Category Archives: MLB Jerseys

Jeff Twitty Jersey

Some romances are made for the theater; some are made in the theater.

Mary Carter’s Friday night plan was to to pick up a friend who worked at the Flick Theater in Jacksonville so they could cruise around Levy and hang out at Sonic.

The first time I saw my future spouse:

She says: “He was so nice-looking. I can honestly say I knew I was going to marry that man.”

He says: “She had long brown hair and she had some jeans on and had a really pretty face and really white teeth and she smelled good. All the check marks were there and everything was right.”

On our wedding day:

She says: “It was just the tender words my dad had said — he has since passed away and I was a big-time daddy’s girl. He was really glad I had chosen someone like Jeff and he knew he was going to take care of me.”

He says: “I was a senior in college and I actually had class that day. I got out of there by noon and hustled home and started getting ready for the wedding. I had a big honeymoon planned and things were looking good.”

My advice for a long happy marriage is:

She says: “Communication is super important. Don’t stay mad at one another. Life’s too short.”

He says: “You have to always communicate — talk to each other on a regular basis. Family values are really important. We were both Christian people and it’s important to be in church. It’s important to maintain family values and friendships.”

“I got there a little bit early, before my friend got off work. When I got there she said there was this guy she wanted me to meet,” says Mary, who was 17 in 1977.Cue the entrance of Jeff Twitty.

“Back in those days, they wore these three-piece leisure suits,” says Mary. “I’m actually a year and a half older than him but he looked much older in his suit. He walked in and I noticed him instantly.”

Jeff had a girlfriend, too, and they went to find seats in the theater.

“I didn’t know my girlfriend knew him but I said, ‘Now, if you want to fix me up with something, fix me up with something that looks like that.’ She just kind of laughed,” Mary says. “I said, ‘He’s got such a cute butt,’ which is so out of character for me. I don’t know why I said that — just girls being silly.”

Jeff circled back to the concession stand, where Mary and her friend were standing, to buy popcorn and drinks.

“As he turned to walk off my girlfriend said, ‘Hey, Jeff, my girlfriend thinks you’ve got a cute butt.’ I was mortified,” she says. “My face turned all red.”

Mary rushed from the theater lobby to her car in the parking lot. Jeff was unruffled.

“I just thought, ‘OK, that’s no big deal …’” he says. “But I liked the way she looked and I thought, ‘I’m going to have to check her out.’”

When Mary’s friend finished her shift she came out to Mary’s car.

“I said, ‘Why in the world would you do that? And why did you want to fix me up with your boss who has a girlfriend when there’s this cute guy that you work with?’ She said, ‘Well, he’s got a girlfriend, too,’ and I was like, ‘Well, he’s cuter than the other guy!’” she says. “Funny thing is, when she went back to work the next week, he had a thousand questions about me as well.”

Jeff, Mary learned, was the theater’s projectionist. He was the reason she saw every movie that ran over the next six months. He was also the reason she sometimes joined her friend at the pizza place next to the theater where theater employees hung out.

When Jeff broke up with his girlfriend, he called Mary. She was going to Greers Ferry Lake with her family, and he and a couple of his friends headed to the lake so he could spend some time with her.

“We just started talking and we’ve been together ever since,” she says.

On the night of their first date, Jeff had to change the movie marquee at 9 p.m. He left Mary with his aunt, a woman she hadn’t met, for 45 minutes before they went to dinner.

Mary was a speed skater so when they weren’t at the pizza place or the movie theater they were at the skating rink together, and they took trips to the lake when they could.

At the end of a date in March 1980, Jeff started talking about places he would like to go. His cousin had gone to the Pocono Mountains, he told Mary, and he wanted to go there on a honeymoon someday.

“I said, ‘Well, you’ll have fun.’ And he said, ‘You’ll have fun if you go with me,’” she says. “That was our proposal, I guess.”

They exchanged their vows on Feb. 27, 1981, in the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) Club on the Jacksonville Air Force Base, where Jeff’s mother worked.

“It was my fairy-tale wedding,” Mary says.

The fairy-tale wedding was followed by a fairy-tale honeymoon — in the Pocono Mountains.

Jeff is a Farmers Insurance agent in Jacksonville. Mary is a Jacksonville alderman. They have two sons — Brian of Jonesboro and Travis of Dallas.

The girl Jeff was dating when he met Mary has remained one of their closest friends over the years.

“She is a sweetheart,” Mary says. “She’s known to my kids as the ex-girlfriend, he’s known to her kids as the ex-boyfriend, but we’re all really good friends.”

The ex-girlfriend lives out of state now but she visits when she’s in town to see her family, and she has sent Jeff and Mary a Christmas ornament for each of the last 38 years.

“I have an ex-girlfriend tree,” Mary laughs.

Friends and family threw Jeff and Mary a surprise 25th anniversary party in the building that used to house the Flick Theater, now a venue called Unique Connection Center.

“If we make it to 50 and if this place is still standing,” Mary says, “I guess that’s where we’ll have to have our party.”

