Happy Dock Ellis Day

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Like Ten Cent Beer Night, this is another anniversary worthy of celebration: 43 years ago today Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while tripping on acid.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is something to mock for mocking’s sake or celebrate for celebration’s sake. Drug jokes are too easy and, at the risk of sounding like a square, athletes really shouldn’t be hurling baseballs at people while under the influence of mind-altering drugs. But I do admire it in “wow, it’s amazing the stuff that happens in this world.” It should never have happened, but it did and oh my God, what else is possible if that is possible? It’s kind of an exciting thought if you let go of your hangups about stuff for a few minutes.

Anyway, while a lot of people like to post that animated video of Ellis talking about his no-hitter, I think Todd Snider’s “American’s Favorite Pastime” is the greatest ode or remembrance of the event that there is, if only for the refrain of “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Ellis certainly fit that description.

Happy LSD no-hitter day, Dock Ellis. Wherever you are, I hope you’re doing the do.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.