his stance on Colby Lewis witnessing the birth of his child

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Richie Whitt of the Dallas Observer isn’t backing down from his belief that Colby Lewis was wrong to leave the Rangers in order to be with his wife for the birth of his daughter. Indeed, he’s doubling down:

Because, honestly, I don’t care if Lewis is a good dad. If I wanted to root for a team of great role models, I’d renew my season tickets to watch the deacons at my Sunday church. I want — always have, always will — the Rangers to win. And Lewis helps that cause not by being a good parent, but rather a good pitcher.

I’ve immersed myself in baseball more than anyone I know, and I still cannot — not for the life of me — understand the mindset that players owe us a damn thing or that they should care more about their jobs as professional athletes than any of use care about our own jobs. Jobs that, in almost every instance, we wouldn’t place over and above our own families.

But hey, to each their own.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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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.