If you have an interesting how-we-met story or if you know someone who does, please call (501) 425-7228 or email:

Paul Powell Jersey

By Chris O’Brien
BU News Service

A jury ruled Thursday that a police officer did not violate a man’s civil rights after the officer impounded the man’s car on a traffic stop, despite the man claiming he was on his way to the hospital with chest pain and soon suffering from a heart problems.

The three-day trial concluded after just two hours of jury deliberation. The defendant stormed out of the courtroom following the reading of the jury’s decision.

On the morning of Feb. 2, 2017, Massachusetts State Police Officer Christopher Booth stopped Mark Harper on I-95 near North Attleboro for improper plates. Booth discovered Harper did not have registration for his Acura, which Harper said he had purchased just days prior, according to court documents.

“I thought it was Massachusetts law…I had seven days to register a car,” Harper testified Tuesday in court.

Harper had been driving from his home in Warwick, Rhode Island, to Boston Medical Center to seek treatment for severe chest pains, according to his testimony. Harper testified that during the traffic stop, he made Booth aware of his condition and asked for help multiple times.

Booth’s defense team denied that Harper made Booth or Officer Paul Powell, who came to assist shortly after Harper was pulled over, aware of his medical condition. The defense team argued that Harper had been combative, refusing to identify himself multiple times and refusing to exit the vehicle when officers requested he do so.

“Booth could have physically restrained or arrested Harper for failure to comply to a police officer but didn’t feel animosity towards Harper. Instead he used conflict resolution tools,” said Joseph Kittredge, Booth’s defense lawyer.

Booth called a tow truck to retrieve Harper’s car, as Harper was legally unable to drive without valid insurance or registration for the car. According to his testimony, Harper thought the tow truck would take him to the hospital. Instead, he was released at a nearby gas station in North Attleboro.

“I didn’t have a clue where I was at,” Harper said. “I felt angry. I felt disappointed…I didn’t know what to feel.”

Before approaching the gas station, Harper made a 911 call to the North Attleboro police. In the call, Harper mentioned that he was headed to the hospital, and that his car had been taken by state troopers.

Booth’s defense team stressed that it was “revealing” that Harper did not use his phone to call 911 when he was with the police. Harper said he did call emergency services at the gas station where he then collapsed.

“Before I got to the gas station, I blacked out,” Harper recalled. “The next thing I saw was the ambulance.”

Harper had undergone cardiac arrest and was taken to nearby Sturdy Memorial Hospital, according to court records.

Harper testified Tuesday that he has an extensive medical history, and has built a trust with and prefers the medical staff at Boston Medical Center, which is why he had intended to drive there that morning.

In his testimony, Harper alleged that he was given medication by doctors at Sturdy Hospital that gave him an allergic reaction, causing him to vomit. Harper’s legal team made the argument that this would not have happened with the doctors at Boston Medical Center that Harper knew and said he trusted.

Hernan Iribarren Jersey

Under the warm, clear skies at Louisville Slugger Field on Tuesday, 34-year-old Hernan Iribarren admitted he was thankful.

Thankful for the phone call he received from the Cincinnati Reds in mid-January. For the opportunity to return to the Louisville Bats as a player-coach, helping out in the batting cages, in the clubhouse, and occasionally on the field.

And for one last chance to play a game he called a “blessing.”

“It’s kind of a different role but I’ll be able to play and that’s great,” said Iribarren, who has already played 1,478 professional games across 14 seasons. “This is going to be my last year. … Hopefully we get a winning season here in Louisville.”

The Bats open the 2019 campaign Thursday. Louisville plays seven games on the road at the Toledo Mud Hens and then Columbus Clippers before returning to Slugger Field for the home opener on April 11 against the Gwinnett Stripers.
In his sixth year with the Triple-A Bats, Iribarren’s retirement tour will come during one of the more intriguing seasons in the franchise’s history.

More: Tebowmania is set to come to Louisville Slugger Field this summer

The team added new manager Jody Davis, a former longtime MLB catcher. The roster features several returners, as well as the addition of a handful of players with MLB experience. And they’re reaping the rewards of the Reds’ improved farm system, headlined by top prospect Nick Senzel, who will start in Louisville.

Meanwhile, off the field, the club is celebrating its 20th season at Louisville Slugger Field. And they’ll do so with a number of promotions, including mint julep-themed uniforms, a bobblehead dedicated to the Kizito Cookie lady, and improved food selection.

Iribarren, who ranks third in franchise history in hits, is hoping that all amounts to the perfect storm to help the team post its first winning season since 2011 and first playoff appearance since 2010.

“(Davis) is all about winning,” he said. “He knows we have to develop. But he made it clear, we’re here to win. Of course we want to get to the big leagues, but while we’re here, we’re going to try to win. … I think he’s going to be a great presence to bring a winning team to Louisville.”

Read this: When is Louisville Bats Opening Day? Everything you need to know

While Davis admitted that’s not the team’s No. 1 goal — it’s getting “all these guys to Cincinnati.” But after returning to Kentucky from the team’s spring training facility, he said Tuesday that his first impression of his new ball club is that they’re hungry.

