As Alice Sweet of Norfolk, Virginia and the rest of baseball fandom mourns the passing of Earl Weaver, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times gives us 11 cool facts about Weaver that probably never occurred to you.
The one that stopped me in my tracks: Weaver, despite being a gray-haired institution by the time I started paying attention to baseball in the late 70s, was only 56 years old when he managed his last game. As Jaffe notes, that’s younger than Ned Yost is now. And about the same age as Ron Roenicke.
Granted, there are different kinds of 56 year-olds. Some in better shape than others and some who didn’t spend most of their 30s through their 50s yelling at people all the time like Weaver. But man, that’s nutsy to think about.
Anyway, great post by Jaffe about a great manager.
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.