Before covering anything else on this Thursday, I am pleased to present you Thursday Heat, written by Jesus Millan. As usual, this Floridian brings it right down the Alligator Alley, and the heat this week is up there with Aroldis Chapman’s heat.
“Today’s Heat focuses on the recent Suspension of Mets Pitcher Jenrry (pronounced Henry) Mejia borned in the Dominican Republic who failed 3 PED Drug tests to become the first player in MLB History to be banned for life folllowing the Anti-Drug Prevention Agreement. Mejia can apply for reinstatement in one year but must sit out two full seasons. My question that i ask is where was his Support System? His family, his agent, his teammates, his own countrymen. they could’ve prevented him from keeping on doing this drug that the whole baseball world has been talking about and trying to get rid of for 20 years. Most important of all, why didn’t he clean himself up and learn or talked to people like A Rod or Big Papi who went through that and came back strong? By failing 3 tests, He made 3 strikes. he deserves to be punished. It’s a sad story of a kid who could’ve been possibly a great pitcher, but that’s what happens when you take PEDs Ladies and Gentlemen.
I also want to honor Two great HOFers Rod Carew and Juan Marichal.
Rod’s Documentary Tuesday on MLB Network was truly an emotional one to watch. What he went through and still is going through is a miracle of God. He has survived 2 Heart Attacks and needs a heart transplant.
whenever you can, support
and go to the website of The American Heart Association for more information.
And finally a word about Juan Marichal. His numbers both traditionally and Sabermetrically
So excited for Spring Training by the way.
Stay active Baseball fans!!!!”
My only editorial concerning Millan’s post this week is, Juan Marichal has been suitably rewarded for his great work in baseball, in his home country if not here in the States. Just for starters, the stadium where the most recent Caribbean World Series is named in his honor. Also, he was the nation’s sports minister, which is similar to a United States cabinet post.
Among a throng of no-names, the Mets invited a young man to camp who isn’t a name yet, but they think he will be. His name is Dominic Smith. He’s a raw lad, he won’t be able to legally buy a beer until June. But Dominic David Rene Smith of Los Angeles was last year’s Florida State League Player of the Year, and that’s tough for a hitter to manage in that pitching-rich league. The parks are mostly spring training parks and as such have large dimensions. The wind, so prevalent during spring training tends to die along about June, and once it does it’s next to impossible to hit a home run through the almost palpable atmosphere. He was the Mets’ first pick, 11th overall in 2013 from high school. Had the Mets not signed him he was bound to play for the USC Trojans’ legendary college program. With St. Lucy he hit .305 with 79 rbis. His 6 home runs is less than the Mets would want from a first baseman but maturity and a more hitter-friendly park in AA Binghamton could do wonders for him. As it was, he used St. Lucy’s cavernous gaps to rack up 33 doubles in 2015.
Didi Gregorius is 26 today. After playing with the Reds and D-Backs, He was handed a job nobody wanted last year, as the Yankee shortstop to follow Derek Jeter. When he started the year hitting poorly and fumbling more balls than the New York Jets offense, he was roundly booed in the Bronx. But he had dealt with adversity before. He’d been hit in the head with a 93-mph heater, so what was a little booing? He bounced back nicely in the second half of the season, and now can look forward to throwing to a steady second baseman in Starlin Castro rather than the legion of futility who played second for the Yankees in 2015.
Walter Young was born this day in 1980 and died of a heart attack in 2015 at age 35. I remember him as a gigantic first baseman for the Hickory Crawdads, the Pirates’ South Atlantic League team just before I left baseball. He was big then, but when he got his cup of coffee with the Orioles in 2005 he came in at 322 pounds, the heaviest weight ever listed for an active major leaguer. After his cup, he spent 2006 in the minors, then took the independent ball rout. First he played for the Winnipeg GoldEyes, for whom he hit 21 home runs in a 90-game season. He spent parts of 2008 and 2009 with the Sioux City Explorers. Following his time with Sioux City, Young left baseball entirely and was working for the county sheriff’s department at the time of his death.
John Valentin is 49 today. He played shortstop for Seton Hall on their 1987 team with Mo Vaughn, Craig Biggio and Kevin Morton, all of whom made the majors. Only Clemson’s superior pitching and Auburn’s bats (Frank Thomas to name one,) kept the 1987 Pirates out of the College World Series. Both Vaughn and Valentin went to the Red Sox and had lengthy careers. Vaughn played for the Sox until his final year, 2002 when he played for the Mets. In 1994 he turned the 10th unassisted tripple play in big league history. He has been a hitting coach and manager in the Dodgers’ system since 2008.
Bruce Kison is 66 today. He was the winning pitcher in the first night World Series game ever played, in 1971. His Pirates won both the 1971 and 1979 World Series.
Manny Mota is 78 today. With the Dodgers he was one of baseball’s most feared pinch-hitters.
Luis Arroyo was born on this day in 1927 and passed away this past January 13. When the term “Closer” was unknown he saved many a game particularly for the 1961 Yankees. His was one of many names butchered by the famed Dizzy Dean who called him “Louis Aurora.”
Sherry Smith was born this day in 1891 and died in 1949. He and Babe Ruth dueled it out in what was the longest World Series game ever at the time, a 14-inning tilt in 1916. Since then it’s been matched in 2005 and 2015 but never bettered. Ruth’s Red Sox beat Smith’s Brooklyn Dodgers 2-1 that day on the way to the championship of that World Series.