“Everybody wants to win and when we put the uniform on and the umpires come out here, you’re trying to win the game,” said Davis, who was previously the Bats hitting coach in 2016-2017. “We’re here. We’re in Triple-A. We’re going to make the best of it and try to win.”

Outside of Iribarren, there will be a number of recognizable faces playing at Slugger Field in 2019. Of the 28 players listed on the team’s preliminary roster, 18 have MLB experience, and seventeen have played with Louisville before.

That latter number includes Senzel, who is ranked by MLB.com as the sixth-best prospect in the game. The 23-year-old outfielder is hoping his second season in Louisville goes better than his last. His 2018 was over by June thanks to a combination of vertigo, a fractured finger and bone spurs in his elbow.

This year is already off to a similar start. After competing for the Reds’ center field job in spring training, he was optioned to the minors despite batting .308 with six doubles and four stolen bases. His agent called the move an “egregious case of service-time manipulation.” The Reds said service time wasn’t a factor in their decision.

After his demotion, Senzel sprained his ankle sliding into second base during a minor league game. He’s in a walking boot while rehabbing at the team’s spring training facility in Arizona. He’s likely rejoin the Bats when he’s healed.

Davis said Tuesday that Senzel is “still a couple of weeks away” but that he’s making progress. While Senzel came up the system as a third baseman and second baseman, the plan is still to play him in center field when he returns.

“It’s really going to hurt not having him here to start,” Davis said. “You know when you’re completely shut down like he is, it’s going to take time. It’s time we don’t want to see him away but, you know, it’s baseball and we got to fight through it.”

Davis said the service time concerns “shouldn’t be a problem now” because of the injury. If Senzel spends 16 days with the Bats — a near-certainty after the injury — it will push back the year he’s eligible for free agency by one year.

“He’s really been unlucky the last two years,” Davis said. “Last year he was probably getting ready to be called up. This year, totally unfortunate. Shouldn’t be a problem now if we can get him healthy.”

Iribarren, who has been around the game a decade and a half, said that he sees the service time issue from both perspectives; he said it “sucks” for the players but that it’s smart for the team.

As for Senzel, for whom he has served as a mentor, Iribarren said he doesn’t expect him to be in Louisville long, mainly because of his confidence.

“It sucked that he got hurt but he’ll be okay,” Iribarren said. “He’s just going to come here for a short period of time and then go back and help the big league team.”

Davis and Iribarren pointed to a number of other players to watch on the team.

You may like: Louisville baseball scores eight unanswered runs, beats rival Kentucky

Toru Murata Jersey

It’s always fun to keep an eye on familiar players who’ve taken their talents across the pond. Now that the 2019 season is in the books, it seemed an opportune time to check in. Numerous former big leaguers and others of note are playing abroad, many of them thriving in Asia’s top leagues.

We’ve seen foreign stints help spur big league revivals from quite a few players. Eric Thames, Miles Mikolas, and Chris Martin are among those that played significant roles in the 2019 MLB campaign. Whether any of the players covered below will do so remains to be seen, but there’s certainly a path.

We started by looking at position players and pitchers in South Korea’s Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) before turning to the hitters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Remember, teams in these leagues face limits on the number of non-native players they can carry on a roster. That creates a lot of pressure to secure big production from those roster spots, which often spurs mid-season change.

