Here is what national media is saying about Eric Hosmer’s deal with Padres

After the Cubs signed pitcher Yu Darvish last week, agent Scott Boras declared, “free agency has begun.” Some may have scoffed at that notion, but after a chilly offseason, things heated up on Saturday when former Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer agreed to an eight-year deal with the San Diego Padres. The news broke late — around 10 p.m. — but it sent a shock wave through baseball. Here is what people around the nation were saying about the deal. ▪ CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa had a story with the headline, “Padres sign Eric Hosmer: What it means for Hosmer, Padres, Royals and Red Sox.” With all due respect to the Miami Marlins, I’m not sure that any team is worse off long-term than the Royals. They lost Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain to free agency this offseason and still might lose Mike Moustakas as well. Baseball America says they have the second-to-worst farm system in baseball. The projections at both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus see the Royals as a true talent sub-70 win team in 2018. The MLB roster is bad and the farm system is bad. At least the Marlins traded their top guys for some talent. The Royals seriously pursued Hosmer and, had they re-signed him, it would’ve been tempting to try a quick fix retool to get back into contention while he is still in his prime. Nothing wrong with that. There’s something to be said for trying to win in an age where one-third of the league is rebuilding. That said, the Royals are in bad shape right now, and the best thing for the team long-term is to rebuild. Move on from Hosmer, Cain, and Moustakas and develop the next championship core. Re-signing Hosmer would’ve complicated things. Now the Royals know without question the path they must take. ▪ Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs wrote a story with the headline, “The Padres must think they’re not far away.” It was strange that Hosmer wound up having to pick between the Padres Continue Reading

Deal with Eric Hosmer signals the end of the Padres front office of old

Whether or not you think the eight-year, $144 million gamble on first baseman Eric Hosmer is the best way to apply the future-altering scalpel during the Padres’ organizational face-lift, there’s something that has become impossible to ignore. They’re trying. The Padres, a franchise with a long-held and too-often-earned reputation as miserly caretakers of baseball along the Southern California coast, are doing what everyone has demanded for generations. They’ve inked a pair of record contracts … in 13 months. The Hosmer deal obliterates the former high-water mark of Wil Myers … by, potentially, $61 million. The Padres never had spent more than $5 million in the international market during a single signing period … before unloading almost $80 million from 2016-17. “The fact that they are willing to go out and get a premium player and pay a lot of money to get somebody like that — that just shows that there’s a commitment,” veteran third baseman Chase Headley said Sunday. Headley is right. There’s the fact that the opening-day payroll for the notoriously tight-fisted Friars is projected to be about $90 million, which Union-Tribune reporter Jeff Sanders rightfully explained would have landed at No. 27 among 30 clubs a season ago. This, though, isn’t about simply spending money like a college student clutching his or her first credit card. It’s about doing so at the right time, to leverage the bank account in the right ways in a place like San Diego — a market where every dollar remains precious. The Padres crowed when their payroll finally cracked $100 million in 2015. What did all those checks doled out to Justin Upton, James Shields and Matt Kemp get them? Shields was 33 at the time. Kemp was 30. Hosmer, at 28, is much closer to his prime in a world where a couple of years can make every bit of difference. And by all accounts, he’s exactly the kind of leader and clubhouse Continue Reading

Dodgers set spring radio, TV broadcast schedule

By Bill Plunkett | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterFebruary 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm SportsNet LA will televise 20 Dodgers games live during spring training, including 17 from Arizona and all three Freeway Series games in Southern California. In addition, 16 spring games (including the Freeway Series) will be available on radio (570 AM). The spring broadcast schedule: Friday, Feb. 23 — vs. Chicago White Sox in Glendale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Saturday, Feb. 24 — vs. San Francisco Giants in Glendale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Sunday, Feb. 25 — vs. Seattle Mariners in Peoria, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA) Friday, March 2 — vs. Chicago White Sox in Glendale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Saturday, March 3 — vs. Arizona Diamondbacks in Glendale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Sunday, March 4 — vs. San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Thursday, March 8 — vs. Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, 5 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA) Friday, March 9 — vs. Kansas City Royals in Glendale, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Saturday, March 10 — vs. Chicago Cubs in Glendale, 6 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA) Sunday, March 11 — vs. Colorado Rockies in Scottsdale, 1 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Wednesday, March 14 — vs. Colorado Rockies in Glendale, 7 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Thursday, March 15 — vs. Kansas City Royals in Glendale, 1 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA) Saturday, March 17 — vs. Chicago White Sox in Glendale, 1 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Sunday, March 18 — vs. San Diego Padres in Glendale, 1 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Monday, March 19 — vs. Oakland A’s in Glendale, 7 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Thursday, March 22 — vs. Angels in Glendale, 7 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Saturday, March 24 — vs. Chicago White Sox, 12 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA and 570 AM) Sunday, March 25 — vs. Continue Reading

