Tim Brown

  • Angels simply, coldly stopped believing in Josh Hamilton

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 hrs ago

    On a mid-December day, what seems like forever ago, Josh Hamilton was asked if the Los Angeles Angels were right to believe in him.

    The sun shined. The cameras clicked. Optimism hovered like a halo. His wife and four daughters sat before him, as did Angels owner Arte Moreno, as did the rest of his baseball career. He was 31 years old, lucky in some ways to have made it there, but there nevertheless, rich many times over and about to be feathered into a lineup that already held Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

    The press conference was held in what amounted to a bar, which was how certain the Angels were of their belief in him, the recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

    “It comes to a point of making choices,” Hamilton said that day. “What choices are you going to make?”

    Not halfway through the $125 million contract trumpeted that hopeful day, and all the way through the smiles from that sunny day, Hamilton is no longer an Angel. He is responsible for that. He made his choices, and Arte Moreno apparently is not the kind of man to let another man up from his choices. Those are Moreno’s choices.

    Moreno lives with that, and presumably quite comfortably.

    It’s his choice.

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  • Rangers will welcome back Josh Hamilton 'with open arms' after Angels dump him

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – With any luck at all, and lord knows he could use some, Josh Hamilton will find Texas Rangers fans to be more forgiving and more compassionate than Arte Moreno.

    Hamilton was booed out of Texas when his production declined. Two months later, upon signing with the Los Angeles Angels, his wife observed, "They let us go out and date people and kind of gave our hearts away. …In hindsight, I'm so glad they didn't [sign Josh]." Not long after that, Hamilton noted Dallas was, "Not a true baseball town," and so, as they say, it was on.

    It appears now Hamilton is on the verge of returning to Texas, where he played five mostly glorious seasons, and to the ballpark that discovered its vicious side when he arrived in an Angels uniform. A couple liners in the gaps ought to clear that up.

    On Friday, the Angels and Rangers neared a trade that would send the troubled Hamilton back to Texas. The Angels will send about $68 million (other reports suggested the number would be even higher) – Hamilton is due $83 million over the next three seasons – to Texas. In return, the Rangers will take Hamilton out of Moreno's sight.

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  • Bryan Price F-bomb incident is an unfortunate part of the game

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Long before there was Internet, a few of us gathered in the manager’s office of what was becoming a routinely glum clubhouse. The manager was a large man. When he was glum, he glummed enough for everyone.

    After losses, and there were a lot of them, it could be difficult to get the conversation going. Every question seemed fine in your head and even as it began to form in your mouth, but, somehow, by the time it had wriggled loose, freed itself and fell sadly into the abyss of glumness, it was the dumbest question since, “Really, Brute, you too?”

    This manager, a really fine fellow for the better part of 23 hours and 45 minutes every day, would sit behind his desk, cigarette smoldering near his fingers, and practically dare someone to ask … something … anything. That office was so quiet you could hear that cigarette burn. Least you assumed it was the cigarette.

    The trick was to lob one up there, get the conversation started, hope not to lose a limb, and then everybody could get on with their lives and deadlines.

    “So,” began one of my colleagues …

    Up went an eyebrow.

    “I mean,” he continued …

    Exasperation registering in chin and forehead areas.

    “Not to second-guess,” he tried …

    Hol-eee crap.

  • Tuesdays with Brownie: An early case of Mets magic

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season. This week: On whatever it is that is happening to the Mets, the Rays maxing out on the bench, and – oh no – what’s Loria up to now?)

    If you’d looked at the New York Mets at just the right angle, maybe dimmed the lights some, put a hand over one eye, you might’ve considered them something like legit in the NL East. You know, David Wright hits, Matt Harvey deals, the ninth inning gets taken care of, the Washington Nationals take up bocce instead, everything goes about perfect …

    Then, maybe. Mayyyy-be. But still probably not.

    Alas, the Mets being the Mets and all, not only does everything not go perfectly, but a whole mess of stuff doesn’t go perfectly, and in fact it all looks a little chaotic, so what good could come of that?

    Well, a pretty terrific two weeks in Flushing comes of that. Eight wins in a row come of that. And 10-3 comes of that.

    Huh.

    But, who catches all these innings? Who takes d’Arnaud’s place?

    “If he’s coming, he’s going to play,” Collins told reporters in New York on Sunday. “Can he handle it here? We will most likely find out.”

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  • Rockies trying to become more than the kings of April

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – The Colorado Rockies had won seven of their nine games, and what they knew for sure Friday afternoon – from here, from this moment – is there’d be batting practice soon and a ballgame soon after that followed by a bus ride back to the downtown hotel.

    Anything beyond that was unknown, and possible, and very likely to be different than what they could dream up, here, in the still of the afternoon, on Day 12, sitting on a 7-2 record and first place in the NL West.

    The Rockies have been here plenty in recent years, one reasonably competent April after another after another, only to have every single one of those Aprils shoveled into a pyre of injuries, flat sliders, short rosters, road misery and other injuries. For four Aprils before this one, they have won nearly 60 percent of their games. For the five remaining months, they’ve lost nearly 60 percent. So, from a 94-win pace to a 93-loss pace, again and again.

    “Health?” Troy Tulowitzki said. “I’m not sure, standing here, I have an answer for you.”

    But, you know, onward. Pitch better. Try to stay upright. Maybe put better players on the field so that the whole thing wasn’t wrapped around two guys. Keep showing up.

