Today’s lead story is not an easy one to read or write about. You may not want to read it, but you should anyway. I had to take a break several times through it to compose myself. It hits deep. I will give a warning that the story is graphic and disturbing, but it is ultimately a story of hope and recovery.
Before we go on, I’m going to start with this message that was at the end of the article on Drew Robinson.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, nor is it a sign of weakness to help. Mental health is health, period. Thank you for sharing your story, Drew.
- Jeff Passan has the story of San Francisco Giants utility man Drew Robinson and how Robinson attempted suicide last April. Robinson shot himself in the head. He lost an eye and waited 20 hours to call 911. By a miracle, the bullet missed his brain and he survived. Now he wants to live and to tell people his story so they’ll want to live as well. Also, he wants to play baseball again.
- If you have an ESPN+ account, you can watch the E:60 documentary of Robinson’s story. (ESPN+ sub. req.) Again, the documentary is very graphic and unlike the article, it has video of the aftermath of the attempt. So watch it knowing that. I do hope this piece ends up on ESPN in the near future. I suspect it will, but it might be too graphic for basic cable.
- Here’s the good news. The Giants have given Robinson a non-roster invitation to Spring Training this year with a chance to make the team. The Giants front office was aware of what happened shortly after the attempt, but they’ve kept quiet about it until now, giving Robinson a chance to tell his own story. Andrew Baggarly has the story of how the Giants have worked with Robinson over the past year. (Free to all.)
- New Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons also opened up about his struggles with mental health to Jeff Fletcher. Simmons admitted that he considered suicide as well and that dealing with his mental health was the reason he opted out of the end of the 2020 season.
OK, I’m drawing a line between those stories and this one, because this is a whole different kind of awful story about baseball. These kinds of stories, which have become all too common lately, make me wonder if I really want to even follow this sport anymore.
- Former Mets manager and current Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway has been accused by five women of sending the unsolicited lewd and otherwise inappropriate messages, reports Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Callaway has denied the allegations (Huh? They’ve got his text messages and emails. And it’s five women!) and the Angels have suspended him pending further investigation.
- Ginny Searle notes that this behavior goes far beyond a few “bad apples” and that the entire culture of the game needs to change.
- Al has been covering the contentious negotiations between MLB and the Players Association over the past few days, but Dayn Perry has some more in-depth explanation of the issues at play here.
- Ken Rosenthal blames both sides for the breakdown of the negotiations and argues that the sport will suffer the consequences of this failure. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Mike Axisa has seven rules changes from 2020 that the league should keep.
- Rockies owner Dick Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich attempted to defend the team and the trade of third baseman Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals. Rockies fans are understandably livid about the deal.
- Eric Longenhagen is distinctly unimpressed with the talent the Rockies got from St. Louis for Arenado, arguing that the Pirates probably got more for Joe Musgrove.
- Keith Law agrees: Trading Arenado was little more than a salary dump for the Rockies. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Zach Kram argues that the Arenado deal was another in a long line of teams just not wanting to pay their best players and that’s a terrible trend for the future of the sport.
- Marc Carig argues that the problem with the Rockies organization is not just that they are a disaster, but also that they don’t realize that they’re a disaster. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Red Sox second baseman and former MVP Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement. Tim Brown explains how the diminutive Pedroia became a giant in Red Sox history. Also, this is the final piece that Brown has written for Yahoo! Sports, as they’ve terminated his employment, which is a crying shame. I hope that Brown does not remain unemployed for long because I’ve long thought he’s possibly the best pure writer among today’s baseball scribes. That’s a talent that doesn’t get appreciated as much as breaking a trade story or offering a hot take, but it should be appreciated more.
- David Schoenfield explains how Pedroia made a career out of exceeding expectations. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- The Twins have re-signed their free agent DH, Nelson Cruz to another one-year deal. It’s expected to be worth $13 million.
- The Angels acquired pitcher Alex Cobb from the Orioles for infielder Jahmai Jones. Ben Clemens examines what the Halos can expect from Cobb.
- Free agent pitcher Chris Archer has signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal to return to the Rays. At this point, I think it’s fair to say the Rays won the Archer deal.
- Sad news as former pitcher Grant Jackson has died at age 78. Jackson was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1979 World Series for the “We are Family” Pirates. Jackson died from complications of COVID-19.
- The former Burlington Royals of the Appalachian League are now the Burlington Sock Puppets. The Appy League is now a summer college wooden bat league under MLB’s reorganization of the minor leagues.
- Matt Monagan remembers that in 1991, Dell Curry and Mugsy Bogues of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets played in an exhibition minor league game.
- And finally, if baseball doesn’t work out for Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, perhaps he can fall back on being a model. Christina De Nicola tells the story of Brinson’s work this offseason as a fashion model for designer Andy Hilfiger and the Tommy Hilfiger brand.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Drew.
Drew posted this late last night.
I wish today never had to end. There are no words to describe the level of gratitude Im feeling, for so many reasons. We’re all in this together & I hope everyone joins me in writing some self love tonight. I LOVE MYSELF & I LOVE MY LIFE!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart❤️— Drew Robinson (@Drewrobbb) February 3, 2021