Orlando Cabrera becomes a U.S. citizen

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If you were wondering why Orlando Cabrera wasn’t the one taking that sweet throw from Asdrubal Cabrera in the highlight from last night, it’s because he left the Indians yesterday to go to South Carolina where he is being naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Which is cool, though I’m not sure why it has to happen in South Carolina. Red tape.

As the article notes, you have to take a test on American history and civics to become a citizen.  When I was in New York a few weeks ago, I was killing time at an airport newsstand where one employee was quizzing the other on the citizenship test. The woman answering the questions got every one right and was clearly set to ace it.  I bet there are a huge number of Americans who would fail it miserably.

Kind of makes me wish that they gave it to the folks born here. If you fail you get exiled to a ship floating in international waters for an intensive study session and they you take it again.  Fail it three times, you gotta work on the ship. The best part: the people sent to the ship will, by definition, be too dumb to realize that the whole setup is unconstitutional. Foolproof, I tells ya!

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.