Hoffman’s Hall call included plenty of chest-puffing Padres on the line

Greg Vaughn flipped through the text chain on his cell phone, rattling off name after name from the Padres 1998 World Series team who cheered on Trevor Hoffman this week with a warm, electronic hug. Vaughn scrolled and scrolled, then scrolled some more. “Let me see,” Vaughn said. “There’s Wally, Finley, Joey. There’s Boch. Sweeney. What’s that?” The count continued, stopping at 22. That was the unique relationship rooted in 1998, when Vaughn hammered 50 home runs and Wally Joyner hit .298 and Steve Finley logged 1,3351/3 innings in center. In a sport framed by the constant churn of trades, with new cities and new teammates, this group stayed connected and continued to care. That was the bond. The glue? That was Trevor Hoffman. “To be honest, waiting to find out was like the last day of spring training when they tell you who’s going to make the 25(-man roster),” said 1998 catcher Carlos Hernandez, who learned Hoffman had been elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday while driving north on I-15. “I had a Coca-Cola and I dumped it on my seat. I was glad it wasn’t hot coffee.” Hernandez owned the best seat in the park to watch Hoffman’s baffling change-up twist hitters into exasperated knots. That season, Hoffman piled up a career-high 53 saves on the way to a then-baseball-best 601. The former shortstop who started his pitching reinvention with a mid-90s fastball had to reinvent himself again when shoulder surgery battered his velocity. No matter. Hoffman just became a better pitcher, a person in the two-name conversation about the best ever, challenged only by Mariano Rivera. That’s why the razor-thin miss in 2017, 1 percent short by five votes total, created a disappointing wait — for Hoffman and all those guys thumbing encouragement to him on Vaughn’s cell phone. “I don’t know if you ever really get beyond the ‘wait’ game,” Continue Reading

Padre Alberto Cutié eyes sins and sensibility in new book

When photos of Miami priest Alberto Cutié frolicking on a South Florida beach with his girlfriend surfaced in 2009, it was more than a clergyman caught in a sex scandal. Padre Alberto, as he's known, was a household name in U.S. Latin enclaves and Latin America, a handsome TV and radio personality, columnist, best-selling author and spiritual adviser to Hispanic celebrities. "My story wasn't unique, my story was public," says Cutié, via phone from his new parish, the Church of the Resurrection, an Episcopal Church in Biscayne Park where he now lives as a married priest and new dad. "One hundred thousand Roman Catholic priests have married in the last 50 years or more," he adds, "but because I was such a public persona, I had a responsibility that others don't to tell it like it is." That's what he sets out to do in his book, "Dilemma" (Celebra, $25.95), published yesterday, in which the Cuban-American delves into his growing discontent with the church, his romantic relationship and the scandal that changed his life. It's the story of the Catholic Church, "the people who serve it, and the dilemmas they face when they try to reconcile their powerful love of God with their very natural desires to love another human being," he explains in the book's preface. By the time the affair was exposed, Cutié and divorcée Ruhama Buni Canellis had been in a furtive relationship for over two years. He says he understood the public's disappointment over his secret, but says he was hurt by the hypocrisy. "My [romance] was a scandal for many Roman Catholics: 'Oh, a priest with a woman!' Me, a single man. Her, a single woman. Both consenting adults," he says, speaking in Spanish. "Have they not seen the real scandals within the church?" In fact, in "Dilemma," released simultaneously in English and Spanish, Cutié describes many sexual misconduct scandals he learned of during his 22 years in the church, from priests having affairs with married Continue Reading

