Fernando Rodney’s Dominican plantain fraud!!

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When Fernando Rodney locked down the WBC semifinal game on Monday night he credited his lucky plantain which, it was reported, came in on an airplane from the Dominican Republic hours before the game. DO NOT BELIEVE FERNANDO RODNEY’S LIES:

Also: Topkin reports that Rodney will not have plantains with him during the regular season. They’re “WBC Plantains,” Rodney says. So, there’s that.

Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi is busy typing a column about how major league baseball pales in comparison thanks to the lack of plantains. Colin Cowherd says that Rodney tries much harder with his fruit during the WBC than he does for the Rays.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.