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.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.