On TV, Michael Strahan must tackle feelings toward Giants

There has been much chatter about Michael Strahan being a can't-miss TV property, but the former Giant raised some eyebrows - and questions - in network circles Tuesday when he officially said goodbye. Strahan professed his everlasting love for the Giants, especially the current edition. Strahan also said he would continue rooting for them. What's going to happen when - not if - he is called on to hammer Tom Coughlin's crew? "On the occasion of announcing his retirement you can understand where Michael was coming from," said a network suit involved with the NFL. "But it makes you wonder if he'll be able to quickly separate from not just his former teammates, but all the players in the league. If he'll be able to be objective. If he will be able to criticize. "Many players looked as good as Michael coming out, as far as TV, but they bombed," the exec said. "They gave good interview, but when they got in the studio, they had nothing compelling to say." In terms of Strahan talking Giants, there could be one name running through his mind - Tiki Barber. The Giants' all-time leading rusher, now a member of NBC's "Football Night in America" cast, made his transition to the "other side" quickly. When NBC first asked him to comment on the Giants during the 2007 preseason, Barber was candid - offering his now-famous comments about Eli Manning's leadership ability, or lack thereof. Barber was unfairly vilified for his commentary. He should have been applauded. Barber was doing his job. Doing it darn well. Will Strahan have the onions to be as critical of the Giants? He better. Strahan is a highly sought-after TV player. There appears to be competition for his services, which could drive up his price. The honchos ain't paying for vanilla. They are not paying for Strahan to cut any team slack. This space has already reported Fox Sports is showing major interest. Strahan could wind up in the studio - working with Curt (Big House) Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long Continue Reading

Only on satellite is Elvis still king

It was 30 years ago Thursday that Elvis Presley left the building for the last time - an event that for much of America defined the summer of 1977 more sharply than George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin or even the Son of Sam. This week, some 75,000 fans are pouring into Memphis for "Elvis Week," peaking Wednesday evening with an all-night candlelight procession past his grave. His home, Graceland, draws 600,000 visitors a year, making it second only to the White House as the most-visited home in America. Since his death, he's become the only artist to sell more than a billion records worldwide. Elvis Presley Enterprises earned around $27 million last year and is thinking bigger. It has been buying land around Graceland and a new $250 million hotel-visitor complex is now under way. If Elvis didn't exactly live out the defiant boast of "My Way," his last gold single, a whole lot of fans still echo the wistful sentiments of a song he recorded in April 1957 for "Jailhouse Rock": "You will be forever young and beautiful to me." What does get harder as the years pass is finding Elvis' music on the radio, where for decades he was a foundation, first on the top-40 and then for oldies stations. His early rock 'n' roll hits are rarely heard on most stations today - though it's also true that even oldies radio rarely ever played his real roots, the stunning handful of songs he recorded for Sun Records in 1954 and 1955 before he signed with RCA, went on TV and redirected popular music. Anyone who wonders what the noise is about with Elvis should get his "Sun Sessions" CD. The music is self-explanatory. In any case, New Yorkers can hear a touch of Elvis, mostly his later songs, on WCBS-FM (101.1), which recently returned to a "greatest hits" format and is giving away tickets to an Elvis tribute show to mark his anniversary. WBZO (103.1 FM) on the Island plays some Elvis and WMTR (1250 AM) in New Jersey carries Jay Gordon's syndicated Elvis hour at noon on Sundays in addition Continue Reading

Padre Nuestro?

It happens in the best of families - sometimes you're just not sure who the father is. And the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, with numerous paternity claims, is no exception. "I am the father of the parade," Agapito (Peter) Ortiz said triumphantly over the phone from Puerto Rico. "It was with great pain that I defeated the Hispanic Parade," Ortiz said. "Some say that I am a traitor but it isn't true. I just wanted the best for Puerto Ricans." For many decades, though, he was overshadowed by the late José (Chuíto) Caballero, an East Harlem barber longtime dubbed "the father" of the parade. In March, Madelyn Lugo - current chairwoman of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade - honored Ortiz as one of the original founders. "Ortiz is the only founder alive," she said. "Both him and Chuíto, along with Víctor López, who was back then the head of New York's office of Puerto Rican affairs, are the three fathers of the parade." Not that Ortiz is willing to share the honor. "I devised this parade, I engendered it, I gave birth to it," stressed Ortiz, who moved back to Puerto Rico in 1966 and today runs a restaurant called Agapito's Place in the town of Toa Baja. "The other ones didn't organize a thing. I have all the evidence. I will give my house to whoever proves I am not the father of the parade." Born in Caguas, Ortiz moved to New York when he was 14. "I came by boat with my father," he said. Here, he got a bachelor's degree in social studies at St. John's University. "Since it's an Irish institution, they would send us to the Irish parade in March. Back then I was 17 and I said to myself, 'We need a Puerto Rican Parade.'" A union worker, Ortiz got involved with the first Hispanic parade in 1956. Just after the 1957 parade took place, he announced in a meeting of the organizing committee at the Belvedere Hotel in midtown that "the next parade will be Puerto Rican." "The next Sunday, I went to the radio station WLIB, Continue Reading

