There’s been some talk, in the wake of the Albert Pujols signing, that Anaheim might non-tender Kendrys Morales prior to Monday’s deadline.
But Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia put that idea to rest on Saturday afternoon during a press conference introducing both Pujols and lefty C.J. Wilson.
This according to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.
Morales sat out the entire 2011 season due to lingering issues with his surgically-repaired left ankle and is not a lock to ever return to his elite slugger status, but he should only cost around $4 million as a second-year arbitration-eligible player in 2012. So it’s not like the Halos are taking a major financial risk. If the 28-year-old Cuban is able to finally heal and revitalize his career, he could make for superb mid-summer trade bait. Or, he could see regular action at DH.
Morales batted .306/.355/.569 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI in 152 games for the Angels in 2009.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.