Yermín Mercedes’ apparent retirement the most unusual twist in unusual year

After a bumpy adjustment period, Tony La Russa has more or less restored the calluses from jumping back in the saddle to manage the White Sox. A lead that needs more than two series to erase means fewer of his actions are under a microscope, and most people are inclined to give him at least some credit for the reason the Sox have so comfortable a cushion. Maybe he’s not the reason the White Sox are so successful, but that’s a superior position to arguing whether he’s the reason the White Sox have disappointed. Even the most hardened skeptic can’t say the White Sox would be doing better with somebody else in charge.

While it’s been a while since La Russa made a mistake with legs, some of his earliest stumbles maxed out their stamina rating. One resurfaced on Wednesday in multiple forms. First it showed up in ESPN’s shot at the midseason La Russa profile by Tim Keown.

There is a lot embedded in Anderson’s “We know,” most of it beginning on the night of May 17, when Yermin Mercedes hit a home run off Twins position player Willians Astudillo on a 3-0 pitch with the White Sox leading 15-4. It was hilarious on many levels: the game’s two roundest icons aligning in blissful synergy to turn a 47 mph pitch and a mighty swing into a memorable moment. The homer put Mercedes’ batting average at .364, adding to the Rule-5-draft, eight-years-in-the-minors, five-home-runs-in-April legend that had taken baseball by storm in the early weeks of the season.

La Russa, not surprisingly, saw it less enthusiastically. He criticized Mercedes, calling him “clueless” for swinging at a 3-0 pitch and allegedly ignoring a take sign. He vowed to exact some nebulous form of punishment. The next night, after Tyler Duffey of the Twins threw a pitch behind Mercedes, La Russa said, “I didn’t have a problem with what the Twins did.” Major League Baseball, however, did, hitting Duffey with a three-game suspension.

After Keown’s recap of the episode with follow-up quotes from La Russa, Mercedes only pops up for a sentence:

Mercedes, who had already been cooling off after his record-breaking start, took a steep dive after the infamous 3-0 homer. From that day until his demotion on July 2, he hit an MLB-worst .162 with one homer in 123 plate appearances.

Later Wednesday, Mercedes hinted at stepping away from baseball on his Instagram account, and posted a follow-up message declaring “it’s over” after Mercedes was lifted in the sixth inning.

Mercedes has a presence large enough to establish multiple reputations. Veteran Baseball Men vaguely criticized Mercedes for his lack of discipline, while those who saw Mercedes at his most productive saw a guy who just needed to be free to be himself.

Likewise, La Russa’s enormous track record means accepting and rejecting Mercedes can be well within his character. Before the 3-0 swing on Astudillo, Mercedes showed up late to the ballpark multiple times. La Russa reportedly issued a reminder of the correct time on the first occasion, and declined to characterize a lineup change as a benching on the second instance.

But about 2½ weeks later, La Russa’s multitudes meant he possessed the capacity to be very upset with Mercedes for breaking an unwritten rule about sportsmanship with his 3-0 homer off Astudillo. So much so that La Russa started upbraiding Mercedes as he rounded the bases. So much so that La Russa called him “clueless” before the next game and literally suggested Mercedes deserved a spanking. So much so that La Russa defended Minnesota’s pitcher for throwing at Mercedes.

The passage of time failed to soften his stance.

“If the other side is getting beat, they’re not happy,” La Russa tells me a few weeks later. “Why would you give them a reason to retaliate against our player? If you feel you have enough runs, why bury teams and give them a chance to get upset? When I said what I said, I’m just protecting the family. This thing gets all confused with the unwritten rules. People have fun with that stuff. But are guys throwing up three-point plays up 30 points with two or three minutes left in a game? Do you respect your profession? Would you do something to demean it?”

La Russa could have jumped off the train at any point to rob this narrative of its potency. The ideal point for all interests involved probably would have been after Duffey’s attempted retaliation, when La Russa could have framed his scolding of Mercedes as both an attempt to preserve (baseball norms) and protect (his players against physical harm). He instead condoned the assault, and that counterintuitive choice still resonates.

Those who watched the White Sox every day witnessed Mercedes struggling before the Astudillo homer. The league saw that Mercedes couldn’t damage average-or-better velocity and adjusted by throwing fastballs for the first two strikes, after which Mercedes expanded the zone in an effort to protect against putaway breaking balls.

