Baseball’s Headline Roundup

These are strange times.

The baseball season should be nearly a month old, and I should be spending my days furiously writing about all the awesome catches and home runs and double plays and clubhouse shenanigans. Instead? I’m watching old games on repeat on MLB network and Fox Sports, watching classic baseball movies like A League of Their Own and Major League, and sitting in on Zoom calls with Hall of Fame Twins legends like Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris.

Sure, there have been a few things happening in the baseball world that are worth writing about. But you know what? I haven’t really had the mental energy to collect enough thoughts on this site for you, the reader, to give a flying shit about. As a result, my keyboard and my brain have been gathering as much dust as my seat at Target Field has been.

In any case, here are tidbits you can read up on to feel like there’s something basebally to read about. Some of them are actually newsworthy, but most of them might make your brain a little stupid. Enjoy.

I’m fairly certain that former A’s and Giant’s pitcher Barry Zito is the Rhino on the Masked Singer.

Listen. There are no live sports on tv. I have kids. There are no baseball or softball practices eating up our evenings. Therefore, mindless tv like The Masked Singer is considered appointment viewing at hour house these days. Do I enjoy watching a man dressed as a giant banana singing? Yes. Yes I do. (Spoiler alert, the banana was Poison frontman Brett Michaels).

Most people are convinced that the Rhino is a former athlete based on his clues, and I am apparently not the only one that thinks Rhino is Barry Zito. The judges have thrown out names like Tim Tebow or Ryan Lochte (uh, no.). But for those of us that were really into baseball like 10-15 years ago might remember 2002 Cy Young winner Barry Zito, and that he really liked to sing and strum his guitar, sometimes more than he liked to pitch. Remember this dreamy photo of the pitcher, posing with his guitar back in his playing days?

So now, there’s a grown ass man singing on national TV in a rhinoceros costume, and his clues can all fit with Barry Zito. Here are some of the clues:

  • Zito has a music career now. Rhino can sing, y’all.
  • He wears his [rhino] outfit like an ace. You know, like an ace pitcher.
  • Rhino says he knows about rising to the top and dealing with criticism. You know, like being left out of the rotation in the playoffs even though he was the Giants’ highest paid pitcher.
  • Rhino refers to himself as a gentle giant. You know. GIANTS. His old team.
  • One of the clue packages included three quarters. His jersey number was 75.. the same amount as three quarters if you suck at math.
  • One clue included a small, sliced hamburger. A cut slider, if you will. Remember how his best pitch was a slider/cutter hybrid?
  • There were butterflies in one clue package. He apparently has a song called Butterflies.
  • He said performing for a king is in his blood. His dad collaborated with Nat King Cole.

There are more but you get the point.

It will be funny to watch the judges when he takes that mask off and the judges are like “oh, it’s you!” while they check their notes and look to an off camera producer to get the name of the guy that got unmasked because he hasn’t been relevant since maybe 2012. You know that Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger weren’t paying attention to Oakland/San Francisco baseball back in the early 2000’s, so this ought to be a fun unmasking. He’ll probably be one of the next to go, so we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

A-Rod and J-Lo want to buy the Mets

Ugh. I just can’t with these two. In their most recent attempt to stay relevant, one of the thirstiest celebrity couples out there is telling the world they’re claiming to be seriously considering buying the Mets.

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are reportedly looking into buying the Mets while the team’s value is at a COVID-ified low. The team is worth a supposed $2.6~ish billion (mere pocket change!), and the current owners – the Wilpon family – had come close to an agreement a couple of months ago that would have given the new owner 80 percent of the team, while letting the Wilpon family maintain control of the club for five years. Word is that this deal fell through and now the Wilpons are looking for new suckers buyers to take on the Mets.

Alex Rodriguez spent a large chunk of his career playing in the Bronx for that other New York team. Jennifer Lopez grew up in the Bronx. They’re supposed to cheer for the Yankees, not the Mets, right? My guess is that A-Rod and J-Lo are just trying to stay in the headlines since there’s not much else for them to promote these days. His former teammate, Derek Jeter, bought a $25 million/4% stake in the Marlins a few years ago, and now serves as CEO and a familiar face for the struggling team. Rodriguez is likely looking at Jeter’s role and thinking he can do the same thing – get some investors, buy the team, stay relevant in MLB.

