There is almost no baseball here, but Roger Angell is easily America’s best living baseball writer. Maybe best living or dead baseball writer. His receiving the Spink Award this year is icing on the cake, but the guy has been amazing forever. We will provide latitude to link to his non-baseball stuff when warranted. This is warranted.
Angell is 93 now. And this piece at The New Yorker is him contemplating age and mortality. And it’s a beautiful contemplation. Neither morose nor maudlin nor dismissive. He faces and considers aging and death in a matter-of-fact way that I hope I am able to when I am 20 or 30 years younger than he is now. Hell, I know 40-year-olds like me who don’t have any kind of a grasp on it. To see a 93-year-old wrestle with it as well as Angell does is just astounding and wonderful.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.