PERTINENT: Yermín Mercedes struggling to reach top speeds

Those who track the entire league and thus heard far more about Mercedes’ rise than his fall were quicker to connect the struggles to La Russa.

The Mercedes episode has easily been La Russa’s dumbest mistake because nobody on the White Sox gained from the experience. On a macro scale, La Russa failed to stand up for his own team. It also did La Russa no favors on a personal scale, because it obscured his role in facilitating Mercedes’ rise. And while Mercedes’ 3-0 swing was out of step with baseball protocol, La Russa’s defense of Duffey was an equally noteworthy breach of traditional leadership that can be wielded against him when the opportunity arises.

Here’s one such moment. Now the question is whether this actually matters, or whether it’s just annoying to fans who have focused on other things. For all we know, it might’ve happened regardless of La Russa’s insistence on decorum uber alles, just because Mercedes’ personality and track record require a wider imagination. La Russa tried to offer encouraging words for Mercedes after Wednesday’s game:

“Just kind of understand, you get to Triple-A and had a taste of the big leagues, you can get emotional, and I don’t know more than that,” La Russa said. “[I’m] probably going to reach out to him.

“As you probably know, if you are paying attention, several times he said how close we are. He knows I’m a supporter of his. So I’ll reach out to him and see what’s going on. It could be he’s just feeling frustrated. I’ll try to explain to him he’s got a big league future.”

La Russa’s support of Mercedes would be a lot easier to see if he didn’t show deference to Duffey for throwing at him. Alas, here we are.

La Russa isn’t impervious to outside criticism. In fact, he can be randomly, bizarrely touchy about it. It just doesn’t seem to get in the way of his day-to-day managing, at least in a way that prevented him from amassing the game’s most impressive managerial record. The profiles in ESPN and The Athletic show players similarly managing him by identifying and separating the trivial from what’s important. I suppose we’ll see which basket Mercedes’ announcement falls into after its validity is confirmed.

(Photo by Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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The Yerminator carried the offense in April in my humble opinion. Enough time served to earn healthcare, pension benefits, and yeah his ring when the Sox win it all.



As usual, I appreciate the measured and fair take. In general, I agree wholeheartedly with the premise, which is that we shouldn’t have to do too much mental gymnastics to be sympathetic towards the TLR outcry. When everyone is mad at each other on Twitter usually I’m trying to highlight the validity of each perspective.

However, the reason I am critical of the TLR blame game is because–I’ll try to articulate this carefully–I think it is a reduction of Mercedes as a person, and his journey, to ascribe what has the optics of a deep personal turmoil simply to a very public and controversial baseball incident. Seeing Yermin’s post yesterday and not immediately thinking about the tumultuous journey he has trod for a decade is an injustice to him. Even if there was a steep mental decline originating in La Tortuga Blast, I’m just not seeing enough consideration of Yermin and the circumstances of his career as a whole. And I think he deserves that at this point.


Agreed. Despite TLR’s rather gross quotes, it’s not fair for us to judge, completely, “TLR’s handling of the situation” when we have such limited information about how he actually handled it. Without the context of TLR and Yermín’s personal interactions and conversations during this time (and after), blaming TLR for this is irresponsible.

As Cirensica

Managers constantly make decisions / say things that are not painted with rainbows and unicorns when managing players. Some of these are reasonable, some will not be reasonable like TLR’s handling of the Yermin’s 3-0 homer.

Baseball life is hard, few ones succeed. These are adults competing with each other. If a player’s gets emotional because of some outcomes didn’t end up as they envisioned, and that yields to their talents being affected and to decisions of untimed retirements, then the problem is not TLR, there are other more important issues at hand.

I don’t like when people starts to create connections about how Yermin goes about his baseball and personal events with that 3-0 homer event and TLR involvement as if it’s an “footnote” that we feel obligated to add in any analysis.

Greg Nix

This is very well put!


Appreciated. Jim brings out the best in us 8)

Brett R. Bobysud

I personally hope everything is okay with Mercedes in regards to his personal life.

We’ve seen how stuff outside the game can affect guys (Kopech comes to mind).

