For those of you who spent your entire weekend absorbed in college basketball or any other number of hobbies, relax. You didn't miss much. The Detroit Tigers split a pair of games with the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend, bringing their spring training record to something and something (Remember, we don't care about spring training results).
There were bright moments, though. J.D. Martinez homered in a 3-0 win on Saturday, and is showing signs of life after a somewhat sluggish start to the spring. Meanwhile Steven Moya hit another dinger during Sunday's loss. He credits a more aggressive approach at the plate (imagine that) to his resurgence this month.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez also made his long-awaited debut over the weekend, striking out the side on Saturday afternoon. Matt Boyd got roughed up for four runs on Sunday, but was happy with how his slider and changeup felt. Michael Fulmer did not pitch well against the Houston Astros on Friday, but is still in the mix for a bullpen spot.
More importantly, no one has gotten injured over the past few days. Anibal Sanchez faced hitters in live batting practice, and should be on track to appear in game action this week. Reliever Alex Wilson is further away from returning, but he did throw from 90 feet on Saturday.
Tell us what you really mean, Jarrod
Backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia reveled in the competition he's facing this spring over the weekend, but dropped some rather damning quotes along the way.
"I am not using any excuses, but playing in Boston and being in the playoff race every year, so much is demanded of you. Miami was a laid-back scene. We were fighting and trying to be in it, but it just wasn’t the culture with that organization."
Someone get Jeffrey Loria some ice for that burn.
"They rushed me and I turned out alright"
Alan Trammell should be a Hall of Famer, so I had to chuckle when he advocated for the Tigers to rush their prospects through the farm system. Love you, Tram, but not everyone is going to dominate the way you did.
(That's not an actual quote, by the way)
We should probably talk about Bryce Harper
A lot of people are upset about Bryce Harper telling the world how awesome he is in a feature for ESPN the Magazine last week. The thing is, he's right.
"Baseball's tired," he says. "It's a tired sport, because you can't express yourself. You can't do what people in other sports do. I'm not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it's the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair. If that's Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom or Manny Machado or Joc Pederson or Andrew McCutchen or Yasiel Puig -- there's so many guys in the game now who are so much fun.
"Jose Fernandez is a great example. Jose Fernandez will strike you out and stare you down into the dugout and pump his fist. And if you hit a homer and pimp it? He doesn't care. Because you got him. That's part of the game. It's not the old feeling -- hoorah ... if you pimp a homer, I'm going to hit you right in the teeth. No. If a guy pimps a homer for a game-winning shot ... I mean -- sorry."
Former pitcher and current curmudgeon Goose Gossage took offense to this bout of personality and called Jose Bautista "a f***ing disgrace to the game" because that's what old baseball players do now. Even the Yankees -- the Yankees -- told Gossage to pipe down.
You can say what you want about Harper's attitude towards the game (I'm a huge fan of it), but if more expressive players are the ones that bring us stuff like this, the game is better for it.
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