I’ll be sitting back waiting to see if this actually comes to fruition. I think the bigger question is what will happen if they buy the team together, and then they split up? JLo doesn’t have the best track record with marriages working out, and A Rod reportedly has a wandering eye. (Although, you’d have to be the stupidest man alive to cheat on JLo – she’s smokin’ hot and pretty damn talented.) If they even make it down the aisle, how long will it last? It would not at all surprise me if the drama that will surround their relationship and team ownership is going to end up as a reality show down the road.

Alex Cora got suspended for the 2020 season

Way to go, Rob Manfred. You managed to sweep Alex Cora’s involvement in the cheating scandal under the rug and keep the Red Sox’s 2018 World Series Championship from being tarnished. All it took was a world pandemic to distract the world from the scandal.

Alex Cora got away with it. He’d already ‘mutually parted ways’ with the Red Sox, but now he’s suspended for the 2020 season – ONLY for his role in the Astros 2017 cheating – not for anything related to Boston in 2018. Uh, is there even going to be a 2020 season? Did he even have a job going into it? No. He’s not in trouble for the 2018 Red Sox likely cheating, but Boston’s video replay operator got suspended for the 2020 season (again, that’s not much of a punishment if there’s a shortened or no season), and the Sox lose a draft pick. So they’re saying something happened with the replay cameras, but Cora wasn’t involved.

ARE. YOU. FREAKING. KIDDING. ME??????

Supposedly Cora had no knowledge of any type of sign stealing, but the replay guy did. Cora came from the team that had admittedly stolen signs via cameras just the year before, but he wasn’t part of it in Boston. Sure. The world chastised the Astros and called for their heads, but when it’s a beloved institution like the Red Sox, well they couldn’t have possibly been so dirty, right? BULL. SHIT.

How much do we want to bet that Carlos Beltran won’t even get a slap on the wrist beyond his firing, and that we won’t hear a peep about an investigation into the 2019 Yankees? Thanks a lot, corona. You killed the investigation along with the rest of your victims.

South Korea has some baseballing happening now

There is hope for baseball in 2020! As the world is on fire all around us, part of the suckage that is quarantine is the lack of sports. Golf courses are starting to open up, but there are no youth sports, no college sports, and no professional sports being played. Until this week, that is. South Korea managed to get their baseball teams back up and running because of their strict testing and player isolation.

The KBO starts their spring training this week and plan to start a spectator-less season in early May. They’re not allowed to spit or high-five, but that’s a small price to pay for getting baseball back. South Korea has already seen a sharp decline in their COVID-19 cases, and their testing procedures have been what we should be aspiring to do here in the United States. Because of the testing ability and drop in active cases, they’re now able to cautiously proceed with baseball.

The US is mulling over how to do the same thing here, and even Dr. Fauci, the guy that the US is turning to for *legitimate* medical guidance says it could potentially happen here if we are safe and diligent in isolation and testing. However, seeing as we’ve been unable to get proper testing or protection and haven’t peaked yet, it’s not looking good for a start in May, or possibly even June. Sigh. We might have to brush up on our Korean baseball teams if we want to watch any baseball this summer.

Aubrey Huff just keeps getting dumber

Remember Aubrey Huff? He used to play baseball for a while with teams like the Rays and Giants. He even won the World Series as the San Fransisco first baseman in 2010 and 2012. And remember how he was disinvited to the ten year reunion of the 2010 championship team because he says some extremely vile things? He likes to run his mouth (keyboard?) off on Twitter about things like women having no place in baseball or the world in general other than to serve men, or how he’s teaching his kids to shoot guns in case Bernie Sanders beat Trump in 2020. And he was all “geez, you guys it was a joke!

Except we all know that he’s really, actually not joking when he tweets because he keeps tweeting and being a disgusting person over and over again. It’s like the old adage says: “when someone shows you who they are, believe them”. His latest ignorant tweet? He’s out there applauding the protests and encouraging people to lose the masks when they’re out there on the picket lines… you know, to really drive the point home.

For the love of all things holy people: DO NOT listen to Huff, and please DO put on a freaking mask when you’re around people. If you really feel the need to protest, how about writing to congress or your governors. Don’t go out and infect more people, or get infected yourselves, and slow down the return of baseball. Aubrey, you were a good ballplayer but you’re not doing a very good job at being a decent human being.


And that, my friends, is about all I have to say about baseball-ish things right about now. I hope to have more baseball news for you soon. If anything, maybe next week I can go in depth about Barry Zito’s reign as the Rhino if/when he’s finally unmasked.

Until then? I’ll just be watching the 1991 World Series on DVD.

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.