As Cirensica

In any event, I think it’s too early to draw conclusions. There could be other serious issues hidden underwater. I hope Yermin finds what he needs and wants to find. Wishing nothing but the best.

Having said that, I find it distasteful how a few of baseball beat writers jump into conclusions, and take the opportunity to bash TLR with their pens without establishing any causal or logical connection with TLR bizarre past behaviors and Yermin’s equally bizarre behavior. Some don’t even car about what might be going on on Yermin’s life, but see it as an opportunity to generate useless attention in a clickbait chain of banality.

I like how Jim approached it above! We need to wait it out. It could just simple be a childlike tantrum or, I hope not, a result of some serious issues.


Fans and writers have only a sliver of a view into a baseball player’s life. Exrtremely presumptuous to drew any kind of conclusion from that tiny bit of knowledge. Also disappointing that the subject of all this ends up being La Russa (including this entry) instead of Mercedes.


Good analysis. I was annoyed by those on Twitter (for instance, Joon) arbitrary drawing of lines around Yermín’s HR to suggest that TLR’s handling of the situation was somehow connected to his decline. The week prior to the incident, Yermín was 4-21 with no XBH. The week after, he was 6-25.

It just takes so little work to look this up. There’s plenty to blame TLR for, but this is just unnecessarily stirring the pot.

Greg Nix

No shade on any of those guys individually, but I feel like that’s just classic national sports writer behavior. Pull a narrative from whatever facts you remember from a few months ago. It’s the same thing that’s annoying to me about Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts, for example.


“classic natonal sports writer behavior” or otherwise, some of this certainly isn’t professional



Let us forget the 3-0 incident for a moment. Do you think the failure of the Sox to call
YM to the majors when Grandall went down is a factor in his obvious chagrin with the WS?

My opinion is that this has been troubling Yermin.


Yermin: High Level

WS: Low Level

Therein lies the problem.

Very intuitive of you to recognize the issue.


Obviously the White Sox have their own opinions on it, but it seems hard to justify picking Seby over Yermin.

Yermin is clearly a better hitter than Seby, by a lot. And this isn’t really in dispute. Defensively, it’s way less clear. FRAA actually thinks that Yermin has been better behind the plate in the high minors than Seby. Who knows how much stock to put in that, but it seems like “clearly better at hitting, maybe not much worse at catching” should be a pretty clear winner.

Right Size Wrong Shape

When Zack Collins is your other catcher, you need to have someone dependable back there.


If defense isn’t important in 3/4 of the games, why is it important in the other 1/4?

Last edited 1 year ago by soxygen
Right Size Wrong Shape

You may have forgotten, but Yasmani Grandal is normally the Sox’s starting catcher. He was supposed to catch about 3/4 of the games. Are you advocating for going from good defense in 3/4 of the games to 0/4 of the games?


No, I didn’t forget. I am referring to Collins. If the team is OK with Collins’ defense 3 days out of 4, then I just don’t understand why defense is more important on the other 1 day out of 4.

I mean look, if teams carry 3 catchers then they can actually carry a late inning defensive replacement. But if you don’t have 3 catchers then what you have is two guys who are going to start and usually play the whole game. I don’t know why the defensive skills on 1 out of 4 days are so much more important than defensive skills on the other 3 days.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a good reason, and I understand that Collins is playing because of injury and not because of his glove. I am just saying I literally don’t understand the logic and am open to an explanation of why the second catcher needs to be better defensively (so much so that the team is willing to accept Seby’s poor offensive production).


It’s possible, but it certainly shouldn’t have surprised him. During his time in Chicago, he caught a total of two innings while the Sox were carrying two other catchers on the roster. He may think he has the defensive capabilities to be a backup catcher, but it’s been clear for awhile that the Sox don’t think so.


And in those nine games caught, he had seven passed balls. Yikes!

Greg Nix

Have to say, I’m pretty disappointed to see some folks dismissive of what Mercedes brought to the team this season or what he could potentially bring in the future.

Setting aside the unique elements of his story and fact that he appears to be in some sort of mental crisis, it evidently only took two weeks of quality White Sox lineups for people to forget what the last 15 years hitting have been like.


“what he could potentially bring in the future.”

Yermin is a 28 year old former rule 5 pick. He is also a guy that demonstrated an inability to cover a major league fastball in his time in the major leagues.

