Star Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has personal experience with domestic violence, as Rosie DiManno of The Star writes. As a child, Donaldson was exposed to a troubled relationship between his mother and father. “I’m not going to get too colorful with it. But it wasn’t pretty. The best way I can describe it is I can still remember things from when I was from three to five years old that are very vivid in my mind to this day. And it’s not something I would want anybody else to go through. It not only affects the two people that are involved but it affects children. It definitely has had an effect on me throughout my life,” Donaldson said. The reigning AL MVP is obviously to be applauded for his willingness to address a difficult and important subject that continues to pose challenges to major sports leagues.
- While not of the same level of significance, another notable off-field topic that’s drawn attention of late is the inclusion of Spanish interpreters in major league clubhouses, and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News provides an interesting look at the subject. Veteran Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran, who helped lead the charge to bring Spanish translation on board for every team, explains how important it is for players. “The reality is that most of these guys come and get to the big leagues, sometimes they don’t know how to express themselves the right way,” Beltran said. “I look at having a translator as a no-brainer because it will help communication between everybody. Players and coaches, players and players, and players and media. I don’t know why it took so long.” The article includes worthwhile thoughts from several players with different language backgrounds, and is highly recommended.
- While the Blue Jays’ new front office ultimately modified the contract of manager John Gibbons, Jeff Blair and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet report that Gibbons had raised the matter himself previously with former GM Alex Anthopoulos. “It’s something I first spoke to Alex about before he left,” said Gibbons. The new arrangement does away with the “rolling option” — which became guaranteed on each New Year’s Day with another option year added each time — that existed under his original contract. By the way, Gibbons confirmed this morning that Marcus Stroman will be the Jays’ Opening Day starter.
- Though he expresses skepticism, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that off-the-record conversations with Red Sox players and staff “all reflect a positive theme” regarding first baseman Hanley Ramirez, suggesting that perhaps the veteran has matured in his second spring with the Red Sox. Ramirez appears to be enjoying himself this spring, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes, who notes that the returns have been generally positive on Ramirez’s work at first.
- Kevin Gausman says his right shoulder pain is improving, but his status for Opening Day is still in question, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. Right now, the Orioles hurler says he is aiming to be ready “by hopefully the first or second week of the season.” Needless to say, his health is of critical importance to a Baltimore club that faces rotation questions and hopes the youngster will take the next step in his development in 2016.
- In case you missed it, the Orioles added lefty reliever Zach Phillips on a Major League deal this morning, as insurance for the injured Brian Matusz.