Here’s a 2019 wrap on the NPB’s hurlers from abroad …

The Saitama Seibu Lions slugged their way to the best record in the Japan Pacific League, but they got some of their best innings from imported pitchers. Former Dodgers and Athletics righty Zach Neal turned in 100 1/3 innings of 2.87 ERA ball after spending some time with their minor league affiliate early on. He could be eyeing a return to the Majors, though a 4.6 K/9 rate in Japan is a red flag even if it’s accompanied by a pristine 1.3 BB/9 mark. Righties Kyle Martin and Deunte Heath, who had quite brief stints with the Red Sox and White Sox, respectively, helped the Lions as well. Martin notched a 3.67 ERA in 41 2/3 innings (albeit with 28 walks), while Heath chipped in 31 1/3 innings of 3.73 ERA ball and averaged 9.8 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9.
Mariners fans surely remember Cuban-born lefty Ariel Miranda, who started 40 games for them from 2016-18. Now 30, Miranda tossed 86 innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and notched a respectable 4.19 ERA in a hitter-friendly league, though he carried an unsightly 58-to-48 K/BB ratio. Dutch righty Rick van den Hurk hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2012, having carved out a career between the KBO and NPB. He only pitched 17 2/3 innings for the Hawks this season but turned in a 3.12 ERA and a terrific 22-to-2 K/BB ratio. Given his track record there — 3.50 ERA in nearly 500 NPB innings — the 34-year-old could be in Japan to stay. The Hawks also enjoyed 57 2/3 innings of 3.90 ERA ball from Japanese-born southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada, who was with the Cubs from 2014-15 before returning to Japan. At 38 years of age, he’s still chugging along.
Former Twins righty Alan Busenitz and former Indians righty Frank Herrmann formed a dominant setup combo for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Busenitz chipped in 51 frames with a 1.94 ERA with 7.9 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. Herrmann’s 3.04 ERA and 49-to-16 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings hardly went unnoticed, either. Herrmann will turn 36 early next season, but Busenitz is still just 29.
The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters didn’t benefit much from former big leaguers, as right-hander Johnny Barbato struggled through 32 innings. Avid Indians fans may remember right-hander Toru Murata, who pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Tribe in ’15 after spending several years in their minor league system. He chipped in 34 innings with a 3.18 ERA but walked nearly as many hitters (21) as he struck out (22). Former Cubs righty Justin Hancock tossed seven innings but was hit hard. Padres diehards may remember minor league righty Bryan Rodriguez, who tossed 91 1/3 innings of 3.25 ERA ball for the Fighters.
Left-hander Andrew Albers, formerly of the Twins and Mariners, was dominant for the Orix Buffaloes in 2018 but took a step back with a 5.83 ERA in in 63 1/3 innings. The Buffaloes, however, received a seventh strong season from perhaps forgotten Cardinals righty Brandon Dickson, who posted a 3.03 ERA in 35 2/3 frames and has racked up 856 innings of 3.32 ERA ball since first signing with the Buffaloes back in 2013. Orix also picked up former Pirates prospect Tyler Eppler prior to the 2019 season, and after spending some time with the Buffaloes’ minor league club, he emerged with a 4.02 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 31 1/3 innings.
The 2019 Yomiuri Giants received innings from four former big league pitchers: Taylor Jungmann, Rubby De La Rosa, Scott Mathieson and Ryan Cook. Jungmann struggled to an ERA just over 6.00 in 44 1/3 innings, while De La Rosa fared best (2.25 ERA in 25 innings). Mathieson, now 35, was limited to 22 2/3 innings of 4.37 ERA ball but has been a consistently impressive presence in the Giants’ bullpen since 2012 (2.46 ERA, 54 saves in 431 frames). Cook tallied just 15 innings and surrendered eight runs.
Lefty Edwin Escobar’s biggest claim to fame in affiliated stateside ball might’ve been being included in a trade for Jake Peavy, but the 27-year-old has become a force in Japan. In his third season overseas, he turned in 75 1/3 innings of 2.51 ERA ball with 10.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 for the second-place Yokohama DeNa BayStars. Former Cubs righty Spencer Patton took a step back after a dominant 2018 with the BayStars, tossing 36 2/3 innings but posting a 5.15 ERA. He did rack up 45 punchouts in that time. And former Nats lefty Sammy Solis made a brief 2019 cameo with the Yokohama club as well, tossing 4 1/3 innings with one run allowed.
Right-hander Randy Messenger, of mid-2000s Marlins/Giants/Mariners fame, has become one of NPB’s best starters but struggled a bit in his age-37 season (4.67 ERA in 79 innings). But with more than 1600 innings of 3.13 ERA ball in a decade’s worth of time in Japan, he’s left a legacy with the Hanshin Tigers and been compensated handsomely for his efforts. The Tigers also received 103 2/3 innings of 4.69 ERA ball from righty Onelki Garcia, who tossed a combined 7 1/3 innings between the Dodgers and Royals in MLB. Hanshin was also a who’s-who of former Cubs, with righties Pierce Johnson, Kyuji Fujikawa and Rafael Dolis logging significant time. Johnson was brilliant, notching an immaculate 1.38 EA with 14.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 58 2/3 frames. Fujikawa (1.77 ERA) and Dolis (2.11 ERA) split closing duties and combined for 35 saves in 111 1/3 innings (both split almost evenly).
Former big league righties Casey Lawrence (Mariners) and Johnny Hellweg (Brewers) made extremely fleeting appearances with the Hiroshima Carp, who boasted perhaps the most impactful foreign pitcher in the league: lefty Kris Johnson. The former Twins/Pirates hurler has been flat-out dominant in five seasons with the Carp, totaling 756 1/3 innings with a 2.54 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 since making the jump. He’ll turn 35 next week, but it’s perhaps worth noting that the former Sawamura Award winner’s record contract is expiring.
Remember situational lefty Enny Romero? He’s not only starting games for the Chunichi Dragons, he’s doing so fairly well. In 116 frames this year, he posted a 4.26 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9. Fellow southpaw Joely Rodriguez, who spent parts of two seasons with the Phillies, overwhelmed NPB hitters with a 1.64 ERA, 11.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 55 2/3 frames out of the Dragons’ pen. Even Daisuke Matsuzaka — yes, that Daisuke Matsuzaka — tossed 5 1/3 innings with the Dragons at the age of 39, but he didn’t fare well. To this point, however, he’s announced no plans to retire.
Lastly, the Yakult Swallows had five former big leaguers suit up for them: righty David Buchanan, right-hander Scott McGough, southpaw David Huff, righty Ryota Igarashi (blast from the past!) and right-hander Albert Suarez. Buchanan paced the group at 99 2/3 innings, though his 4.79 ERA wasn’t much to behold. McGough notched 11 saves and a 3.15 ERA, however, while Huff continued his strong overseas career with a 3.97 ERA. Igarashi is still going strong with a 2.98 ERA at age 40, and Suarez yielded just three runs in 17 2/3 innings.

