Hunter Pence rides around on a motorized scooter. So often, in fact, that last season the Giants handed out a bobblehead doll depicting Pence on his beloved scooter.
But some jerk stole the scooter Sunday night while Pence had it parked at a restaurant in California. He didn’t have it locked up because, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com: “The battery charger is rare and it wouldn’t do anyone any good to take it.”
Someone took it anyway and now Pence is offering a no-questions-asked signed bobblehead for anyone who returns it to him in one piece. And he really seems broken up about losing it:
It was one of my favorite things that I have. I’m grateful for stuff, but aside from my baseball equipment and my scooter, and maybe my laptop, there are not many (possessions) that I care about. … I try not to be too attached to things, even though I have a bobblehead with it. I felt it was an extension of me.
Or as manager Bruce Bochy put it: “He had a sad face on this morning. I’ve never seen that.”
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.