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Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Bob Gibson pain-free despite battling pancreatic cancer

Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson seems to be doing well as he battles pancreatic cancer.

The Hall of Fame pitcher was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, and the news became public during the summer.

Gibson has been receiving chemotherapy treatment but is doing well enough that it’s now once every three weeks instead of once a week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. And though he experiences numbness in his hands and feet, Gibson told the Post-Dispatch that he is not feeling much pain.

Gibson was set to even participate in the Cardinals’ home opener festivities, which were canceled due to the coronavirus. Gibson has been staying home like usual to keep his health amid the pandemic.

Gibson is now 84. He pitched for the Cardinals from 1959-1975 and was known for his legendary toughness. He compiled a 251-174 record with a 2.91 career ERA and 3,117 strikeouts. Gibson won 20 games five times, including a league-leading 23 in 1970. His 1.12 ERA in the 1968 season is the fourth-best mark in MLB history and the best in the modern era by a large margin.

Zac Efron tells phenomenal story about encounter with Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker is one person who is widely loved, including by the acting world.

During an appearance this week on the popular web series “Hot Ones,” Zac Efron, the actor of “High School Musical” fame, told a great story about the Houston Astros manager. Efron, who has a large collection of autographed baseballs, talked about how he got one signed by Baker, then the manager of the Giants, as a kid growing up in the San Francisco area.

“He drove by and he was on a motorcycle so he didn’t have a window he could roll up,” said Efron. “There was a couple people waiting for him, and I ran up with a baseball. I had a blue pen and a sweet spot of a brand-new ball and I showed it to him and Dusty was like, ‘I can’t right now, I gotta go to church.’ And that just means usually ‘don’t have time’ right? He’s like ‘I’ll be back in 30 minutes.’ He left and I thought I was never gonna see him again.

“45 minutes later, the motorcycle came roaring in, and I was like, ‘No way,'” Efron went on. “And he literally pointed right at me and was like, ‘Come over here.” And I walked over and he was like, “You still got that ball?” and I was like, “Yeah, thank you sir.” And I handed it to him and he signed it. So that one meant a lot to me just because Dusty Baker, like, doubled back from church. Who knows what he did? But it was pretty awesome. It was just really cool. Like, I had bleached hair. I was a little kid. Just awesome.”

Efron was born in 1987, and his childhood coincided with Baker’s tenure in San Francisco from 1993 to 2002. The three-time Manager of the Year has had four skipper jobs since then, including his hiring by Houston in January.

The awesome story is a nice change of pace because it is usually Efron who is the one doing cool things for sportspeople.

Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports acquires agency to grow baseball presence

Rich Paul

Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports is branching out into baseball.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Klutch Sports has acquired the Tidal Sports Group to serve baseball players. The acquisition means Paul now has branches in the NFL and MLB as well as the NBA.

Paul represents LeBron James, and is one of the NBA’s most powerful and prominent agents. While his tactics have sometimes been controversial, there’s no doubt that he’s a huge behind-the-scenes figure in NBA business. He clearly wants to grow his influence in other sports, and this is the first step toward making that happen in baseball.

Dontrelle Willis says Albert Pujols once took him to dinner after homering off him

Albert Pujols

The anniversary of Albert Pujols’ MLB debut provided a great opportunity for Dontrelle Willis to tell his phenomenal story about The Machine.

Thursday marked 19 years since Pujols’ first big-league game, and the official MLB Instagram account honored him with a tribute post.

Willis, the ex-All-Star pitcher, then left the most-liked comment on the post by writing about the time that Pujols “took me deep twice and then took me to dinner smh.”

Rest assured, Willis’ story checks out. Per Baseball Reference, Pujols indeed homered off Willis twice on June 29, 2010 when his St. Louis Cardinals were hosting Willis’ Arizona Diamondbacks, an eventual 8-0 win for the Cards. Pujols led the National League in dingers that season with 42 of them.

For the three-time MVP Pujols, that is a level of ruthlessness that we have not seen since Prince served pancakes to Charlie Murphy.

Rangers P James Jones out for season with knee injury after tripping on son’s toy

The nationwide stay-at-home orders have led to some unforeseen hazards, which Texas Rangers pitcher James Jones learned the hard way this week.

TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported Thursday that Jones tore his right patellar tendon when he tripped on one of his son’s toys and fell. The 31-year-old has since undergone surgery and is expected to be out until spring training 2021.

Jones is on his third separate stint in the Rangers organization but has yet to see time for them at the big-league level. He previously played as an outfielder for the Seattle Mariners before transitioning full-time to pitching in 2016.

Coincidentally enough, Jones’ injury is actually fairly similar to one once suffered by another lefty pitcher in the AL West division.

Report: AJ Hinch, Jeff Luhnow will be reinstated in 2021 even if 2020 season is canceled

AJ Hinch

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow are not eligible to work in Major League Baseball this season after they were suspended for their role in the team’s sign-stealing scandal, and some have wondered if their bans could be extended in the event that the 2020 season is shortened or canceled. That is apparently not going to happen.

Hinch and Luhnow will have their suspensions lifted at the start of the 2021 season even if this season is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. The suspensions run through the end of the 2020 postseason and are not tied to a specific number of games. The wording from commissioner Rob Manfred’s ruling was that the suspensions would be completed “following the completion of the 2020 World Series.”

While both Hinch and Luhnow will have to find new jobs, it’s possible that they may end up not actually missing any games. It remains unclear when sports leagues might resume play, though MLB reportedly has a date in mind.

Hinch is just 45, which is young for an MLB manager. He will likely find another job at some point, though it may not be until 2022 with the way the 2020 season is being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Teams may be hesitant to hire Hinch right away.

Tom Brady renting Derek Jeter’s mansion in Tampa

Tom Brady probably is not going to make any permanent moves to the Tampa area after signing a two-year contract with the Buccaneers, but the four-time Super Bowl MVP appears to have found himself the perfect property to occupy while playing for his new team.

Tampa radio host JP Peterson shared a photo on Wednesday that claimed to show Brady standing in the driveway of the mansion he has rented, which is the famous Tampa pad that Derek Jeter built back in 2011. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed that Brady will be residing at the Davis Islands estate.

Peterson said he spoke with local real estate agents who estimated Brady is likely paying between $75-100K per month for the home. Most of us would consider that a sizable down payment, but it’s monthly rent for a quarterback making $25 million per year plus endorsements with a supermodel wife who probably earns more.

Jeter always went to great lengths to ensure privacy while hosting people at the Tampa mansion, and we know the MLB legend beefed up security at one point a few years back. Brady and his family should find the 30,000-square-foot space plenty comfortable.

Tom Brady is now a member of the Bucs! Show your support and treat yourself or a friend with this great Tom Brady Bucs shirt! In Tom We Trust! You can buy it here.