Dave Skaugstad Jersey

#16: Dave Skaugstad at 17 Years, 8 Months and 15 Days

Beginning his career as a 17-year-old on September 25, 1957, Dave Skaugstad appeared off to a promising start as a big league hurler.

Pitching four innings of relief in a loss to the Chicago Cubs, Skaugstad allowed three hits, three walks and no runs. He would make only one more appearance in the next week, but then never again pitched in the majors.

Skaugstad pitched several more years in the minor leagues before retiring from the game in 1965.

#15: Rod Miller at 17 Years, 8 Months and 12 Days
Making his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 28, 1957, Rod Miller struck out in his lone at bat as a pinch hitter.

He would play three more seasons in the minor leagues before retiring from baseball in 1960.

#14: Jim Pagliaroni at 17 Years, 8 Months and 5 Days
Earning his big league debut as a catcher August 13, 1955, Jim Pagliaroni was the youngest backstop to see Major League action in baseball’s modern era. As a 17-year-old, he swatted a sac fly in one plate appearance in an 18-9 loss to the Senators.

Pagliaroni wouldn’t see the big leagues again until 1960, when he stuck as a big league catcher for the next 10 seasons.

In 849 games, mostly with the Red Sox and Pirates, as well as short stints with the A’s and Seattle Pilots, Pagliaroni hit .252 with a .751 OPS, hitting 90 home runs with 326 RBI.

Al Platte Jersey

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he and his office have reviewed 75,000 emails relating to the Houston Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal. They have interviewed at least three current major league managers, an untold number of players and dozens of major league personnel overall.Al Platte

All that gumshoe work may not inform the commissioner’s impending punishment of the Astros than 19 words he put forth on Sept. 15, 2017:

“All 30 Clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be Al Platte subject to more serious sanctions.”

This proclamation came in the wake of a groundbreaking sign-stealing scandal involving the Red Sox, an Apple Watch and the home video room at Fenway Park.

So when Manfred slapped the Red Sox on the wrist, he accompanied the fine with a missive to every major league club, that sign-stealing is cool but, he reminded, “no such (electronic) equipment may be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Club an advantage.’”

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Yet there went the Astros, just a week after this pointed Manfred memo was circulated, banging away in a relatively meaningless late-September game against the Chicago White Sox, their video camera-laptop-trash can system apparently in midseason form. With any luck, MLB’s investigation will reveal the extent of the Astros’ shenanigans that postseason, when they went 8-1 at Minute Maid Park and won the World Series.

The bill for thumbing their nose at the commissioner is about to come due.

Manfred’s office is soon expected to announce penalties resulting from the Astros’ alleged scheme. It appears the Astros cooperated with the investigation, which is wise, since they say the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

But if there’s anything worse than a cover-up, it is blatantly flouting your czar’s edict handed down just days earlier.
Al Platte
The result may be, at least temporarily, an Astros organization that looks a lot different than it did just 10 weeks ago.

Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman is already gone, fired under pressure from the commissioner’s office after a profane, bizarre and misogynistic diatribe toward media members that the organization initially denied before stumbling through an awkward contrition that spanned most of the World Series.

Now, general manager Jeff Luhnow, architect of the franchise’s teardown and subsequent buildup into a near-dynasty, among the game’s most influential figures by ushering the analytics era into a bolder but also colder stratosphere, is in the cross hairs.

Lefty James Jersey

Entering the day, there were more than 150 players on the clock to exchange arbitration figures with their respective teams prior to a noon ET deadline. As one would expect, there’ll be an utter landslide of arbitration agreements in advance of that deadline. We already ran through some key facts and reminders on the arbitration process earlier this morning for those who are unfamiliar or simply need a refresher on one of MLB’s most complex idiosyncrasies, which will hopefully clear up many questions readers might have.

We’ll track the majority of the American League’s settlements in this post and split off a separate one for NL settlements as well. Note that all projections referenced come courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz:

The Yankees have worked out deals with all of their eligible players. The team has a hefty $8.5MM pact with Aaron Judge, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Backstop Gary Sanchez settled for $5MM, per Feinsand (via Twitter). The New York org will pay righty Luis Cessa $895K and Jonathan Holder $750K, Murray reports (Twitter links). Fellow reliever Tommy Kahnle will earn $2.65MM, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). And star lefty James Paxton has settled at $12.5MM, Heyman adds via Twitter. Chad Green and Jordan Montgomery have also agreed to terms, but the prices aren’t known.
The Twins announced that they struck deals with Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton. Buxton earns $3.075MM, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter).
Shortstop Carlos Correa settled with the Astros for $8MM, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (via Twitter). Righty Brad Peacock lands at a $3.9MM salary, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The former went for more than his $7.4MM projection, while the latter ended up shy of the $4.6MM mark produced by the computers.
The Orioles have a deal with outfielder/first baseman Trey Mancini, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. It’s for $4.75MM, per Dan Connolly of The Athletic (via Twitter), well south of the $5.7MM projection.
Outfielder Jorge Soler has agreed to a $7.3MM deal with the Royals, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets. That’s well off of the $11.2MM that MLBTR’s model projected, though it is likely that the cause of the gulf lies in the interpretation of the correct baseline to start from in building Soler’s salary. He’s in the 4+ service class but had been playing on the original deal he signed out of Cuba.
The Tigers have a deal in place with southpaw Matthew Boyd, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). It’ll pay him $5.3MM, per Chris McCosky of the Detroit News (Twitter link). That falls comfortably below the $6.4MM, suggesting that Boyd’s camp was concerned with the way his suboptimal ERA would play in the arb process. Fellow lefty starter Daniel Norris will earn $2.96MM, McCosky tweets.
Earlier Settlements

