Wow. Ten weeks of Rival Roundup. We did it. This is a victory for everyone — for me, for you, fearless reader, for our editor, and most of all, CEO Jim Bankoff. Thanks, Jimbo. You earned this one. It may be overkill, but I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you.
- It’s been a hot second since we’ve had a Tony La Russa update, but you may be interested to know that his DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving after a plea deal. It’s a big win for Hall of Fame baseball persons everywhere.
- As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the news finally came out of Ohio (by way of the New York Times.) The Cleveland club will spend the next year working out the logistics of a franchise overhaul, before changing their name permanently in 2022.
- Personally, I think the Spiders would be an awesome name with endless rebrand potential. Sure, most baseball fans’ knowledge of that organization only goes as far as the 1899 team that went 20-134, but that same team can also boast debuting Cy Young and having enjoyed him for longer than any other club.
- There’s technically no relationship between the OG Spiders and Cleveland’s team of today, but there’s a cool historical link and the nickname would be a unique entry into the American sports landscape. They could easily keep their color scheme, too — after all, a certain Mr. Parker has gotten pretty far on the red-and-blue spider ride.
- What’s most important is that the franchise picks a name that the fanbase is happy with — and it might wind up being something nobody’s thought of yet.
- Detroit fans are still waiting for their real lives to begin after after a quiet start to the free agency period, but never fear! The Tigers brought Ian Krol on board this week, a signing so newsworthy that Krol announced it himself.
- It’s a minor-league contract, the same sort of deal Krol signed with us in 2019. He ran an ERA over 5.00 that year, and hasn’t seen over 50 big-league innings in a season for about five years.
- Krol is familiar with the Tiger organization, having pitched there from 2014-2015. Full circle. My, my, my, it’s a beautiful world.
- I thought he might have been an interesting signing for the Twins in John’s article last week, but instead, veteran reliever Greg Holland will be heading back to the Kansas City Royals for another year.
Reliever Greg Holland has signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, sources tell ESPN. He’ll return to a bullpen that with Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow has a chance to be really good.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 14, 2020
- Holland is a member of the emerging class of veteran relievers enjoying newfound longevity in the league by changing their primary pitch to a breaking ball — more specifically, the slider, which is an offering that the Twins coaching staff has been productive with lately.
- It’s been an interesting road back for Holland, who was an All-Star immediately after Tommy John surgery, then had one of the more Jekyll-and-Hyde seasons of all time in 2018 (7.92 ERA with the Cardinals, 0.84 ERA with the Nationals — a 460-point ERA+ difference.) This will be Holland’s eighth year with the team that originally drafted him as a 10th-rounder.
Until we meet again...