Keith Hernandez a bit punchy on-air

More coverage:Audio Slideshow: The Mets collapseRead Adam Rubin's Surfing the Mets BlogDiscuss: Who should stay and who should go?Subway Squawkers reactClick here for complete Mets coverageFor the past month, on the No. 7 train, blame has been the operative word. Finger-pointing has hands cramping from Flushing to Times Square. The cup of theories concerning the Mets' gag job runneth over. The flow is so fast even the well-informed forget their original assumption. Or decide to change it. Like Keith Hernandez. From the get-go Sunday (Marlins-Mets, Ch. 11), Mex was pushing the idea those Saturday twin dustups provided all the motivation Florida needed to embarrass the Mets in the crucial regular season finale. Shortly after a Miguel Cabrera first-inning single drove in the Marlins' first run, Hernandez said: "I'll tell you what, I just think that fight yesterday and the way it transpired, and the way it started, woke up this (Marlins) team. A major error in judgment (by the Mets)." Prior to that comment, Hernandez said the Mets may have awakened a "sleeping dog." Hernandez must have arrived at his theory sometime after the fifth inning on Saturday, when dugouts and bullpens emptied twice. For when an enraged Rick Peterson led the charge out of the dugout, after Harvey Garcia threw a pitch behind Luis Castillo, he was crooning an entirely different tune. "I really think Rick is trying to light a fire here. I really do," Hernandez said. "I think this is theater right here, to be very honest with you. And I think this is very smart. A fistfight might do this (Mets) club good." This bit of analysis was offered before the second skirmish went down, when at least one punch was thrown - delivered by Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo. Even after that confrontation, Hernandez did not indict the Mets for providing Florida with added motivation going into Sunday.This was a classic flip-flop. It's likely the Marlins had a few motivational streams working Sunday, Continue Reading

Pete Rose on Reds HOF: ‘Biggest thing ever’

Pete Rose grew up playing baseball on hot, sunny Cincinnati afternoons such as Saturday. And, the town’s favorite sports son made it mostly about his home city as Rose was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame.“To date, this is the biggest thing ever to happen to me in baseball,” said Rose, whose remarks were answered several times by applause. The only time Rose’s voice wavered was during comments such as those, when he got personal.“I would hit for you. I would try to score runs for you. I did this for you,” Rose told Reds fans, who sweltered in 87-degree heat during Rose’s pre-game speech at Great American Ball Park. “I truly think that the baseball capital of the world is the Queen City.”Rose, a product of Western Hills High School, alternately cracked wise and praised his many baseball influences, from Knothole managers to coaches to former teammates. Reds President and CEO Bob Castellini formally inducted Rose, with longtime Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman acting as emcee and welcoming his “dear friend” to the Hall.About 25 Reds Hall of Famers sat nearby on the field, wearing their red Hall jackets as Rose spoke at a podium. The generations spanned from Rose’s early Reds years (Leo Cardenas, Jim Maloney, Tommy Helms and more) through the Big Red Machine era (Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster et al.) and beyond (Jose Rijo, Eric Davis, Chris Sabo and more).Rose’s lengthy pre-game speech nearly spilled into the Reds’ scheduled 4:10 p.m. start against San Diego. In fact, the game's start was delayed until 4:16 p.m.Rose, aware that he was starting to filibuster, turned to Castellini and quipped:“Does that mean I gotta go when the music starts playing? The hell with it. I waited 30 years.”Laughter and applause.Rose in 1989 was handed a lifetime ban from baseball, for betting on games. Commissioner Rob Manfred upheld the ban this past December.Then, it Continue Reading