Hi all. Bet you thought I’d disappeared permanently to some warmer climate. Don’t I wish. After an all-too-brief jaunt to the land where the only ice is in a glass, I’m back in the cold, damp state of New Jersey and ready to tell you about baseball.
In the first significant baseball move in weeks, the Braves added another senior citizen to their “rebuilding” program as they move into their new ball park. To go with pitcher R.A. Dickey they added Brandon Phillips of the Reds, who was once traded for Bartolo Colon who will be his teammate in Atlanta this season. Phillips, at 35 is younger than either Colon or Dickey. He was obtained for two minor leaguers when it became clear that second baseman Sean Rodriguez would miss significant time following an off-season car crash. That accident almost got mentioned in this forum when an errant report named Ivan Rodriguez as the crash victim. Phillips has been in the big leagues since 2002 between the Indians and the Reds. 3 times his name has appeared as an All-Star. The Raleigh native could reach 2,000 hits with a stellar season in 2017 which isn’t impossible. He’ll turn 36 in June. He’s a .275 hitter at this point. He was an Expos draftee, not many of whom are still around. The Expos sent him to Cleveland to get Colon in 2002. To get him the Braves will end up paying 13 of the 14 million he’s owed in this, the final year of his contract.
Meantime the Mets, who need every warm body that can pitch owing to their pitchers’ injury record let one of their warm bodies go. They sent righty pitcher Gabriel Ynoa to the Orioles for money. He became a Met at age 16 in 2009. In his major league debut in 2016 he picked up the one win he has by pitching a perfect 11th inning in New York against the Padres.
In a move made only hours ago, pitcher Travis Wood has been added to the Royals’ staff as they continue to look for reenforcements following the tragic death of Yordano Ventura. Wood, an Arkansas native turned 30 the day after the most recent Super Bowl. He pitched for the Reds in 2010 and 2011, then spent the last five seasons with the Cubs. After an All-Star season at Wrigley in 2013 he and his teammates picked up World Series rings in 2016 in a World Series which will never be forgotten-particularly game 7. Before that he had fired a no-hitter striking out 17 men in a Babe Ruth World Series contest. The Reds took him in round 2 of the 2005 draft right out of high school. The last two seasons he’s done his best work out of the Cubs’ bull pen, most notably hitting a home run in game 2 of the NLDS against the Giants.
In Yankee news, the Derek Jeter family are expecting a baby girl. Early_ speculation is that she might be named Alexa, in honor of Jeter’s longtime teammate Alex Rodriguez. Also, the former home of Lou and Eleanor Gehrig in New Rochelle, New York is on the market. When last sold in 2007 it went for some $600,000. If the movie “Pride of the Yankees” is to be believed, this is the home where, in a playful tussle Eleanor accidentally decked her husband not knowing how weak he was from his ALS, which had yet to be diagnosed.