In order to believe in Yermin one would essentially have to ignore the standard development process for a minor league player and his track record in the majors to date. It is pretty logical to assume he wouldn’t be a consistent contributor at the major league level.

Honestly the whole Yerminator phenomenon was brilliant marketing by the White Sox. They got a portion of our fanbase all pumped up about a career minor leaguer. I actually saw a guy wearing his jersey on the way into one of our games at Yankee Stadium.

Last edited 1 year ago by dwjm3

Don’t know if it would be for the Sox, but there are some skills to try to build on that someone might have space for. He needs to find what works for him. I believe he had started to experment with changing the leg kick, for example. Lack of position accounts for much of why he is 28. But go to universal DH and there will be more openings

Greg Nix

You’re being completely ridiculous. Anyone who crushed a month of big league pitching can do it again, especially if they have a long minor league track record of hitting like Yermin. No one’s saying he’s going to be Nelson Cruz, but there is a middle ground between superstar and playable major league depth — not to mention the many examples of late-blooming hitters and/or guys who got figured out by the league then found an adjustment. This White Sox season has also demonstrated the need (over and over again) for organizational depth, which losing Yermin takes away from. Maybe I’m misreading your points here, but all of your comments on this seem weirdly cynical and short-sighted.


“Anyone who crushed a month of big league pitching can do it again”

Plenty of guys kill major league pitching for a short period of time and never amount to anything. There is a reason the term AAAA player exists. I’m also not sure I would call a guy that struggled to hit 94 mph plus fastballs as killing major league pitching. I would think one would have to demonstrate the full range of abilities to be seen as killing major league pitching.

My comments aren’t shortsighted at all he has a track record that isn’t congruent with success at the major level. The Sox didn’t even think highly enough of him to play him over Edwin last year. The Nationals let him go in the Rule 5 draft. You are trying to make a case for a player that multiple organizations didn’t really believe in. The onus is on you to build a credible case the scouts are wrong my case is easy to make as multiple front offices already made it for me.

Lastly, I’m not sure I would consider a guy that lacks a true position organizational depth.

As Cirensica

Plenty of guys kill major league pitching for a short period of time and never amount to anything.

Remember when Chris Shelton was the second coming of Babe Ruth for a month or so? He faded away quickly, and he never “did it again”.


Heck Gordon Beckham set the world on fire here when he first came up and then was a complete bust. You can find of plenty of examples of short term success in the majors.

Last edited 1 year ago by dwjm3
Greg Nix

Yes, plenty of guys also fail out of the major leagues. I didn’t realize that was a necessary caveat, since it’s pretty obvious!

My point is that Yermin Mercedes has the ability to dominate the American League for a month, because… wait for it… he literally did it this season. IMO you’re being extravagantly dismissive of that demonstrated ability.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg Nix
Greg Nix

Like, this is a legitimately elite major league tool. And his bat-to-ball skills are probably 60 grade. No reason he can’t help a team in the right scenario.


You can’t stick in the major leagues if you can’t cover the fastball. In essence he would have to go down to the minor leagues and develop a swing that allows him to cover major league velocity.

I’m betting on him not figuring that out. I mean the guy was in the minor leagues for a decade and couldn’t figure that out.


Complete bust? Beckham had a 10 year MLB career.


Yep, bc of his defensive skillset. All the more reason to better understand Yermin’s value as catcher (in CLT).


Actually, Konerko’s kid was a bust at only at the plate. He was able to provide replacement level value overall because of his defense.


I agree that Yermin has potential to work out kinks and be a actual major league hitter. But having zero value in the field hurts his ability to be a “depth” piece anywhere. Add showing up to games late, retiring in middle of a game, and then unretiring the next day and it’s a sideshow that most organizations don’t have a ton of patience for.


Yermín’s lowest wRC+ in the high minors was the 150 he put up in 2019. And despite his significant struggles, he was *still* an above average hitter in Chicago this year (104 wRC+).

No doubt, he was exposed and needs to work on some things. But writing him off because he struggled for a month during his first taste of the big leagues is silly. If he doesn’t get another extended shot in the majors, it won’t be because of performance or development arc.


He put up those numbers in the minors and yet the Sox didn’t even think he was worth trying over late season Edwin. He also wouldn’t have make the opening day roster if Eloy didn’t get hurt.