Carlos Rodon ($4.45MM) and Nomar Mazara ($5.56MM) each have deals with the White Sox, per Robert Murray (Twitter links). The former was projected at $4.5MM after an injury limited season, making for an expectedly light raise on his $4.2MM salary from the prior campaign. The latter, recently acquired from the Rangers, comes in just under the $5.7MM the MLBTR model projected. The Chicago organization also announced that it has agreed to terms with infielder Leury Garcia for $3.25MM and righty Evan Marshall for $1.1MM.
The Angels have a $900K deal in place with righty Noe Ramirez, per Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).
Recently acquired Indians outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. will play for $1.875MM, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (via Twitter).
Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones will play for $1.575MM, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).
Righty Buck Farmer will earn $1.15MM from the Tigers, Robert Murray reports on Twitter.
The Rays will pay righty Oliver Drake $1.025MM, according to Murray (via Twitter). Infielder Daniel Robertson will play for the same rate, per John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter).
The White Sox signed closer Alex Colome to a one-year deal worth $10.5325MM, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. A free agent next winter, Colome had been projected to earn $10.3MM. Chicago also settled at $1.1MM with righty Evan Marshall, per Robert Murray. He was projected at $1.3MM.
Infielder Gio Urshela and the Yankees agreed to a $2.475MM that tops his $2.2MM projection, tweets Murray.
The Rangers agreed to deals with Joey Gallo ($4.4MM) and Danny Santana ($3.6MM), Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (Twitter links). Murray adds that righty Rafael Montero gets $785K from Texas. Gallo bested his $4MM projection, while Santana fell shy of his $3.9MM projection and Montero cam in south of his $900K number.
Right-hander Nick Wittgren and the Indians are in agreement on a one-year, $1.125MM deal that checks in a bit south of his $1.3MM projection, per Murray.
The Mariners agreed to terms with outfielders Mitch Haniger ($3.01MM) and Mallex Smith ($2.35MM), tweets Murray. Haniger’s salary is a near-exact match with his $3MM projection, though Smith clocks in a bit south of his $2.7MM figure.
Right-hander Chris Devenski and the Astros settled on a $2MM salary that aligns perfectly with his $2MM projected salary, tweets Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
The Angels and infielder Tommy La Stella agreed to a $3.25MM deal that tops his $2.9MM projection, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Orioles infielder Hanser Alberto will be paid $1.65MM in 2020, tweets Joe Trezza of MLB.com. He was projected at $1.9MM.
The Twins and right-hander Tyler Duffey agreed to a $1.2MM deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North radio. That’s $100K north of his $1.1MM projection in the first of three trips through arbitration.
Southpaw Andrew Heaney and the Angels agreed on a $4.3MM salary, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. That’s quite a bit shy of the flat $5MM he was projected to earn on the heels of an injury-shortened campaign. A Super Two player, Heaney will be arb-eligible once more next winter.
Infielder/outfielder Chad Pinder and the Athletics settled on a one-year, $2.025MM deal, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. That tops the $1.8MM at which he was projected in his first year of eligibility.
The Orioles and righty Mychal Givens settled at $3.225MM, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. It’s nearly a dead match with the $3.2MM projection of Givens, who’ll be arbitration-eligible once more next winter before hitting free agency after the 2021 season.
Outfielder Hunter Renfroe and the Rays agreed to a $3.3MM deal, tweets Nightengale. That checks in $100K south of the $3.4MM projection for Renfroe, who’ll be arb-eligible three more times.
Nightengale also tweets that the Blue Jays and Matt Shoemaker agreed to a $4.2MM contract, topping his $3.8MM projection by a sum of $400K. He’ll be a free agent next winter.
The Indians and outfielder Tyler Naquin settled at $1.45MM, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. He falls shy of his $1.8MM projection in the first of three trips through arb.
Righty Matt Barnes and the Red Sox have agreed to a $3.1MM deal, also via Feinsand. He was projected to earn $3MM as a second-time-eligible player. Nightengale adds that right-hander Heath Hembree and the Sox agreed to a $1.6125MM deal, which nearly matches his $1.6MM projection.
The Rays and righty Tyler Glasnow agreed to a $2.05MM salary for the upcoming season, MLBTR has learned. That salary clocks in north of his $1.9MM projection. As a Super Two player, Glasnow will be eligible for arbitration thrice more.
The Angels have agreed to a one-year pact with right-hander Keynan Middleton that’ll pay him $800K, tweets Robert Murray. That’s an exact match with the projection for Middleton, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 but returned to the mound in 2019.
Righty Sam Tuivailala and the Mariners agreed to an $800K salary for the upcoming season, tweets Murray. He was projected to earn $900K after returning from 2018 surgery to repair a tear in his Achilles tendon.

