Alex Avila out “at least” two games with knee soreness

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Tigers catcher Alex Avila limped through last year’s postseason, batting just .073/.116/.146 in 44 plate appearances while dealing with left patella tendinitis.

He got over the issue this winter and has enjoyed a decent start (.250/.333/.463 in 23 games) to the 2012 campaign. But that knee tendinitis is back.

According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Avila will be sidelined for “at least” the Tigers’ next two games due to renewed patella soreness. And there’s legitimate concern that he’ll have many more absences in the future.

The Tigers will turn to veteran backup Gerald Laird for now. If Avila’s patella tendinitis lingers like it did throughout last October, outside options may have to be considered.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.