It seems to me scouts saw a hole in his swing that led them to believe his bat wouldn’t play at the major league level. Again there was a reason he was a 28 year old rookie. Stud players don’t tend to languish in the minors for years.


You’re right. Fuck Yermin and fuck anyone for expressing concern over his wellbeing. He hasn’t entertained us in 3 months which makes him as good as dead to us.


This is a silly straw man argument.

I never commented on his personal well being or how fans should feel about him personally.

All my posts have centered on his value to the organization as player.


Between this post and the last post, you’ve made it your one-man mission to shit on Yermin. Not sure if he ran over your dog or stole your girl, but it’s ok to let other people say they like Yermin and hoped he could be good again.


We debate the value of players on this site all the time. If you don’t like that I can’t help you.


By the same logic, should we go ahead and write Collins off, too? Yermín and Collins both should have gotten opportunities during the Castillo/Edwin years. That was a failure of the Sox FO, not of Yermín and Collins.

Nobody is saying he’ll be a “stud player.” But that doesn’t mean he’s worthless or irrelevant. The dude can clearly hit. During his terrible slump, it’s not just that he wasn’t hitting fastballs—he wasn’t hitting anything. And do you think AAA teams never caught on that he doesn’t hit fastballs? I’m sure they have scouting on him, and he continued to mash after being demoted. Maybe he’s a AAAA player but deserves a longer look. He’s shown an ability to hit MLB pitching and that’s not nothing. If he wants one, he’ll definitely got another shot somewhere.


Considering his inability to hit lefty pitching and his struggles receiving I think we can see why the Sox were reluctant to call him up. Collins isn’t a good example of why one should be patient with a player. I don’t think he provides a good argument for being patient with Yermin.


I agree that Collins and Mercedes are very different cases. My point was that the logic you applied to Yermín—he wasn’t called up despite an obvious path to playing time, so there must be inhibiting weaknesses there—applies to Collins, too. Also, even though they didn’t call him up last year, they did call him up to DH this year even though they are clearly trying to win.

No one is saying Yermín doesn’t have weaknesses. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a future or value. There’s just literally no reason to write him off.


I don’t hear murmurs from the organization of Collins being immature. Or showing up late. Or retiring in middle of a game. Yermin ability to get another chance at the show (anywhere) will have more to do with what’s between his ears than his talent/potential.


Can I ask a practical question at this point?

Will I still be able to get a Yerminator burger from Freddie’s?


Yermin was a godsend in April and really helped keep the team afloat as the Sox really didn’t get off to a great start hitting the ball. I hope he’s ok and maybe hit “post” too soon or in frustration and takes some time to figure out next steps.
That said, he had some adjustment issues and maybe his immediate success went to his head. Showing up late a couple times and then ignoring signs indicated a level of immaturity and/or arrogance that TLR felt he needed to correct. I’m not sure TLR handled it 100% appropriately, but we all have bosses that we need to appease and ultimately fall in line.
I don’t think the incident in May had much to do with his performance or retirement. Its a mostly media created thing that creates clicks or discussion around an incident that happened over 2 months ago. He wasn’t benched. His playing time didn’t decrease. He simply couldn’t hit the ball or adjust to what teams were doing to get him out. Baseball is ultimately a business and the Sox had other players who were better options and so he went back down.

Brett R. Bobysud

Thinking about it more this morning, and I still don’t know what the real story is for Mercedes at the moment, but honestly, I wonder if he’s looking at the current catching situation and saying to himself:

“I could give you what Collins is giving you behind the plate and I hit better over a 4-5 week stretch this season than he’s ever hit at any level of professional baseball in his career. So why is he getting the opportunity to catch and not me?”

I don’t think Seby fits in the same boat because Seby currently does something that Mercedes (and Collins) don’t, and that’s be a real solid defensive catcher. He can’t hit worth a damn, but there’s a role for a defensive-first catcher.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Or it may be as simple as, “I was the best hitter on the team for a month, I struggled so they sent me down, and now I’m hitting again. So why are these other guys getting called up and I’m not?”

Last edited 1 year ago by Right Size Wrong Shape

He is also seeing how Robert and Eloy will soon join leaving him pretty much with no chance to be called up, and he wants out. Perhaps “retiring” is his way to say “trade me somewhere I can play”.

