Ron Washington: seedless

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Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas has a scoop:  Ron Washington, a sunflower seed addict, got the monkey off his back in Game 4 and went with gum instead. Why?

Washington normally goes through two bags of sunflower seeds (usually ranch flavored). But his wife, Gerry, doesn’t like the way Washington looks on camera when he’s chewing them.  “I was getting pressure put on me,” Washington said. “She said, ‘Everybody eats seeds, but nobody looks like you.'”

Nobody really looks like Ron Washington anyway, so I suppose that’s academic.  Well, this guy does. Anyway, good luck to Washington. One day at a time, Ron. One day at a time.

Speaking of how people look on camera in these playoffs, I noticed last night that Fox is already overdosing on those hyper-closeups during critical points of the game.  I can’t say I miss that. At all. Ever. Easily the most annoying thing to ever happen to baseball broadcasts.

It’s to the point where I hope there are people in the stands who hold their hands together like they’re praying and put worried looks on their face for the explicit purpose of punking a Fox cameraman into going in tight on them only to immediately moon him or flip him the bird or something.

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.