- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports18 hrs ago
Boston Red Sox prospect Jon Denney was arrested for driving with a suspended license early Thursday morning and responded by allegedly telling police he "made more money than we could ever see," according to a Lee County Sheriff's Office arrest report obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Denney, 19, was arrested at 2:22 a.m., at least his second run-in with law enforcement in the last three months. Police had pulled him over at 11:57 p.m. Wednesday night after he "accelerated quickly," causing his Ford F-150 Raptor to fishtail, according to the report. Denney furnished a license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes after an alleged DUI in Arkansas, the report said.
When asked by police why he was in the Fort Myers Beach area, Denney, according to police, replied: "Partying and looking to get some [expletive]."
Police issued a citation, according to the report, and Denney called a friend to drive him home.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
MESA, Ariz. – The graveyard of Chicago Cubs prospect careers brims with tombstones, each a unique homage to two decades of player-development disappointment.
PIE: PECAN > FELIX PATTERSON: DIED OF ALLERGY TO WALKS CHOI: WORST HR DERBY PARTICIPANT EVER
It would be unbecoming to blaspheme more expired careers. So a list of names shall suffice and give poor, suffering Cubs fans a bit of acid reflux: Mark Pawelek, Brooks Kieschnick, Brian Dopirak, Kevin Orie, Gary Scott, Lance Dickson, Earl Cunningham, Ty Griffin. This is the detritus of past youth movements. This is the gravamen of Chicago baseball misery.
So it is with understandable skepticism that people see what's happening this spring at the gorgeous new Cubs Park and wonder whether it's too good to be true. Javier Baez's swing can't be that fast. Kris Bryant's power can't be that natural. If the last 105 years have taught us anything, it's that good things don't happen to the Cubs.
Well, Baez and Bryant are good. Really, really good. And they are happening sooner than later.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Slowly, the tuft of hair on Tim Lincecum's top lip is beginning to resemble a proper mustache. A couple wisps jut to the left and a few more to the right, like a GPS sent them the wrong way. This is understandable. Never has Lincecum allowed his facial hair to progress much past stubble, because never, he figured, was it capable of doing so.
"I'm gonna stick with it," he says. "It's never a plan. It's not like a girl planning a study-abroad trip. I'm just gonna see where it takes me. I could see myself in one of those old vans with a ladder on the back and a bubble window."
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Jered Weaver figures his arm started to deteriorate about four years ago, which is neither a typical nor atypical time for an arm to do such a thing, because when it comes to the greatest mystery in sports, typical and atypical do not exist. The arm is a riddle. Rather than solve it, pitchers simply hope to make it through without a scar for their trouble.
Gone are 4 mph or so from Weaver's fastball, likely on permanent vacation with the memory of a young arm that used to crack 90 mph consistently. That arm is gone if not forgotten, because peppering the strike zone with mid-80s fastballs serves as the worst kind of reminder of that which the body no longer can muster. Weaver is the Los Angeles Angels' ace, a $17 million-a-year starting pitcher expected to lead the rotation of a team with the best player in the world and a whole bunch more high-paid ones to the postseason. Last season, his average fastball velocity of 86.5 mph ranked 94th of 96 pitchers with at least 150 innings. The two behind him were soft-tossing left-hander Mark Buehrle and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Every day, Jose Abreu talks with Daysi Correa. She is why he's here. When he was thinking of defecting from Cuba – of leaving behind the only place he'd ever known, the only people who mattered to him, for the glory and riches of Major League Baseball – his mother offered her blessing. Go, she said. Chase your dream.
"It's not my dream," Abreu says today. "It's my family's."
He's sitting in front of his locker inside the Chicago White Sox's opulent facility at Camelback Ranch with coach and translator Lino Diaz, still, in some ways, mystified that he's here. Life in Cuba does that to ballplayers. Dreams exist like Snapchat photos. And dreamers? They're naïve or silly or disrespectful. They're the sort of people who end up in jail for trying to leave or end up in miserable situations after they do.
- Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz signed a four-year major league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, moving past a yearlong suspension for lying about his age to ink the latest in a long line of big contracts for defectors, a source told Yahoo Sports.
