Tommy Lasorda: “A-Rod ruined the game”

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Baseball survived the Industrial Revolution, the Civl War, segregation, gambling and multiple world wars. It survived societal paranoia brought on by the threat of nuclear annihilation. It survived the proliferation of countless leisure alternatives including the advent of radio, cinema, television and the Internet. It survived football which, according to most, was on the verge of killing it for at least the past couple of decades. Heck, it even survived Bowie Kuhn.

Yet here’s Tommy Lasorda, telling us that it’s all over:

 

Welp, it’s been nice all. But according to Tommy Lasorda, baseball is ruined. Thanks, A-Rod.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.