On the anniversary of Mike Coolbaugh’s death, help make baseball safer

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Sunday will be the fifth anniversary of the death of long-time minor leaguer and first base coach in the Rockies system, Mike Coolbaugh. Since his death his brother Scott — hitting coach for the Rangers — and Scott’s wife have run a charity called Diamond Dreams, the mission of which is to improve the safety conditions of youth baseball.

In connection with the anniversary of Mike’s death, Diamond Dreams unveiled a new program today in which it will take nominations for baseball programs and organizations that are lacking in up to date equipment or safe facilities and will provide assistance to selected nominees.

Information about the program is here.  More general information about Diamond Dreams and Mike Coolbaugh can be found here.

Hard to believe it’s been five years since that awful business.  Glad to see that something good is coming of it, however.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.