I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with T.J. Simers before. Sometimes he’s nasty, cheap and intolerable. Sometimes, though, he’s pretty funny. Today is a good day.
Seems the Dodgers have sent out fan surveys about their announcing crew. Which is pretty cool. Nothin’ wrong with getting fan feedback. Except, as Simers notes, it’s a bit awkward in that it includes Vin Scully. And Vin Scully is not exactly a guy who is or should be subject to fan referendum at this point in his illustrious career. Any negative feedback he receives is almost, by definition, insane. He’s the beloved tenured professor who isn’t gonna have anything bad happen to him if an undergrad says his exams were too hard during evaluations. But he’s on the survey anyway because it would probably make Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons and those other guys feel bad if they were reminded so clearly that they are not the top dog.
Anyway, Simers fills out a survey for Scully and the results are funny, clever and have the enjoyable effect of slamming the McCourts even though this column isn’t really about them. Can’t ask for much more.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.