MLB news roundup
morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The baseball world lost one of its top journalists on Sunday, as ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez died at age 58. The cause of death has not been revealed, but ESPN’s news release states that he “passed away unexpectedly.”
While Gomez began his sportswriting career in Miami in 1985, his first full-time job as an MLB beat writer came in 1992, when he covered the Oakland A’s for the San Jose Mercury News (and later the Sacramento Bee). From there he became a national reporter for the Arizona Republic, and in 2003 he joined ESPN. One of the highlights of his time at ESPN was his coverage of Barry Bonds and the slugger’s chase for the career home run record.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 8, 2021
The outpouring of support and kind words shows how fondly Gomez is remembered. Here are a few just from A’s media:
- Susan Slusser, S.F. Chronicle: “Absolutely devastated. Pedro was a true, wonderful friend for nearly 30 years. Like everyone who knows him, I’m just heartbroken. All my love to his family. There are few people who could light up a press box or field like Pedro Gomez. I will miss him always.”
- Martin Gallegos, MLB: “I can’t believe this. Pedro was one of the guys I looked up to in this business. Always enjoyed catching up with him in Spring Training. Just awful news. RIP”
- John Hickey: “It is such crushing news to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Pedro Gomez. Saw his work up close over the last quarter century, and he was one of the best. He was always a pleasure to be around. RIP”
- Jane Lee: “Kindness matters. Thank you, Pedro Gomez, for sharing so much of it with so many people. You made a hesitant 22-year-old beat reporter feel like a 22-year vet, and it meant everything.”
- Vince Cotroneo, A’s radio: “Dominic played against Pedro’s son Rio at a summer tournament in Cooperstown when they were 12. Years later, as Dom began his journey in broadcasting, Pedro was a mentor and was always available to him. Multiply that story by a million, and you have who Pedro was to the world.”
- Melissa Lockard, The Athletic: “I only met Pedro Gómez a few times but reading all these stories two things are clear: 1) it’s an absolute crime that he didn’t get to live to 100, and 2) his kindness helped the careers of so many great journalists. We need millions more like him in the world.”
- A story from Howard Bryant of ESPN (click link to read the whole thing): “1) For the 2nd time in three weeks, I’m breaking Twitter hiatus to tell a story of a great person we’ve lost. ESPN’s Pedro Gomez: Sept. 18, 1993, I covered high schools for the Oakland Tribune, but the paper gave [John Hickey] a few days off, and sent 24-yo me to cover A’s-CHW. …”
There are countless other stories out there of Gomez’s kindness and positivity, including this one from Tim Keown of ESPN and this one about him handing out clubhouse celebration champagne corks to fans as souvenirs. You can read more memories at this Kudoboard set up by writer Steve Kettmann at the request of Gomez’s family.
We are saddened by the passing of our friend Pedro Gomez. He was a fixture in the A’s clubhouse, covering the club for the San Jose Mercury News (1990-94) and Sacramento Bee (1995-97). Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. We’ll miss you, Pedro. pic.twitter.com/NLNhUK3WW0
— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) February 8, 2021
- AN: A’s trade Khris Davis to Rangers for Elvis Andrus
- AN: A’s re-sign Mike Fiers to one-year contract
- Coffey: The A’s have a new shortstop in Elvis Andrus. What’s next on their list? ($$$)
- Coffey, Weaver, et al: What the A’s and Rangers are getting out of the Khris Davis/Elvis Andrus trade ($$$)
- Rubin: Mike Fiers’ reported return indicates A’s hopes to sign more pitching ($)
- AN: A’s solve shortstop with Elvis Andrus, now what about second base?
- AN: Trevor Bauer and David Price combine for as much 2021 salary as entire Oakland A’s roster
MLB News & Interest
- Sarris and Rosenthal: MLB making changes to the baseball, deadening it — but by how much? ($$$)
- Adler: Bauer to Mets fans: ‘I owe you an apology’
- Leitch: Each team’s biggest acquisition this winter
- Kelly: These aces have MLB’s deepest arsenals
- Today in Baseball History
The moves have slowed down lately around MLB, but of course they’re just getting started in Oakland. See the links in the A’s Coverage section for more on the Khris Davis for Elvis Andrus trade with the Rangers, and also the free agent signing of Mike Fiers.
We have acquired two-time All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus and catcher Aramis Garcia from the Texas Rangers in exchange for DH Khris Davis, catcher Jonah Heim, and RHP Dane Acker. pic.twitter.com/CPg3otoGm5
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) February 6, 2021
Elsewhere in the majors, the Mets found the defensive upgrade in center field they’d been looking for
The Mets have found their center fielder. They are in agreement with free agent Albert Almora Jr. , pending a physical, sources tell me and @ByMcCullough
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 7, 2021
We should keep an even sharper eye on the remaining reliever market now that the A’s might actually be able to sign one
RP Chasen Shreve and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement on a minor league deal that guarantees $1.5 million if he makes the big league roster, sources tell ESPN.
Shreve, 30, has a strong fastball/splitter combo. Had the highest whiff rate for any LHR with 25+ IP in 2020.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 7, 2021
Not disappointed to see Dee leave the American League, though we’ll miss his bunt battles against Matt Chapman
The #Reds have signed IF Dee Strange-Gordon to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
The 2x All-Star is MLB’s active SB leader (333) and in 2015 earned both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger with Miami.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 8, 2021
Best of Twitter
I predict that Athletics Nation will love Andrus when all is said and done
Elvis Andrus is an all-time favorite.
That’s not just me… that is the opinion of anybody who ever walked into the Rangers clubhouse.
His legacy and place in the pantheon of Rangers history is secure. He will be missed.
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) February 6, 2021
… and this is a good start
Andrus on Bob Melvin: “I love that dude. Playing against him I hate him because he’s so smart. So now playing for him I’m really excited to see what’s next in my career.”
— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) February 6, 2021
All the best to Blackley, an AN favorite for his work on the magical 2012 A’s
Thank you to all that followed and supported me throughout my career. I am officially moving on from this great game! I can only hope I was able to bring joy to to someone in my 20 years and look forward to giving back to the youth so our game may continue to grow! pic.twitter.com/zbh6H6SnkO
— Travis Blackley (@Travis_Blackley) February 6, 2021
You can come up with a thousand amazing stats like this for Diekman’s 2020 season
Most middle-middle 4 seamers thrown in the 2019 and 2020 regular seasons, maximum of 5 total bases allowed:
Shawn Armstrong: 1 single, 70 pitches
Andrew Heaney: 5 singles, 67 pitches
Jake Diekman: 3 singles, 66 pitches
— Codify, Inc. (@CodifyBaseball) February 8, 2021
Interesting connection of dots
Friday: teams receive memo that the ball is being deadened.
Saturday: A’s dump Khris Davis, whose only tool is power.
Seems like we may have missed some context earlier.
— Alan Torres (@cuppingmaster) February 8, 2021
Key & Peele are a tough act to follow in terms of parodying football player intros with their East vs. West series of sketches (featuring Hingle McCringleberry), but Stephen Colbert enters a worthy competition (beginning around three minutes into this clip)