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Rival Roundup, Vol. 34: Or, All These Chapped Men

If you’re here for chapped men, you’ve come to the right place.

2014 World Series: Game 2 San Francisco Giants v. Kansas City Royals Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images



  • Life comes at you fast. So has learned Aroldis Chapman, whose four straight All-Star appearances in the early-10s established him as a young legend of the game, as he set the all-time velocity record and provided something of a blueprint for bullpen development of the future. Traded by the Reds for a pack of absolute nobodies, Chapman would find his way onto the roster of the 2016 Chicago Cubs, win a championship, then return to the New York Yankees with a big deal in free agency.
  • How it’s going:
  • Having taken a step back regarding already-shaky control, a now-34-year-old Chapman coughed up an 88 ERA+ in his final 36.1 innings with New York last season, still striking out double-digit batters per nine, but with downward-trending velocity (still in a high percentile) and an increasing inability to locate. Chapman is still just a season removed from an All-Star appearance, but the seams are showing and he’s found his dwindling performance and disappointing personal conduct history (which now includes team-related transgressions) leaving him without major suitors.
  • Twins legend Craig Monroe will be spending more time broadcasting games for Bally Sports Detroit, Various St. Paul natives will no longer be part of the team; still, if you’re not listening to Dan Dickerson and Jim Price while taking in Tiger Town, there’s no hope for you.
  • If you don’t quite feel old enough yet, here’s a great amateur acquisition to accomplish just that.
  • Guardians manager Terry Francona was named the most handsome American League manager, in a plainly biased trial. Apparently his face is most in line with the “Golden Ratio,” to which I say, your mom is most in line with the Golden Ratio. Buck Showalter purportedly leads the majors in facial symmetry.
  • In slightly more relevant Terry Francona news, the Guardians have essentially given Tito their full confidence these days, and are treating his contract with the team less like a binding legal agreement and more like an open invitation to the dugout for as long as Francona remains both healthy and interested. Francona indicated the organization’s approach was less of a negotiation and more geared toward making sure the future Hall of Famer has what he needs to be successful.
  • Circling back to the Royals, I think many thought Zack Greinke was on the verge of hanging it up when he reunited with the team upon which he started his HOF-worthy career. But Greinke hasn’t retired yet, and after putting up another solid season — his best by ERA+ since his last All-Star campaign in 2019 — the 39-year-old might not be done yet. What’s more, he might be one of a few in the select club of players who come home at the end of their career, only to head back out again.

Consider your rivals rounded. See you next week!