Morning links: Schafer apologizes, Crane tours Kissimmee, and Manny gets yet another chance.
Jordan Schafer did the smart thing by speaking directly with reporters about his offseason troubles immediately upon arriving to Spring Training on Monday.
Schafer was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop soon after the season ended. He’s currently taking part a court-ordered pretrial intervention in program and if he completes it without incident, his record will be cleared.
In this Brian McTaggart report on MLB.com, Schafer was contrite, apologizing to the Astros for the spot he put them into and thanking them for standing behind him.
“I got caught up in a bad situation, and hopefully I’ve learned from my mistake and moved on and become a better person for it, and hopefully we don’t have any more instances like that,” he said. “Hopefully, I can be a good role model and learn from this.”
Schafer is active on Twitter, and if you follow him, you were able to see first-hand, thanks to the magic of Twitpics, that he was serious when he said he put on 20 pounds of muscle this offseason. You also received this tweet from him as he turned in for the night:
“Goodnight twit fam, busy day n I’m beat. Good to finally get everything off my chest n move on. Thanks 2 all of u 4 the support. Muchluv.”
* George Springer, the Astros’ first-round pick from last year’s Draft, has reported to camp and will be one of a handful of top prospects spending some of the spring with the big league club. Springer won’t make the team this year, but the experience of going through a Major League Spring Training could be valuable for him, as well a few other key figures who could be a big part of the Astros’ future, including Jonathan Singleton, Jonathan Villar and DeLino DeShields, among others.
* For 90 days, Jim Crane, along with his partners, has owned a baseball business. Monday, he finally owned a baseball team, writes the Chronicle’s Zachary Levine. Crane spent the day in Kissimmee on Monday, taking in his first Spring Training. By all accounts, he thoroughly enjoyed himself.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I hadn’t been in a locker room in a long time, but you never forget what it’s like.”
* When word traveled through the baseball world that Manny Ramirez was looking to make a comeback, I surmised that 30 of 30 teams would pass on him. After all, he’s turning 40 in May, right around the same time that he’d be eligible to play his first game after serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
I was wrong. Twenty-nine of 30 teams passed on him, leaving just the Oakland A’s ready and willing to take a chance on Manny being Manny. The contract is almost commitment-free: it’s a Minor League deal, which means it’s non-guaranteed, and it’s worth no more than $500,000.
Risk-free, yes. But is it even worth it to take that chance?