Our own “Hat Steve” Action, tepid reporter, has been delivering the goods to us from the floor of the Winter Meetings where he has been hiding among the nutcracker army in the grand floor display at the Convention Center. His missives are heavily encoded and delivered by carrier salmon, so we tend to receive most information long after it is old news, but at the same time, we sent his notice of termination in identical fashion, so at least it’s free labor.
- Chicago SP Chris Sale to miss a start after injuring his trade value. Relying on rumor, we will confirm that the hurler’s fashion objection led to suspension, such a sartorial outburst not seen since the ’60s and the burning of the jock straps. If the reports are anything close to the truth, then the White Sox have a terrible PR department, because we should not be hearing the truth in matters like this.
- Aroldis Chapman traded, laments moving from .500 team to Championship contender. Sure, ‘Arry, New York is a swell city, but Chicago ain’t exactly a cowtown, and with your kinda dough, you can winter anywhere.
- The Reds realized they had an outstanding PTBNL from the Louisville Colonels. They selected Hiram “Gloves” MacTallianaffey (1874-1928) to help shore up the outfield.
- The United States traded three minor cities to acquire Gothenburg from Sweden. Don’t worry; you’ve never heard of them.
Those are all the things that happened.
5. Blind Lemon Lemon: A great-grandson of one-time ace Bob Lemon, Lemon owns a blistering fastball and lethal changeup and would seem a good fit for any contending team in the stretch run. But it is Lemon’s 70/70 vision, caused by too much Hentai porn, that has caused most teams to shy away from the big rightie.
Said one scout: “The guy throws gas, and that changeup is big-time swing-and-miss. But he often gets in auto accidents en route to the ballpark, so he’s often late to his starts. And even when he does make it on time, he has trouble fielding bunts – unless those bunts spawn a series of extraordinarily active tentacles, somehow.”
4. Noodles Hawn: Not to be confused with Noodles Hahn, an old-timey pitcher of poetic repute, Noodles Hawn is a speedy outfielder whose ability to run down fly balls and wreak havoc on the bases is one that any contender should crave down the stretch. It is Hawn’s arms, however, that have caused most GMs to back off.
Said one scout: “Those legs are weapons. But those arms? It’s one thing for them to be made entirely of egg noodles, but it’s another for them to be fully boiled. It’s sad, really, because if his noodle arms were still uncooked, a good hitting coach could teach him to hit a fastball or, at worst, lean in for the HBP. But as it is, his arms just kind of hang there, all floppy. He can’t turn on an inside fastball and has trouble with the outside curve. Plus, his teammates often sprinkle on the soy sauce and nibble at his hands and forearms, which is bad for team chemistry.”
3. Gamblin’ Bob Johnson: A gifted closer with a lethal cutter, Johnson, like Lemon and Hawn, would seem a prize catch for any team with designs on October. The problem, observers say, is that he owes his bookie $16.8 million.
Said one scout: “I love that cutter, but how effective can he be? First, he’s suddenly missing a thumb, and I just don’t know if you can trust him with a lead.”