  • MLB Power Rankings: That Royal feeling

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    On the horses in St. Louis, Brett Lawrie’s imperfect game, Yasiel Puig’s schedule and so-obvious issues with metal detectors at Coors Field:

    The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):

    1. Kansas City Royals (7-1; Previous: 17) – After 10 days, Royals halfway to PECOTA wins projection.

    2. Detroit Tigers (8-1; Previous: 5) – Tigers come out of Masters week thinking they need more work off the tee, but short game feels good.

    3. Boston Red Sox (6-3; Previous: 8) – Clay Buchholz misunderstands pace-of-play letter from MLB; league actually asked him to please hurry out of box.

    4. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-3; Previous: 3) – Yasiel Puig is so early for Dodgers game everyone just assumes he was really late for the previous game.

    5. Colorado Rockies (7-2; Previous: 28) – Many fans miss start of home opener because of slow lines through metal detectors. To be fair, promotion “Bring Your Silverware to the Park” wasn’t greatest idea.

    6. Toronto Blue Jays (5-4; Previous: 15) – Russell Martin batting .043, but it only looks bad because of the exchange rate.

    7. San Diego Padres (6-4; Previous: 11) – Padres are hitting at home, and locals call off research into gravity shears in downtown San Diego.

  • MLB's only black manager pauses to remember Jackie Robinson's impact

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – If not a bridge in Selma, then a bus in Montgomery, a lunch counter in Greensboro, a ballpark in Brooklyn, or on a thousand streets in a hundred towns.

    It is worth the thought, "Who would I have been then?"

    Lloyd McClendon, 56-year-old manager of the Seattle Mariners, star in 1971 of what is believed to be the first all-black team to reach the Little League World Series, product of the tough, steel town of Gary, Ind., pushed his chair back slightly.

    "Hmm," he said. "That's a great question. Yeah, I have given it a lot of thought. I'm not sure I want to share that with you. But I will say this: My mom always thought I was going to be a preacher."

    He laughed and drew a crackling spirituality into his voice, "Probably fire and brimstone more than anything."

    He is the only black manager in Major League Baseball. African-Americans make up less than 10 percent of big-league rosters.

    This is who he is.

    All white, it was observed.

    Without turning in his chair, McClendon said, "Not all of them."

    "Rube Foster," McClendon said. "He did it all."

    "A pretty bright guy," McClendon said.

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  • Tuesdays with Brownie: Prospects, drugs and pace of play

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    On stanozolol 4, pace of play, and two 20-year-olds in Toronto:

    A new drug wave? I don’t get all of my information from Wikipedia, but these two mentions caught me eye:

    • “Veterinarians may prescribe [stanozolol] to improve muscle growth.”

    • “Stanozolol has been used in U.S. horse racing.”

    Presumably not by the jockeys, though you never know.

    On March 27, David Rollins, a Rule 5 pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, was suspended 80 games after testing positive for stanozolol. In the prior year, MLB suspended five others – all minor leaguers – for the same. If it seemed odd at the time that a dangerous and easily detectable anabolic steroid would be discovered in Rollins’ system, we were just getting started. Within two weeks, MLB announced the suspensions of three more pitchers – big leaguers Arodys Vizcaino, Ervin Santana and Jenrry Mejia – for stanozolol.

    That’s nine in a year, all pitchers, eight of them from the Dominican Republic along with Rollins, a Texan who played winter ball in the offseason but in Puerto Rico, not the Dominican Republic.

    The overlap? Hit and win.

    And pitch and win.

  • The Angels have turned their back on Josh Hamilton when he needs them most

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – The ballpark on Gene Autry Way is a workable enough facility that, while not always intended solely for baseball, has been renovated into a building that suits the game fine. It ain't AT&T Park. It ain't Camden Yards. But, it's, you know, fine. We're talking about baseball, not brunch at Ivy at the Shore.

    Angel Stadium is surrounded by parking lots and beyond those condominiums and then just enough spots to get a burger or sandwich before the game and a beer afterward. The people inside are generally friendly, the men on the field used to win a lot and last season won the division, and there's hardly anything that resembles – or qualifies as – a press box, which is not a knock; the best reporters seek to view the game from unusual and interesting angles and, well, there you go.

    So, if this is supposed to be like home and the people here are supposed to be like family, what's all this about Josh Hamilton supposed to be at Angel Stadium?

    If Hamilton didn't have far larger issues with which to concern himself, he might wonder why his organization would turn its back on him today, of all days, when he needs it most.

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  • Dodgers' Brett Anderson is determined to put bad luck, injuries behind him

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Brett Anderson has played in 30 baseball games over the past 3½ years and 43 over the past 4½. It'd be more if not for the injuries, mishaps and other unfortunate incidents, not the least of which was the Tommy John surgery, all of which has convinced him that as much as he loves sharks, and he really does love sharks, that he should not ever allow himself to be dipped into the ocean in a shark tank, much as he would love to be dipped into the ocean in a shark tank. Because he does love sharks.

    See, there's a point, after the elbow, the oblique, the ankle-foot thing, the back, the finger, all the missed days and weeks and months, when a young man may decide he's not altogether invincible. Or even particularly lucky. So, yeah, people climb into cages and lower themselves into chummed waters and emerge with cool photos and shark breath on their clothes and still all of their limbs. They love sharks too.

    "Me?" he said. "I'd probably have my arm bit off."

    In that case, 30 baseball games over 3½ years would seem like a solid workload.

    "I like sharks," he said. "So I read about sharks."