Despite the best efforts of 19th century racists, the Irish took over baseball in the late 1800s and never really let it go. And because of that, appropriately enough, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame is a thing. And, wonderfully, it’s housed in a great Irish pub/baseball bar. Today it announced its 2012 honorees:
- Jimmy Breslin, author of one of the most famous baseball books ever written, Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?, which chronicled the 1962 New York Mets inaugural season;
- Tom Kelly, two-time World Series champion manager with the Minnesota Twins;
- Gene Michael, scout and GM responsible for signing players including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, among others;
- “Walpole Joe” Morgan, popular former player, scout and a manager of Boston Red Sox;
- Jeff Nelson, longtime reliever, four-time World Series champion with the Yankees;
- “Wee Willie” Keeler, a legend of the Dead Ball era when nearly a third of major league players were of Irish descent.
Induction ceremonies will take place a week from today at that great bar: Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant in New York.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.