See the trailer for Clint Eastwood’s anti-“Moneyball”

40 Comments

The movie: “Trouble with the Curve,” which is about an old scout played by Clint Eastwood, his daughter played by Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake playing … someone. I don’t know.

Eastwood’s character apparently works for the Braves and hates computers and baseball statistics. I’ll buy that part. He was probably the guy responsible for signing Robert Fick and Rico Brogna.  Anyway, the trailer is below.

It’s always hard to tell with trailers — they can be somewhat misleading — but my gut impression is that the movie will be something of a mess. You have a father-daughter thing going on, a romantic comedy thing, a sports movie and a coping with age thing.  Maybe it works — God knows Clint Eastwood is awesome — but I’m skeptical.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
4 Comments

Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.