Welcome to the hot corner: Mark Trumbo takes a ground ball off the face

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How is Mark Trumbo’s transition to third base going after never playing the position before in the majors or minors?

It’s off to a rough start, says Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:

He took a ground ball off the nose and had to cut short his workout Friday morning. The ball came off the fungo bat of coach Rob Picciolo and hit the lip of the infield grass, according to Jorge Cantu, who was standing nearby. A trainer applied a towel to Trumbo’s nose and he was carted off to the Angels spring-training clubhouse, where he lay on the trainer’s table with gauze stuffed in his nostrils.

Of course, I’m sure Adrian Beltre would gladly tell Trumbo that there are worse places off which to take a ground ball.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?