Whitey Herzog was in intensive care for 23 days

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The good news: Whitey Herzog is OK now and was at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-up talking to reporters;

The bad news: He spent 23 days in intensive care starting in September after a nasty fall at his house left him with bleeding on the brain.

The “good” news: He was colorful — dare I say amusingly so? — in recounting how that all went:

“I told Mary Lou (his wife) I’d go home and feed the goats,” he recalled. “The next day the nurse would say, `Did you feed the goats?’ I said, `I don’t have any goats.”‘

Still, Herzog said, he was lucky because despite bruising his brain in two places, doctors were able to stop the bleeding without drilling into his head.

“Once they drill through your brain, you don’t know what they’re going to come out with,” he said.

To be clear: Herzog’s medical state and confusion it created were not amusing. But it is a relief that he’s better now and able to talk about it all such a matter of fact way.  Brain injuries are super scary.

Glad to hear one of my favorites of all time is on the mend.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.