Joe Nathan does F— yourself gesture to Tigers fans (Video)

Joe Nathan F yourselfJoe Nathan appeared to tell Detroit Tigers fans to go f— themselves after they booed him during a shaky 9th inning in which he closed out an 8-4 win on Wednesday night.

Nathan was signed in the off-season after putting together an All-Star year with the Rangers last year and was expected to be a steady force in the Tigers’ pen. Instead, he’s struggled all season. He has a 5.11 ERA and blew his sixth save over the weekend.

Manager Brad Ausmus inserted him into a non-save situation to protect the lead Wednesday and, when he walked two batters to start the 9th, the fans booed him. Nathan got a fly out and double play to end the game, and he responded by giving the fans a f— yourself gesture twice. Either that, or he just had an itch on his chin.

Be careful, Joe. We know you’re frustrated, but cameras catch everything.

Joe Nathan reportedly interested in signing with Detroit Tigers

Joe Nathan RangersFree agent closer Joe Nathan has interest in signing with the Detroit Tigers, and the interest is mutual, according to a report.

FOX MLB reporter Jon Morosi reports that mutual interest has developed between the two parties and that Nathan has Detroit high on his wish list.

Such interest makes plenty of sense.

Closer has been a critical spot for the Tigers ever since Jose Valverde got blown up in the 2011 and 2012 playoffs. Joaquin Benoit saved 27 games for the team last season and was good in the role, but he struggled in the 2013 postseason.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski recently said that he wanted to bring in an experienced closer, and Nathan would certainly fit that bill.

Nathan is turning 39 soon, but he is coming off a great season with the Texas Rangers where he went 6-2 with a 1.39 ERA. He declined his mutual option for 2014 because he wants a multi-year deal, and the Tigers would likely give him one. This would be a great fit for both parties and would make the Tigers an even stronger contender for the World Series.

Joe Nathan says Josh Hamilton egged Rangers fans on in Texas

Josh-Hamilton-RangersJosh Hamilton’s first series at the Ballpark in Arlington as a member of the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend went pretty much as scheduled. Texas Rangers fans booed him mercilessly and pretended to be reading newspapers while he was introduced. Then, there was reportedly an incident where Hamilton’s wife and children needed to request additional security because some Rangers fans were being particularly nasty.

Overall, it was nothing anyone with a little common sense would not have seen coming. However, it is interesting to note that Texas closer Joe Nathan felt that Hamilton antagonized the fans a bit.

“I think him being more vocal than he should have been may have created more hype and more hostility,” Nathan told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Radio Network Monday, via The Dallas Morning News. “If he had been quieter, I think this weekend might not have been hyped as much. He egged them on a little, playing with them. … It’s a shame. I hope it’s not like this every time he comes into town.”

Over the winter, Hamilton said that Dallas was not a true baseball town and that he thought the fans had become a little “spoiled” during his time with the Rangers. That certainly didn’t help matters. Hamilton was going to be booed loudly no matter what he said leading up to his first visit in Texas, but engaging the fans is never a good idea. If Hamilton was interacting with fans who were giving him a hard time as Nathan seemed to imply that he was, he certainly deserves some of the blame for the hostility he was shown.

Rangers Sign Joe Nathan, Move Neftali Feliz to Rotation, Likely to Lose C.J. Wilson

The Rangers signed reliever Joe Nathan to a two-year $14.5 million deal and introduced him to the media and fans Tuesday. The deal may sound like a lot for a guy who struggled last season, but the Rangers are hoping he can be the All-Star level closer he was from 2004-2009 before getting hurt. The signing also has a ripple effect for the organization.

By adding Nathan, the Rangers can now shift young fireballer Neftali Feliz to the rotation. Feliz started 54 games out of his 80 minor league appearances. He has been a reliever the past two and a half years for Texas, and he was the AL Rookie of the Year and an All-Star last season.

Joe Nathan for $7 million a season is a much more cost-effective solution for Texas’ pitching staff than retaining C.J. Wilson. Wilson, who has been the staff ace the past two years, is a free agent and seeking a long-term deal that will pay him big money. He’s met with the Angels, and he’s scheduled to meet with the Marlins. If his price ends up around $70 million or more, he would likely be too pricey for the Rangers to retain.

Texas now has Feliz, Alexei Ogando, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, and Colby Lewis in the rotation (with Scott Feldman as another option). GM Jon Daniels says they plan to stick with those pitchers in their rotation. If Feliz’s transition to the rotation goes as smoothly as Wilson’s did, Texas’ pitching should not suffer a dropoff.

Related: Colin at The Sports Spin explains why Feliz’s transition to the rotation might not go as well as we think.

Joe Nathan Took an Unnecessary Risk

It’s what Spring Training is all about.  Players testing out their arms and legs to make sure they are in their very best shape for the upcoming season. But for Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan, his season got shut down before it ever really got started.

Back on March 6th, Nathan left a spring training game early due to tightness in his right elbow. Sadly, that was the beginning of the end for the stellar closer.  Though Nathan was told by doctors to expect some problems following his minor surgery in October, the news was much worse. It turned out that Nathan had a torn ligament in his right elbow and would most likely need Tommy John surgery. This past weekend, Nathan and the Twins were looking for a miracle and had him try to throw again. The results were no different and he now will have surgery.

What I want to know is for a player like Nathan, why take the risk of injuring that elbow even more? Miracles are rare — very rare — and attempting to use that elbow in my opinion was just plain stupid; it was already injured. Doctors had already determined that he was going to need the Tommy John surgery. What made them think that playing catch a week later would have healed the tendons? The risk wasn’t worth it because Nathan could have made it much, much worse.

It’s a hard fact to face that you won’t be able to play in the brand new stadium with the team considered the A.L. Central favorite and committed to winning, but it happens. Regardless Nathan’s season is closed down. And I’m sure all the teams (besides the Twins) in the A.L. Central are happy to announce “He Gone.”

Nathan leaves with tightness in Elbow [MLB.com]
Minnesota Twins Lose Joe Nathan For the Season [Bleacher Report]

Joe Nathan Got Paid, Lost His Sanity

I’m quite pleased with the contract the Twins and Joe Nathan agreed upon. For one, it means Minnesota is retaining some of its elite talent and staying competitive. Secondly, it keeps the closer market down, which is good news for the Angels’ negotiations with Frankie Rodriguez. While it was nice to see Nathan get his contract, it wasn’t cool to see what it did with his head. All of a sudden the guy is spewing the company line though he can’t possibly mean it. Check out what he said:

We’ve shown that we’re committed to winning,” Nathan said. “A lot of people are counting us out, but we’re going to be good this year and for years to come, because we’re young and a lot of our guys are hungry.”

Right, because teams that are committed to winning trade away the best pitcher in the league. Duh, I should have known better. I mean, what better way to commit to winning than by trading away your stud pitcher in the middle of his prime? Even Johan said as much — the Twins aren’t committed to winning, and that’s why he wanted out. It’s amazing what a little bit of cash in the pocket will do to a man’s sanity. Apparently it’s good enough to brainwash Nathan. And it just confirms that the Twins are going about this rebuilding thing all wrong.