Angel Villalona gets visa, coming to spring training

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Here's some news that I missed, and it's presented under a headline I never thought I'd type. From Baseball America:

Angel Villalona has received his work visa and will be in big league camp with the Giants for spring training, a team official confirmed today. He will travel to Arizona next week to join the team.

Well. We're all going to have to figure out how to feel about this feller, because it's not like he's a 30-year-old shortstop coming off neck-replacement surgery. He's still just 22, and if he's retained 80 percent of his talent, he'll make it to the majors one day.

And, lo, that will be uncomfortable.

If you're new to the show, and you're wondering who Villalona is, he's a former Giants prospect who hasn't been with the organization for years because he killed a man. Or didn't kill a man. Or was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a man was killed. But might have killed a man. The Giants tried to wash their hands of Villalona, but he sued them for many millions, and now he's back.

This all came up about a year ago, when Villalona was added to the 40-man roster.

And now that the intro is over, we can admit that this is a post about a first-world white dude wondering how his future enjoyment of a game will be indirectly affected by a kid's murder. Which isn't cool. I get that. It's awful. And then I think about that, my selfish tunnel vision, and that's serious. It makes me feel like a stupid jackass, and it's why I've almost scrapped this post six times already. It's a stupid serious stuff spiral, and no matter what angle you take, it's going to be unpleasant.

Say, that's still true! This isn't going to end, is it? He'll just keep on making us feel uncomfortable. And he might even be a great guy.

He shook his head sadly. "Angel only turned himself in to clear things up. People say he did this because they want to squeeze him for his money. He doesn't own a gun. He helps you out if you are short on your bills. At Christmas he gives out food. He is not a troublemaker."

So either he's Mr. Blonde or Andy Dufresne. Got it. Welp, time to start forming opinions on him. All I can do is hope that he's innocent, and assume that justice was meted out fairly. Because I've rooted for Orel Hershiser before, but I'm not sure that I can do well with this one.

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