Whitey Herzog acquitted on charges of intentional tanking

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This morning we linked a story in which the reporter paraphrased — but did not directly quote — Whitey Herzog as saying that he tanked games as manager of the Cardinals when his team was already out of the playoff race for purposes of improving draft position.

Quite the claim! But is it true?

The Common Man is on the case, and by analyzing Herzog’s late season moves in non-contending seasons with the Cardinals, he finds there to be no evidence of Herzog tanking games whatsoever.

It’s a good, thorough analysis of it all, so it’s well worth your time.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.