Crying can work for some players in trouble, not for others

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There’s no crying in baseball. Except for when there is. Take Everth Cabrera, who gave a teary mea culpa about his Biogenesis suspension. From Matt Calkins of the Union-Tribune, who believes that Cabrera’s contrition earned him a second chance.

Calkins says he was ready to submit a column reaming Cabrera to his editor, writing about how he was deader than vaudeville as far as Calkins was concerned. But then …

And then he talked.

The column was written, folks. It was a call to San Diego sports fans asking that they not let the Padres shortstop off the hook when he returns from suspension next year — that they hold the liar liable until true contrition appears.

And then he cried … after giving the most heart-felt sports apology I’ve ever seen, he also deserves a second chance.

Wow, good for Cabrera! And confidential to the other Biogenesis players: you may want to try this because I can only see this working to your advantage.

Oh, well. Maybe not all of you. I guess you only get one chance to play the crying card.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.