This video — sent to me by J. Freedom du Lac — has everything. Skinny Jim Thome. A home run with a bat flip. Bob Uecker. Happy Indians fans totally oblivious to the fact that they’re about to lose the World Series to the Braves in six games. It’s just a treasure.
But really the lesson here is how you have to stop me-first hot dogs like Jim Thome from doing things like flipping his bat early. Here the Mariners didn’t do that and look at the sort of baseball-ruining showboat he became over the next 17 years. It was a disgrace, frankly. If only someone had gotten in his face then and barked at him. Unfortunately, Gerrit Cole was only five-years-old at the time.
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.