Bruce Konopka Jersey

Rowing as if they were made for this, the Penn Varsity Lightweights went hell-for-leather off the start into the strong headwind, built a huge lead, and then held on to claim their first win in the Varsity Eight since Gerald Ford was president. Perhaps more surprising than the win was the fact that the Quakers did it out of Lane 6; a monumental win, soup to nuts.

One person who was not necessarily surprised was Penn coach Colin Farrell. “I think this was a year where it seemed any team could win it,” he said. “It was really competitive all year, and you saw that this morning in the heats. We came here to try to win the race; that was our goal the whole year. I don’t think what the other teams are doing today really changed our approach. We made some adjustments after the heat, they did a really good job executing it.”

Like Gladstone, Farrell paid tribute to the dynamic in leading to the day’s results. “I came to Penn to try to change the culture here and help this team get to the top, so it’s the day we’ve been working to for five years,” said Farrell. “At some point, it may hit me that we actually did it, but it’s been the mission all along.”

Perhaps fittingly, Penn was racing in the “Bruce Konopka ’78″ today; Konopka, the longtime coach of the Penn Lights, was in the boat the last time Penn won the event.

It’s almost a cliché by now, but the EARC Lightweight league is so deep that, if you are not on your toes, you can be out of the game pretty quickly. Cornell, the top-seeded Varsity eight, was on the wrong end of a four boat canvas finish in the heats and was relegated to the petite final, along with 5-seed Harvard.

On the clock, the Cornell lights posted a slightly faster time in the Petite than Penn did in winning the Grand 15 minutes later, so the duels for lightweight supremacy are likely to go another round at the IRA.

In a collegial move in a very collegial league, the Cornell lights were quick to give Penn (and Cornell alum Farrell) their due.

Cornell won the Lightweight 2V, and after the racing, Cornell assistant coach Bill Brumsted reflected on the challenges of preparing athletes for racing in a league where the racing is so deeply competitive.

“I think getting the athletes to wrap their heads around the reality of the level of competition is always a challenge, even when you’re having a successful regular season,” said Brumstead. “You need a systematic approach, and I would say we still tweak it on a year to year basis based off of what we see as opportunities. Definitely a challenging league to be a part of. And rewarding.”

The lightweight 2V trophy is officially named the “Cornell Trophy,” so whenever Cornell wins the 2V there’s extra mirth on the podium.

Despite not winning an event outright, the Yale lights threw down three silver-medal finishes to claim the Jope Cup for lightweight points.

“This is pretty full circle for me, we won this is 2016, my freshmen year,” said Yale captain Matt Matejka. “Especially after last year when we were not near this cup, to finish this year with what I believe is the deepest team we ever had, is incredibly special. Every boat did their job to get these points. Penn drove hard after us in every event all day, and we did our job to hold them off. Every one of our athletes medaled today, either gold or silver.”

Did the raging headwind make things even more difficult for the lightweights? Not everyone thought so. “I’d say it’s a myth,” said Navy’s Matthew Pentaleri, stroke of Navy’s winning Lightweight 3V. “Keep it high, and blade in, blade out, hang on it, and then it’s just a pretty simple sport.”

Yale claimed the lightweight 4V, and Harvard the 5V.

Si Johnson Jersey

There is no joy in Mudville these days. Yes, Mighty Casey has struck out. But that story continues to live in a slightly different way in Norway, Sheridan, Newark, or Marseilles.

They still remember the name, Silas Johnson of Sheridan and a true story often confused. One mention at his alma mater Newark High School or a gaze at a plaque, Si Johnson is the last pitcher to strike out the famous Babe Ruth.

In researching baseball box scores, Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Si Johnson was not the last man to strike out the immortal Babe Ruth, record owner of 714 home runs.

So how did Clifford uncover a dusty mystery?

Another inaccuracy, the 40 year-old Ruth did not retire the following day after facing Johnson. It took another four days and a sore knee.

That is when pitcher Syl Johnson struck out Babe in a May 29th, 1935 game.

This Johnson’s name was spelled S-Y-L, not S-I. He also was from Portland, Oregon, not Sheridan.

With the discovery came the announcement. Clifford remembers that Sheridan talk well.

But here’s where the local Johnson did accomplish something amazing. Twenty-four hours earlier, the baseball world buzzed…

…when Babe Ruth clobbered three homers in one game, one homer flying a record 600 feet out of Forbes Field. Homers 712, 713, 714.

Then the next day Si Johnson of Sheridan took to the pitching mound for the Reds.

