I hope this holiday season finds you safe and loved. A belated Happy Hanukah, an early Merry Christmas, and a blessed Festivus for the Rest of Us!
Whatever you celebrate, enjoy.
The MLB lockout is firmly in place, but that’s not stopping other sports from taking place. Mike Trout sent an inspirational video message to the winter sports teams at his alma mater.
It will be interesting to see whether Trout or Ohtani gets the loudest cheers at the Big A next year. Nationally, Ohtani is the most popular player in MLB.
I’m officially older than every MLB player (although I’d bet money no worse than the same age as Pujols) but I now have a manager who is just a year older. Mark Kotsay, a spry 46, takes over in Oakland.
One item of business that somehow flew under the radar prior to the lockout was the Dodgers avoiding arbitration with Cody Bellinger to the tune of one year at $17 million.
Continuing a trend of athletes being open about mental health, Clint Frazier opened up about his mental health struggles and how they led to the end of his tenure in New York. I’m a big advocate of being open about mental health and really hope Frazier can turn around his life and career.
The fallout of MLB slashing, err reorganizing minor league baseball is still being felt. Four former minor league franchises are suing MLB in an attempt to overturn the antitrust exemption.
If you don’t have a subscription to The Athletic, check out the CBS article on the subject.
The lockout apparently isn’t stopping the investigation into Trevor Bauer. Yet nothing is really happening, either. Considering the DA in LA, expect the unexpected here. Whatever that is.
That’s not stopping Trevor for taking credit for Max Scherzer’s new deal, though. This guy is too big of a tool for even the Dodgers. That said, I still bet they’re stuck paying for him next year while he sits at home.
Enough of that lump of coal, let’s get back to the good holiday vibes.
Continuing to look at players recently elected to the Hall of Fame, we come to Tony Oliva.
Like Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva was an early Cuban player in the Major Leagues and headed to the what is now the AL Central. Oliva played his entire 15 year career with the Twins. Oliva led the league in hits five times, won batting titles in each of his first two seasons and was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1964.
Sporting a .304 career batting average while playing in an era that prioritized batting average and contact means in the eyes of many, Oliva finally got a call that was long deserved.
Following his playing career, Oliva moved into a coaching role with the Twins and was there for the World Series titles of 1987 and 1991. Between his playing and coaching days he wore a Twins uniform in all three World Series the franchise has reached.
In a career full of highlights, here are his top 10.