Today's B&B post looks at Hiroyuki Nakajima's flattering comment towards Athletics General Manager Billy Beane and the other GMs being rated in terms of sexiness, relief pitcher Sandy Rosario being treated like a hot potato by major league organizations, MLB's next step forward in introducing padded baseball caps to players for 2013, and what managers really say to umpires when they appear to be arguing a call on the field.
Happy holidays, everyone! We return back to our regularly scheduled Breakfast & Baseball after my little "episode" last week where I felt the compulsive need to write a meaningful blog entry for once.
Psst. This is when you're supposed to comment below, "But Bryz, EVERY Twinkie Town blog entry of yours is meaningful!"
May your stockings be full of pitchers with the talent of Rich Harden and the durability of Livan Hernandez. Surely that type of affordable pitcher is available somewhere... But first, a NotGraphs HOT GIF!
- The Oakland Athletics signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima earlier this week, and Nakajima is apparently a bit of a comedian. When asked why he signed with the A's, Nakajima responded through an interpreter that General Manager Billy Beane is "extremely sexy and cool," which in turn prompted Yahoo!'s Big League Stew blog to rank all 30 GMs in terms of sexiness. Good news, folks! Terry Ryan's in the top 30!
- Ever heard of relief pitcher Sandy Rosario? He's spent the past couple seasons with the Miami Marlins, mostly in Triple-A but has made some appearances in the majors, and now plenty of teams are getting to know him. That's because Rosario has changed organizations five times in this offseason alone. In order, he was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox from the Marlins. Next, he was traded from the Red Sox to the Athletics. Then he returned to the Red Sox as a waiver claim. He finally was claimed off waivers twice more, first by the Cubs and then by the Giants. Why the love/hate feelings for Rosario? Well, the pros are that he can throw in the mid-90s and has been excellent in the minor leagues, but in a limited sample has not shown very much in the majors from 2010-2012. Seems like teams view him as Triple-A filler, at least until somebody better needs his 40-man roster spot.
- Some pitchers are going to be trying out padded caps in the wake of Brandon McCarthy and Doug Fister being hit in the head by line drives late this past season. The article doesn't specify if the pitchers are going to try them out this offseason or during the regular season, but it sounds like players will get a choice of whether to play with the padded cap or a regular one by the time spring training rolls around (hence, I assume the players testing the new caps are doing so before February and March come around). I imagine that some are going to say the new caps are cumbersome and will affect their pitching, but I'm sure at least a few will admit that they'll feel safer with the padded caps. Also, in lieu of dragging up the massive David Wright helmet again (which I suppose I just did anyway), I'm going to go with this: I'm sure that had he been wearing the padded cap, Jose Canseco would have allowed one fewer home run to go over the fence in his career.
- Finally, most of us get a kick out of seeing managers argue with umpires, but the lighter side of these arguments occur when the manager has to defend a player or his team, even when he knows the umpire made the right call. Zach Meisel of MLB.com interviewed a few umpires to collect some stories of when managers came out to argue, and instead went a different route with their discussion. Basically, it sounds exactly like this Lou Piniella commercial from years ago, where he shouts at the umpire, "That was a great call.... but I've got a reputation to uphold!" Also, Tom Kelly makes an appearance in this article, so that basically makes this literature mandatory reading for all of us.