He struck out Babe Ruth three times that May 26th,1935 game. Over 24,000 fans witnessed it at Crosley Field on of all moments…Babe Ruth Day.

So in truth, Si Johnson was the last man to strike out Babe three times in one game.

In his 1993 interview with Sports Illustrated, Johnson said the Babe just wasn’t the same hitter that day. He said he threw Ruth all fast balls down the middle. Ruth’s bat was slower. Johnson was even hoping Ruth would hit one out.

Besides Sports Illustrated, two baseball hall of famers, broadcaster Harry Caray and sports writer Jerome Holtzman also gave life to the last-man-to-strikeout Babe Ruth legend.

So, buy me some peanuts and cracker jack…throw me that pine tar and rosin bag and let’s play two.

Click below to hear Mark Harrington’s full radio story:

Johnson graduated from Newark High School and lived Sheridan. He played semi-pro baseball for the Marseilles Merchants.

Si Johnson was called to the majors at age 18. He won 101 games, pitching more than 2,000 innings in 272 games, 108 complete contests, over 17 seasons with Cincinnati, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and the Boston Braves.

He was the season opening day starting pitcher five times (losing all five) for the Cincinnati Reds. In two straight games, he threw a one-hitter. During his one minor league days for the Rock Island Islanders, the right-hander struck out 19 batters in one game and won 11 straight games. In a major league game, he once had four hits. At age 39, he started the season 8-2 with his all-time best 2.76 ERA.

A player of firsts:

* He was a spring training holdout for $7,500 season pay in clash with team owner Branch Rickey and Judge Landis, MLB Baseball Commissioner. He won.

* On the field for the first night game in MLB history,

* First MLB team road trip travelling by airplane.

* On first team to go to spring training (Puerto Rico) outside the U.S.

* In 1948, he earned a World Series ring with Boston Braves as a coach.

* Of two seasons, Johnson set the National League high for losses at 19 and at 22.

FINDING SI JOHNSON

You can see Si Johnson photos and memorabilia at the Rowe Library in Sheridan, the Norway Store in Norway, the Sheridan Museum, and the Norway Museum.

Go online and type in Babe Ruth in the search box. Go to the Baseball Reference link. Go to Standard Batting. Click on BSN. Then click on game logs (near bottom of page), then to May 26 and 29. There will the boxscores for Ruth’s batting, the pitching line for Si Johnson (May 26) and Syl Johnson (May 29)

Thanks to Matthew Clifford’s researchers: sons Jacob, Thomas, Joseph.

Freddie Benavides Jersey

MONTERREY, Mexico – The Reds departed on their road trip to Mexico on Thursday afternoon, but it turned into a quasi-homecoming for bench coach Freddie Benavides.

For Saturday’s series opener at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey, Benavides was expecting around 20 family members in the crowd. Benavides grew up in Laredo, Texas, and still lives there in the offseason. It’s about 140 miles from Monterrey, so his wife and two daughters made the drive to see him on Friday’s off day.

Some of his wife’s relatives are from Reynosa, Mexico, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Monterrey. Benavides distributed his allotment of tickets and other relatives bought their own tickets to Saturday’s game.

“It’s good to get close to home,” Benavides said. “I didn’t get to go home. I didn’t want to deal with the traffic and stuff going back and forth. It’s good to get some family I haven’t seen in a while. It’s good.”

Acting manager Freddie Benavides fills in for suspended Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell (25) in the third inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The Reds led 4-0 after five innings. (Photo: Sam Greene)

Benavides is in his sixth season on the Reds’ major league staff. He managed Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins while David Bell served a one-game suspension. He was the club’s infield coach in 2014-15 and the first-base coach from 2016-18.

It was Benavides’ first trip to Monterrey in several years and he was blown away by how much it’s changed. His paternal grandmother was originally from Monterrey.

“I came for a wedding back in the day, but I haven’t been over here in a long, long time,” he said. “This has really changed since I’ve been here.”

The best part of the schedule for Benavides’ family was Friday’s off day, which allowed Benavides and his relatives to spend a lot of time together.

“It’s beautiful,” Benavides said. “We went out sight-seeing. My daughter had an itinerary for us yesterday, so we went out sight-seeing and different places. It was really fun.”

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos was the only Mexican-born player on either team. He represented Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Gallegos told MLB.com that the Mexico Series in Monterrey was a great opportunity for kids to watch games because they don’t have an opportunity to watch in the U.S.

Benavides said his family had the trip circled on their calendars after it the Reds announced they were playing in Mexico for the first time in franchise history last summer.

“They were excited,” Benavides said. “(One daughter) left school for this trip. They were not going to miss it.

“The only one who didn’t make it was my son because he’s playing college ball (at Arkansas-Little Rock), so he stayed in Arkansas. My girls made it. My wife. Then my sister. My dad, he didn’t want to take the drive. He watches on TV, so he stayed back. It’s good to see cousins and different people.”

Benavides hoped to enjoy dinner with some relatives following Saturday’s game, depending on the length of the game. He was just grateful that the trip helped bring some family members together that he hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Even though it’s not home,” he said, “it feels good.”