This is basically the blog post I was born to write.
Major League Baseball is partnering with the dating website Match.com for fan pages that “allow the website’s users to connect with singles who are fans of particular clubs.”
In other words, I could go on Match.com and find all the female Twins fans and then we could go on a date to Target Field and be really sad about how horrible our team is. I specialize in sad dates anyway, so I might actually give it a try.
Here’s a quote from MLB Advanced Media executive vice president of revenue Noah Garden:
The Match.com conversation is one we’ve had on and off over the years to see if there’s something we could do together. The idea is put like people together with similar interest and passion. There’s still always room for more butts in the seats.
So it’s mostly another way for MLB to sell people tickets online, but still.
I’m sure plenty of people would want to date someone with the same favorite team, but I’ll bet even more people would want to date someone who doesn’t like their favorite team’s rival. So a way for, say, a Red Sox fan to rule out Yankees fans or a Brewers fan to rule out people who don’t drink paint thinner in parking lots before games might be an even better idea.
(Just kidding. I once dated a Brewers fan and she drank relatively little paint thinner on a day-to-day basis.)
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.