Babe Ruth pioneered many things in baseball, of course, and one lesser-known among them came in the insurance arena, as Richard Sandomir writes for the New York Times. Before the 1920 campaign, Ruth took out a disability policy of the kind that is now standard for players looking to protect themselves from injury or illness.
Here are some more stray notes from around the game:
- 31-year-old righty Kevin Slowey has joined the MLBPA as a special assistant, per a press release. He’ll assist in the union’s preparations for the coming collective bargaining negotiations. Slowey, who spent the spring in Phillies camp, has appeared in the big leagues with the Twins and Marlins. All said, he compiled 662 innings of 4.62 ERA pitching, striking out 6.7 and walking 1.5 batters per nine along the way.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke with Jacob Nix, the righty who saw his deal with the Astros fall through last year as part of the Brady Aiken fallout. Nix explains that he has tried to stay positive, but did not sugarcoat the difficulties he faced. “Last year pretty much sucked,” said Nix. “I was literally in the wrong place and the wrong time. It was a bad situation. The whole year was pretty difficult for myself and for my family.” Houston ultimately offered Nix a $620K bonus after pulling back the $1.5MM deal that had been struck, says Nightengale, but he declined. Nix was set to attend UCLA — even driving out to the campus — but ultimately ended up at the IMG Academy as eligibility issues loomed due to the NCAA’s rules (which are, in my view, remarkably unfair). While winning a grievance against the Astros that “paid him a fraction of his original signing bonus,” Nix says he also pushed his development on the mound and is now a much more complete pitcher entering this year’s draft. The whole piece is well worth a read and comes highly recommended.
- Exhibition baseball is likely heading to Cuba next year, as commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters yesterday, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). The expectation is that clubs chosen by the league will head to the neighboring island during Spring Training.