Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
It's my 10½th anniversary today. Not sure what that is. Tin-plated steel I guess. Had to spend much of it at work, unfortunately - which at least allowed me to avoid the gridiron smack talk infesting Twitter - but did manage to dig up some of the best non-Upton links of the past week for your enjoyment.
- [MLB.com] Bernie Pleskoff: Didi Gregorius is D-backs' shortstop of the future - Mentioned elsewhere - first by gurub - but it's definitely worth a proper mention: "At the time of the trade, many D-backs fans voiced displeasure with losing highly touted pitcher Trevor Bauer for the lesser-known Gregorius... However, I firmly believe that once D-backs fans watch Gregorius play, they will understand how valuable he can be to their club. The most compelling part of Gregorius in the field is his incredible range to all directions. His first-step speed, quickness and instincts take him to places few shortstops reach."
- [Bloguin[ Is an extension for Aaron Hill practical for the Diamondbacks? - "I don't think a contract extension between Aaron Hill and the Diamondbacks is going to get done, at least before the season. If Hill has a great first half though, I can definitely see the Diamondbacks perhaps trying a bit harder to get things done, but by that time, Hill and his agent Casey Close will be seeing dollar signs. There are just too many factors at work when it comes to Aaron Hill to think that an extension between him and the Diamondbacks is imminent, let alone practical for either party."
- [dbacks.com] D-backs' sponsors have quite a ball thanks to team president Derrick Hall - "The emcee was Derrick Hall, the club president, who dressed up as Elvis, complete with gold robe and big, dark glasses, and who imitated Frank Sinatra, singing his own adapted lyrics of "My Way" to a crowd full of corporate sponsors: "And now, the end is near. Your contract's up. Last year together ... Through it all, this is baseball. We want you to stay." You might say you can't make this stuff up, except that Hall did."
- [HardballTimes] What is the Diamondbacks’ plan? - Another one, this time Fanshot by shoewizard: "The Diamondbacks had an opportunity to make a few specific moves to fill a few specific holes this offseason, but instead made one arbitrary move after another in a disjointed attempt to add talent without addressing the specific needs of their team. "
- [dbacks.com] D-backs fantasy camp had a special meaning for Gilbert police officers - Lt. Eric Shuhandler could not wait to tell his fellow Gilbert police officers about his experience at D-backs Fantasy Camp... Clyde Allred said. "I just sat there and listened." Shuhandler attended the camp in January 2009 and was planning on doing it again in 2011. Unfortunately, he never got the chance. On Jan. 28, 2010, Shuhandler was shot and killed while executing a traffic stop.
- [AP] Schilling's bloody sock going up for auction - Or, at least a bloody sock. As the story explains: "The bloody sock is one of two that sent Schilling into the annals of baseball lore in 2004. The other was from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, when Schilling pitched against the New York Yankees with an injured ankle. That sock is said to have been discarded in the trash at Yankees Stadium. The one being sold is from the second game of the World Series."
- [Baseball Prospectus[ Pebble Hunting: Baseball's Greatest Hoax - I Tweeted this out during the week, bit case you missed it. "It's not a cruel joke. It's the biggest hoax in the history of Major League Baseball, a hoax so startling that it will make you rethink everything you know about the sport itself. If this hoax can be pulled off—and it was, for six years, at the sport's highest level and in full view of us all—what else are we not seeing? Or, rather, what else is Mark Reynolds not seeing. Because here's the truth: Mark Reynolds is totally blind."
- [Purple Row] What Miguel Batista means is, well, you probably don't want to know - "The Rockies signed Miguel Batista to a minor league contract, and he topples Erick Threets or Manny Corpas as the teams' most notable free agent pitcher signing this winter. What's sad for a team with as many pitching needs as Colorado is that there's probably a good chance it stays that way."
- [SunTimes.com[ White Sox add power arm Lindstrom to bullpen - "The 6-3, 220-pound Lindstrom, who turns 33 next month, touched 102 mph in a game while pitching for the Marlins at Pittsburgh's PNC Park in 2007 Lindstrom, who earned $3.6 million in 2012, fills a void left by the departure of Brett Myers. The Sox have not announced the deal, which is pending a physical."
- [ESPN] Pair of minor league catchers suspended 50 games - "Tampa Bay catcher David Wendt and free-agent catcher Bryan Henry have been suspended for 50 games each following positive tests under baseball's minor league drug program. The commissioner's office said Monday that each tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, a banned dietary supplement originally developed as a nasal decongestant. Henry split last year between Arizona's farm teams at Class A South Bend and Visalia, then was released. The 23-year-old hit a combined .237 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 114 at-bats."
- [florencefreedom.com] Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Night Announced - "On Thursday, May 23 the Freedom will be giving away the Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead to the first 1000 fans through the gates. "This will be the best kind of bobblehead a fan could get," Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson said. "Because now fans can make the bobblehead out to be whatever they want it to be." Yes Freedom fans, the boxes will be empty."
- [NBC Sports] Cubs planning $300 million Wrigley renovation - "The Chicago Cubs plan on restoring Wrigley Field, with or without the city's help. The team announced a five-year, $300 million plan to rebuild the Friendly Confines at the annual Cubs Convention on Saturday, and owner Tom Ricketts said his family is willing to foot the entire bill " Of course, paying for the shiny new spring training facility they blackmailed Mesa out of? Fuhgedabowtit!
- [al.com] Mobile baseball great Milt Bolling dead at age 82 - From our Double-A affiliate, a local icon also passed awy yesterday. "Hank Aaron Stadium, the home of the Mobile BayBears, is linked to the rest of the Port City by Bolling Brothers Boulevard. Earlier today, one of the namesakes of that street died. Milt Bolling, who went from Mobile to spend seven seasons playing baseball in the American League, died this morning at age 82 at Providence Hospital, his brother, Frank Bolling, said."
[Baseball Nation] Coming to a dugout near you: Interpreters! Assistant hitting coaches! - MLB is clearing the way for interpreters on the field during games, and an additional coach on the bench. We could perhaps have used that a bit more last year, when we had Takashi Saito on the roster: I suspect Montero can handle any interpretive duty needed with our Latin players. Still, nice they've made room for our new assistant hitting coach, Turner Ward, in the dugout.