“Let them wear towels”

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ESPN has produced a documentary called “Let Them Wear Towels,” which is about the awful treatment women sports reporters received from athletes, teams, leagues and even media colleagues until way, way too damn recently.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I just read Alyson Footer’s column about it and I plan to see it as soon as I can.

Footer’s column is excellent, as rather than merely review the documentary, she goes interactive and tweets as if it were 1984 and she were trying to cover the beat under the stone age rules of the time. Given how most of our interaction with beat reporters is via Twitter these days it makes the awful treatment women received way more immediate than it might otherwise. We’ve sort of been conditioned to think of all documentaries as things chronicling a long-ago past and as such even the best ones tend to put a bit of distance between us and the subject matter. Footer’s tweets — and their footnotes, which explain that those were very real things which occurred — help get around that.

Oh, two other takeaways: (1) Footer’s use of the #deuce hashtag was fantastic. I won’t say why — go read it — but having spent a lot of time in spring training clubhouses, I will vouch for the particular awfulness of a clubhouse in the morning; and (2) the fact that Bowie Kuhn is in the Hall of Fame is an absolute atrocity. I mean it, every time I think I am clear about just how loathsome a human being he was, I’m given more evidence of his loathsomeness.

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.