The Cardinals announced the contract for the 23-year-old Diaz, to whom they'd been linked since he defected in July 2012. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Diaz is expected to start the season in the high minor leagues, with the Cardinals' infield depth well set. Still, should rookie Kolten Wong or Mark Ellis struggle at second base, Diaz, who can play all three infield positions, provides depth for a team already with significant flexibility.
The emergence of high-profile Cuban players since Yoenis Cespedes arrived two years ago has grown this offseason, with Jose Abreu signing with the Chicago White Sox for six years and $68 million, and the Los Angeles Dodgers nabbing infielder Alexander Guerrero (four years, $28 million) and shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena (five years, $25 million).
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
PEORIA, Ariz. – The biggest thing to come along in fantasy baseball this year has no idea what fantasy baseball is. Lately Twitter followers have gushed to Billy Hamilton that they drafted him, a gesture Hamilton appreciates because he's polite like that. Only he doesn't get the fuss.
"Explain it to me," Hamilton said Friday afternoon. "What is it?"
Well, OK. So a bunch of nerds get together and ...
Kidding, especially coming from someone who's been in a fantasy league with friends for 24 years and plans on placing a monster auction bid on Hamilton this year. Because anyone who plays traditional fantasy baseball knows that one soul-sucking category can ruin seasons with ease. Stolen bases are the devil, the eternal – and infernal – conquest fantasy owners annually try to wrangle. And it just so happens that Billy Hamilton, a 23-year-old rookie, steals bases better than anyone on the planet.
- Yahoo Sports19 days ago
The Los Angeles Angels and star center fielder Mike Trout are discussing a six-year contract extension that would pay him in the range of $150 million, a source close to the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.
Both Trout and the Angels have expressed a desire to lock up the 22-year-old to a long-term deal this spring, and discussions for now have focused on a six-year deal that would buy out two years of Trout’s free agency and put him on the open market at 28 years old.
The gap between the sides is in the low eight figures, the source said, with the Angels offering a little more than $140 million. Optimism exists that it will be bridged, and it is likely to end up with an average annual value of around $25 million a year, which would smash records for a player with just two-plus years of service time.
Should an agreement fall through, the Angels could renew Trout, as they did last season, and pay him around $1 million for the 2014 season. He would be eligible for free agency following the 2017 season.
- Yahoo Sports20 days ago
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The American Dream exists for people like the 27-year-old who crossed the finish line, won his second gold medal of the Sochi Games and celebrated like he couldn't believe it. Because, truth is, he couldn't believe it. When the United States failed him – when it didn't give him the one thing it promises, opportunity – Vic Wild went and found his American Dream in Russia.
And here he was, the toast of Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, making the pretty girls holding the winners' bouquets giggle and the fans chant "Roo-see-uh! Roo-see-uh!" and his competitors hail him for his courage. Vic Wild is no traitor, even if his two gold medals might help swing the final medal table in Russia's favor over the United States.
Actually, the most stereotypically American story of the Olympics might be about an alpine snowboard racer who left for a place that wanted him, made himself a new life and turned into a smashing success.
- Yahoo Sports21 days ago
SOCHI, Russia – I am in a curling hall that sits on the Russian coast of the Black Sea, trying to write a story about a town that sits near the Scottish coast of the North Atlantic, a town I should have written about a dozen years ago. My own selfishness and failures got in the way. I hope this somehow helps make it right.
Inside the hall Friday, a 35-year-old named David Murdoch led Great Britain's curling team into the gold-medal match against Canada at the Sochi Games, and the most incredible thing was happening: Murdoch was going to win an Olympic medal less than 24 hours after two other women from his small town won curling bronze.
The world knows about this town, only it doesn't. It knows that a terrorist planted a bomb in a 747, and the 747 exploded over the town. It knows that all 259 people aboard Pan Am 103 died and the wreckage killed 11 on the ground. It knows – or at least it thinks it knows – that an incredible sadness has saddled the town ever since, that tragedy knows no statute of limitations.
I know another side of Lockerbie, Scotland. That's the story I prefer to tell.