I suppose a lot of general managers have ideas about how a roster should be constructed, but Mike Rizzo has a formula, dammit, and that formula includes a relatively inexpensive left-handed guy who can hit home runs, play first base, and stand in left field on occasion.
In 2018, that guy was Matt “Big City” Adams.
In 2017, it was Adam Lind.
In 2016 (and 2015), it was Clint Robinson.
And so on.
Now, the Nats traded Adams away in late August last year as part of their not really a fire sale so much as giving some guys a shot at post-season or something trading extravaganza, but that did not preclude them from re-signing him this weekend. He’ll cost $3MM this year, with a $1MM mutual option for 2020, and if he comes close to hitting the 21 HRs he hit last year, he’ll help.
The “Big City” moniker is an ironic one, as Adams grew up in Philipsburg, PA, a borough with a population under 3,000 at the last census. The town is in central PA, not too far from where I grew up, a part of the state where can be found some of the more confounding town names, including:
- Osceola Mills. While there was a substantial population of Native Americans throughout PA, especially in its early days, to the best of my knowledge, no Seminole tribes were among them.
- Jersey Shore. A town on the banks of the Susquehanna River, located well over 200 miles from any place commonly thought of as the “Jersey Shore”, although there’s some logic to this name; seems back in the late 18th/early 19th century there were settlements on both sides of the river, with one side settled primarily by a family originally from New Jersey.
- DuBois. Nothing really odd about this town except its pronunciation, which isn’t the expected “du-BWAH”, but rather “DOO-boyz”
I’m sure there’s a weekly blog post that one could produce regarding the weird town names in PA, at least enough to get us through the winter; I haven’t mentioned Moon, Mars, Eighty-Four, Forty Fort, and everyone’s favorites – Blue Ball and Intercourse among all the choices that there for the discussing, but this is a baseball blog, not a weird towns in PA blog, so I’ll speak no further on the topic.