Brett R. Bobysud

I mean, once Eloy got healthy, I think it was assumed that Mercedes was gonna see his at-bats drop, especially with Vaughn looking as competent as he does in left field.


#3 catcher added in September might have been a path back, but with Zavala up and Grandal due back, that looks tougher


There’s also some pressure from below where Carlos Perez has been having a good offensive season at Birmingham.


I think it’s absurd to blame LaRussa for Yermin stepping away. For one, if that affected him to that degree he probably has bigger issues and stepping away is probably the right move to work on his problems. Second, given what Yermin went through the last decade to play baseball, I have a hard time imagining someone who showed that much strength would be that weak now. Unless of course something else has occurred to push him over the edge. Yermin while playing in The Pecos League was given to the opposing team during a game because his manager didn’t want him anymore. Again, I have a hard time believing that Yermin would do something like this because of LaRussa’s comments and actions 2 months ago. With all that said, we have no real information on what happened. Before we start blaming anyone, how about we get an idea of what is actually going on and if Yermin isn’t ready to talk, give him some time.

Lastly, Yermin had already stopped hitting 2 weeks before the May 17 game. From April 30 to May 16, he hit .244/.306/.311, 75 wRC+ over 49 PA’s. It wasn’t bad luck either, his BABIP during that time was .324.

Without parsing what I agree with and disagree with in the post above, I want to encourage everyone to avoid using words like “strength” and “weak” in discussing issues that may involve someone’s mental health. The world is filled with suffering that could be avoided if people struggling with mental health were not categorized as weak.


My biggest concern is about his mental well-being. The change in pay from major league minimum to AAA-on-the-40-man is pretty steep but the disappointment can be pretty high as well. We’ve seen people struggle before after a demotion to AAA (Jordan Danks and Matt Davidson come to mind) but retiring in AAA when there’s openings for September seems premature and speaks to other issues. Also, if the the Sox weren’t that into him, he could have been outrighted instead of optioned to get a 40-man spot back.

As Cirensica

Chuck Garfien is saying nobody has been able to get a hold on Yermin. I am not sure who that “nobody” is. I really hope Yermin is doing fine. I honestly think he is disappointed not being part of the White Sox right now, specially seeing how many of his former playmates are having fun, the team is on first, and not in small portion because of his early contributions.

Josh Nelson


Well I guess he knew how to get people talking about him.

Renders the debate today moot.


He’s got a little Kanye in him


This is really great news!

As Cirensica

I am very happy to read this. For a moment I was a bit worried. Having said that, it seems Yerminator needs some growing up work to do.




Just waitlisted at Del Boca Vista


god I miss these types of references


Tough year for him, tough life. Best not to judge.

As Cirensica


He is not alone in that path. There are hundred of players each year that’d give anything to have the MLB cup of coffee Yermin got. It is incredibly tough to make a living in baseball.

I am sure Yermin will play again in the Majors. Probably with another team.


Could he have hit that 3-0 pitch because he saw his decline that whole week before and that he was getting beat a lot aka struggling and saw it as a way to keep his stats up to stay up longer? Maybe.

I tend to think he was just having fun and was surprised anyone gave a shit because it was a fellow position player pitching.


I have a hunch that this reversal won’t be the end of the story.

Last edited 1 year ago by soxexile
Root Cause

It isn’t Yermin’s fault that we have ‘too many bats’ but nearly every other player in a Sox uniform has other skills besides a bat.

i hope he finds a team that can use him but I wouldn’t send anyone currently on our roster to bring him back.

Yolmer's gatorade

I am happy Yermin is back in the fold. He has a decent chance to stick as a major leaguer, and he would be a decent trade piece for the Sox especially to a club that is rebuilding but aiming to be competitive in one or two years. The Marlins might still be a good fit. Anyone can play first base including Yermin. I’ll hold out final judgment until hearing all the facts, but Yermin seems like someone who may has some impulse control trouble. He is like your friend that is dramatic but in a fun way and fine as long as he does not hurt you or anything.


his trade value is zero right now. would have to be an offseason trade at this point.


Rays traded for Nelson Cruz. I’d rather he stayed on the Twins so we wouldn’t have to face him in the postseason.