Twins finalize contract with reliever Zumaya
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Relief pitcher Joel Zumaya and the Minnesota Twins have finalized their $850,000, one-year contract.
The deal includes $900,000 in performance bonuses for the oft-injured right-hander, who missed all of last season with an elbow injury. He broke a bone in the joint while throwing a pitch for the Tigers against the Twins in June 2010, his last appearance in a major league game.
The 27-year-old hasn’t completed a full season since he was a rookie with Detroit in 2006. But he has 210 strikeouts in 209-plus career innings. If he can stay healthy this spring and still reach the upper 90s with his fastball, Zumaya would give the Twins a much-needed hard thrower in the back of their bullpen.
Paralyzed prep player making progress
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The family of Jack Jablonski says the paralyzed prep hockey player is able to “take in the world” from a vertical position with the help of a special chair.
On Jablonski’s CaringBridge website, his family writes that they were able to give him a tour of the floor at Hennepin County Medical Center where he’s been hospitalized since his injury in a Dec. 30 hockey game. The 16-year-old Benilde-St. Margaret sophomore suffered a severed spinal cord at the neck and two fractured vertebrae after he was checked from behind and hit the boards.
Family members say Jablonski is getting stronger every day and will soon be ready for rehabilitation. He has been able to move his arms below the triceps, a movement that doctors thought would be unlikely.
Former AL ump Marty Springstead dead at 74
NEW YORK (AP) — Marty Springstead, who at the age of 36 in 1973 became the youngest umpire crew chief in World Series history, has died. He was 74.
A native of Nyack, N.Y., Springstead was an American League umpire from 1966-85. Among his three World Series were 1978 and 1983, and he also was an umpire at the All-Star game in 1969, 1975 and 1982 and at five AL championship series.
After retiring from the field, he became the AL’s executive director of umpires, then worked as an umpire supervisor for MLB after umpire staffs from the leagues merged. He retired from his management position before the 2010 season.
Springstead worked U.S. Army baseball games while he was a minor league umpire and lectured on umpiring to the U.S. Air Force in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. He was involved in clinics of Japan’s Pacific League and in Canada.