We’ve had mammo fun with Chipper Jones’ nearly incomprehensible Twitter feed. Today Chris Jones of ESPN the Magazine dives deeper into one of the more unexpected developments of the season:
In hindsight, his first tweet — “Yes, the ol man finally got the twitta!” — was a sign of the weirdness that was to come. The first whispers started: Is Chipper Jones illiterate? Did he get beaned last night? Every night, Jones made Twitter part of his rigid routine, and every morning, a growing band of linguists tried to translate. (There isn’t a name yet for his language. I’d like to nominate Chipperish — Chipper plus English. Also, it rhymes with gibberish.)
Not gonna lie. I’m kind of worried that once Jones retires and doesn’t have anything serious like actual baseball games to reign him in that he’s going to go full-Busey on us.
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.